Our partner was Mrs. Dou who is 67. She sells tofu in the main square, Si Fang Jie.
Mrs. Dou has sold tofu for 30 years and still goes to work with a smile on her face. She wakes up everyday from 5am to make the tofu and rice porridge. No matter how tough times can be you have to work hard to get through it and get what you want. I want to be like Mrs. Dou when I go to work.
I learned about how tough it was during the Great Leap Forward. Mrs. Dou did not go to school and had to work in order to provide food for herself as a result. After the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, Xizhou regained peace. Xizhou benefited afterwards from these challenging times.
During the 1900's in China was tough. China went through times of trying to improve life, but then resulted in even worse times then before. The Great Leap Forward was time when China was trying to take a leap forward, but in the end resulted in a massive famine. The Cultural revolution was a time when China was also trying to improve life, however this period was better than the Great Leap Forward. Although these times were difficult, it made China the place it is today.
This is the day that I really felt like, “Wow, we have left a positive impact on Xizhou.” This afternoon my group, Vicky, Brandon, and myself, presented our video we made to our Service Learning elder. Their was some misty eyes in the crowd today. All of the partners that each group had were amazing and inspiring. Mrs. Dou, our partner, was non stop smiling during the movie. She loved how we showed her that even selling tofu for 30 years of your life that their is a lot to say. Vicky and I wheeled her cart all the way from Si Fang Jie to YZR. All the people were staring at us, but Mrs. Dou, Vicky, and I were determined. All the movies really were great. One group interviewed our guard and neighbor, Mr. Zhao. He said that he is going to miss us and that we have left a positive impact on him and the community. He was even crying a bit during the presentation. I feel so glad that we end our trip on this note.
For future Microcampus groups, I recommend that you find a partner earlier on in the trip. Our group was sure we had the right person 7 times. In the end it was rushed because we only had a few days to film and learn about Mrs. Dou. Second, you should try hard to get that person. When we first asked Mrs. Dou if she was willing to be our partner she said we needed to pay her. After a couple of times of persuading her, she finally agreed that she would do it. Finally, I would recommend that one should set up a translator t to interview you partner. Mrs. Dou had a strong dialect, so we had difficulties communicating with her. Mr. Yang the antique dealer and Mr. Yang the horse driver helped us talk to her.