I've been feeling more motivated lately to study Chinese. I've spent about five years dabbling in the language, but without much progress.
I have a Chinese tutor, Juliana, whom I have been meeting with for most of my Chinese studies. She is learning Spanish, so we have an exchange going: she helps me with Chinese, & I help her with Spanish. Over the years, we've become friends, & I look forward to meeting with her so that we can chat. The problem is that, because of our schedules, we can only meet once every two or three weeks, which gives me plenty of time to not study.
So I went on Craig's List looking for an additional tutor. I came across a PhD student at ASU. Her name is Meng Ying, & she's from Hu Bei Province, the green one in the middle of the map above. She was looking for a conversation partner to help with her English skills, so I thought it would be another good exchange.
I met with her for the first time on Sunday & again yesterday. She's very nice & tries to speak slowly for me in Mandarin, although I don't know much vocabulary, so most of the time it doesn't make any difference how slowly she speaks. But she says she has lots of free time, so I hope that we can meet often.
Soon I'll have mad Chinese skills!