When I packed for this year’s trip to Yunnan, not only did I pack the usual items, I also brought along a bunch of question marks with me.
I grew up in a village, and having left there 30 years ago, I really want to find out how come there are places that are still so poor nowadays. What are there the reasons? So what I did was observe and asked the local representative of Save the Children almost everything about Yunnan, so that I can get as much understanding as I could.
On the 2nd day of the trip, we visited LongBin School. The rain that had battered us on the 1st day had given way to sunny weather; we reached our destination after a 2- hour drive. We started off by visiting the classrooms, which are furnished with IKEA furniture and toys, and it just gave me that warm feeling seeing something familiar in an unfamiliar environment. Afterwards, we sat-in a class, did some drawing, and played some games with the children – the Taiwan team brought along a huge balloon and everybody loved playing with it. It was amazing to see how it didn’t take a lot to bring happiness to the children.
We had lunch with the children, eating the same food that they were eating, and our team decided what to do with the funds raised from the rest of the Hong Kong and Taiwan co-workers; although it wasn’t a large sum, if used wisely it could help improve the lives of the children – just like the huge balloon.
We split up into groups after lunch, then we went on home visits, it was a very pleasant walk and the beautiful scenery was just breath-taking. In one of the families that we visited, the child was being raised by 2 elders. They had to take care of the child and work in the field, and when we stepped into their house, we were shocked with what’s in front of our eyes – the whole house was filled with corn, piles of it on the floor, ears of them hanging on the ceiling, and the only thing I could think of was “those who work hard will be rewarded”.
At the end, when we were getting ready to leave, the villagers showered us with gifts – tea and eggs – they eagerly insisted that we take all the gifts and actually opened our bags and put the gifts inside. It was late by the time we got back to the hotel, and I still had to post the day’s photos onto Facebook. I didn’t get to bed until around 3 or4 am.