Five years ago, Adore suddenly heard a high-pitched meow outside the window at home. She didn’t feel it was right and went downstairs to check it around, but she found nothing. However, the meow still went on in the next few days.
Desperate with anxiety, Adore continued her search again. She looked for it around at every flower bed, every piece of grass and every building nearby and finally after great efforts, she found a screaming cat at a semi-open dark basement. The newborn cat accidentally fell into the basement and couldn’t climb out. Adore immediately called on her boyfriend and a neighbor. The two got the cat out of the basement by making an upside-down human pyramid. The little cat was covered all over with mud and shook uncontrollably. Adore decided to adopt it and named it Bessie.
Born in the Netherlands, Adore worked in the United States for 12 years and in Australia for three years. She came to settle in Beijing 14 years ago.
Adore (L1 of the first row) takes a group photo with her students, who are the volunteers of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. [Photo provided by Adore/Qianlong]
Besides Bessie, Adore has also adopted another kitten and a pup and they all get along well with Adore. “I am an animal lover and I hate to see animals suffering. Someone told me that wild cats who are used to the outside are hard to be raised at home, but now see how comfortable they feel here,” she said, pointing to the cat rescued after Bessie. “Now I won’t go on a business trip just because I want to take care of them at home.”
At present, Adore has an English training job in Beijing.
Over the past 14 years, she has been engaged in English training for staffs of five-star hotels, large state-owned enterprises and world-class events. She has never accepted a fixed job invitation due to her freedom-loving personality. “There are lots of training programs in Beijing, so I manage to choose to work for a favorite one that suits me best in terms of the time and place.”
Life provides many choices here, and that is why she stays in Beijing.
Bessie is seen in Adore’s study room. [Photo by Dai Qi/Qianlong]
At weekends, she chooses to stay with children. She gives English classes at home to Chinese children with age from four years old to more than ten years old. On a corner of her bookshelf are placed all kinds of toys, but her favorites are self-made ones. “Look, it took me a long time to make. Children are good at playing it,” Adore showed me excitedly a set of “find the same” cards.
Adore encourages children to do things on themselves, release nature instinct and creatively even if they stand on a table, while she is also a serious teacher -- thick lesson plans are put on the table and teaching arrangements and schedules are hanging on the wall.
“I have traveled around the world and I hope to pass on my experience to the children,” She said.
The “find the same” cards made by Adore. [Photo by Dai Qi/Qianlong]
There is an intricate “painting” hanging on the wall in Adore’s living room. It has a string of English letters that spells “Adore” among pink print flowers.
Adore introduced that once she and her friends climbed mountains in the Mentougou district, they found a waste hut and out of curiosity she went inside. “I was told not to get in, it was not at all interesting, but I found a pattern on a mattress in the ruins, it is right of my name!”. Then she took a photo of it and made 18 copies after coming back to create the painting as such. “I think this is destiny!” she said excitedly.
It is the connection between Adore and the “painting”, and is roughly the tie linking her and Beijing.
Adore and her 12-year-old pet dog named Beibei in her arms. [Photo/Qianlong]
A mini-kitchen made by Adore. [Photo provided by Adore/Qianlong]