An International Outlook: Transitioning as an Emigrant
Considering the magnitude of the transition—a shift from the wealthy suburban setting of her upbringing to a strikingly alien environment with hostility towards Western Christians—MBS seems to have handled her emigration with considerable aplomb. It helped that she was highly spirited and willing to immerse herself in her new environment: her letters contain accounts of wide travels, a determination to learn the local language, and a constant effort to engage with Chinese people and culture. She believed that her work depended upon mutual respect and collaboration between people, and took their cultivation as a matter of personal responsibility. She found, however, that bridging the gaps would be one of her greatest challenges. This struggle was a prominent feature of her work and personal life, but also affected her perspective on the national and international landscape.