Updated 1 year 2 months ago
By Aria, Sarah, Alex, and Sam
Our service learning partner was Li Nai Nai. She is a super sweet 72-year-old lady who sells vegetables at the morning market. Every time we see her in the morning market she always offers us some of her carrots that she grows herself. Li Nai Nai has lived in Xizhou her whole life and now lives by Lake Er Hai and she walks 40 minutes every day to and from the morning market in Xizhou to sell her vegetables. She always is smiling and laughing and she is always willing to talk to us even when we cannot understand everything she is saying, and also when she cannot understand everything that we are saying. 


Throughout the process of meeting with Li Nai Nai, I have learned so much about her and also about China in the past. I have learned that Li Nai Nai is an extremely kind and open person. She was willing to change around her work schedule for us to meet and record with her, and during the recording process, she shared so much information about her life as well as China when she was younger.


While meeting with Li Nai Nai and talking to her, I have learned a lot about Xizhou's history based on her past. I have learned that during the Great Leap Foward in Xizhou her family did not have a lot of food so they would have to eat wild grass. I also learned that she thought Chairman Mao was a very important person in Xizhou and that when he died, lots of Xizhou community members were upset. 


Li Nai Nai told us that she could not remember much of World War II, but she remembers that there were planes were very quiet and she remembers one day where she heard a plane crash. As she was sharing about her past, it was really interesting to hear the history that I had already know but from her personal experiences, everything that I had already know became real. Li Nai Nai talked about Chairman Mao and how he was a great and important leader. 


On April 4th, 2018, all the Microcampus students got the chance to share our service learning video with our service learning partner and other guests. We had time to go get our service learning partner and bring them back to Yangzhouran to watch the videos. Mrs. Li was not able to attend the showing of the videos because she had to attend a Buddhist festival with her family and she could not miss that. But we still got the chance to share our video with other members of the Xizhou community as well as other guests that came to Yangzhouran to come watch the videos. 


Even though Li Nai Nai was not able to attend it was still really interesting to watch everyone else reactions to our videos. When our service learning video first began, and when the first image of Li Nai Nai showed up on the screen, I watched a few people talk to each other, laugh and smile because they know Li Nai Nai. I watched other members of the Xizhou community smile and laugh at the happy parts of the video, and I watched them get teary during the sadder parts of the video. It was really nice to see how other reacted to seeing our video about Li Nai Nai. 


Our service learning group got the chance to show Li Nai Nai the video on the last day of Microcampus. She met us at the Linden Commons, and was unaware that we were going to show her the video. When we started the video, and the beginning when Li Nai Nai saw herself on the screen she was laughing, and as the video continued she kept laughing at different parts. I could see her eyes tear up a bit at some of the parts. She smiled throughout the entire video and at the end she told us that she had enjoyed it. 


For future Microcampus students working on Service Learning, I have a few recommendations to make the process more successful. First, make sure to make lots and lots of connections. Start making connections as soon as possible, talk to lots of different people that are both young and old. Even if you do not think they could be a service-learning partner, or if they have already been a service-learning partner, they could recommend other people that you could talk to. The second recommendation that I have is to make sure to stay on top of service learning work. Make sure to not wait until the very last few days to complete all of the translations and the editing. It really helps to work on the project a little bit every day so that there is not a big pile of work to complete later. My third recommendation would be to work together as a group. It is important that the work is spread out evenly so that not one person is doing all the work. If one person needs to do all the work, because they are the only one that can complete that work, then the other group members can offer to help with other things like dish duty. My third recommendation is to ask ahead of time if your service learning partner can come to the viewing. If you ask only a few days before the viewing, the service learning partner may not be able to come watch the videos. 

Hi! My name is Sarah, I am 14 years old. This is my 11th year at SAS Puxi. I love playing sports, being outside, hanging out with friends, and reading. Microcampus has been an incredible life-changing experience that I will forever remember. I have met so many people in Xizhou who have impacted me greatly. I am so thankful that I got the opportunity to come to Xizhou for 28 days to experience China outside of the "bubble." Microcampus has taught me more than I could have ever imagined and I will forever remember this experience.