Guizhou Dandelion Volunteer Teaching Center aims to set up an improved and more professional platform for public welfare, attracting more resources to poverty-stricken areas, improving education, and taking care of more children from rural areas.
With a simple dream, I came to Dagai primary school in September of 2012. The school had only three grades with two teachers and another volunteer teacher. I received warm welcome from the students, who greeted me with an enthusiastic “Hello teacher!"
As a teacher, I needed to visit the students and get to know more about their families and villages so that I would be able to teach them in accordance with their aptitude. The village we planned on visiting was Rongna, which was said to be far away and without road. There was only a small path with pebbles and weeds. The path stretched around a big mountain and it would take at least two hours to walk it.
On October, 13, we set out for our home visit. On the way to Rongna, it began to rain. We could fall down at any time as we were walking to the village, but we had to proceed with speed. As the village was inhabited by the Miao ethnic minority, we could not understand them. We took three little interpreters with us - students in the third grade. One of them had been to Rongna before, so he acted as an interpreter and guide for us.
As we were walking, we kept asking how far it was. He kept saying, “Not too far away, just on the other side of the hill." We walked over two hills and around two rugged mountain roads. The roads were about one meter wide, just enough space for one person. There were stones all along the road and there was a 25m-deep cliff on the other side. With the rain, we had to be very careful. We walked hand-in-hand, just in case any of us slipped.
Walking on this narrow path, I could see those little children in first grade who walked to school on the same path. The big mountain seemed so large in comparison with the small figures of the children. In particular, on rainy days, you could imagine how difficult it would be for them to walk across the path with shabby shoes.
When we arrived at the first student’s home, his grandparents greeted us warmly and asked us to chat at the gate of the house, which was worn down with a leaking roof. During our chat, we learned that the grandma was going to cook for us. She caught a small rooster and intended to kill it. We couldn’t help but stand up and say goodbye to the grandparents, but grandpa said with smile, “Just stay, we were already going to kill the chicken for the meal."
But, we found the excuse to leave. The small rooster could have been the only property of the family, so we just could not eat it. A small rooster doesn’t have much meat, but they’d rather use the only decent food they had to treat their guests. We were moved and thought that if we had stayed for the meal, it might be the best food they have had in a year.
On the way back to school, we also saw a young man who was flattening the road with simple tools, just hoping to provide convenience for people in the village. I kept thinking on the way back: what could I do with my limited power to serve these children and their families?
Original article written by Yanyan Zhu, translated by Maggie Li, edited by Yanyan Zhang
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