Lanzhou Jingcheng Public Service Center is located in Gansu Province and mainly serves the disadvantaged groups in society, helping them renew their confidence in life and build up their self-reliance. Services include: 1) Care for the rural children left behind 2) Care for children after surgery 3) Concern for the old public service areas 4) Carrying out a variety of public training, consulting, and advocacy activities.
Spontaneous Trip to Visit the Uncle's House
We weren't originally planning to visit Maria's uncle's house. But since we visited Maria's home, Juanjuan's home, the school, and the villagers' water sources, Maria's uncle was very enthusiastic about us visiting his home. He was very warm and kept inviting us to his house again and again. Since his passion was very rare, I decided to visit his house as well.
Can I Get One Too?
Maria's uncle may have seen the water reservoirs we were planning to give to the schools. He had his own ideas and asked me in a friendly way, "Are you still building reservoirs? Can I apply for one?"
I replied that this was our Transparent Fish Fund project, and that our organizations worked worked together to implement the project for the school. So this project was not able to give his family a reservoir.
The uncle, who is very proficient in the world, said, "It’s up to you to determine your permission within the project scope."
I said, "We currently do not have such a project, and I do not have this permission." Although I said it very directly, the uncle was still very persistent.
The village is definitely a prime location. The village has set up a sports venue and installed some simple sports equipment, in the open space just in front of the uncle’s house.
I deliberately said, "You are in a prime location and your home is so beautiful, you certainly do not need a water reservoir."
The uncle quickly explained, "Hey, no, my house is an adobe. The facade is decorated with a bit of brick, but the two of our houses are the same. There is just wall paint on the outside as a renovation. I have no money to get anymore."
The Uncle's House
The uncle's house is in good condition. Looking at the roof of the house, we knew that it took a lot of effort. Although there is no house in the village with walls that exposed the essence of the adobe, the house of the uncle's family is certainly better than the other two families' I visited.
Corn Harvest and Drought
This is the harvest from four acres of corn for this year. When we mentioned this year's crop income, all the locals could not help but shake their heads and sigh. Drought is a big issue, affecting all the families.
The uncle's kitchen is the only one I smelled fire in; at least the kitchen seems to have been in use, not desolate. Now many families are using this simple cooker, making cooking very convenient.
The uncle's kitchen is the most attractive to me. The kitchen is conveniently situated so people can easily move in and out. This was done deliberately so they can be separated from the debris.
Teacher Ma is the school's private teacher and is also the only one in the village with a high school education. Behind Teacher Ma is their water reservoir. This photo was taken the first time we visited the school.
Her education is rare, in comparison to a few families I met. A lot of families do not value the education of girls. It is notable that Teacher Ma’s education goes as high as high school.
In particular, we wanted to know where her home was, as her family is really unusual. Teacher Ma's answer surprised me. She was not a local. Her family comes from Dali, Yunnan.
Questions and curiosity came one after another. "Is Dali better than here?" I asked.
Teacher Ma laughed but did not answer. Her husband stepped in and commented that I looked handsome!
Ha ha ha...we all laughed.
Teacher Ma’s annual income is 1,200 RMB. It is currently the only solid monthly income for the family. Originally, we were just going to go to Maria’s uncle’s place and then the school but we ended up striking up a long conversation with Teacher Ma.
Teacher Ma has been married here for 30 years. During this time, she has been back three times to visit her parents. I quickly calculated this; that averaged about once in ten years.
The couple stood in the corner of the photo. Their smiles allowed me to feel the family’s happiness and harmony.
Original article written by Yunyun, translated by Nina Chen, edited by Carolyn D.
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