Please click on the following link if the video above fails to work.
Mr. 张雄武 (Zhāng Xíong Wù) was our service learning partner. He is a 79 year old man who owns a China Mobile store. He has 4 children, 3 daughters and a son, that have all moved out to Xia Guan. Before his work at the shop he was a teacher for 40-50 years and he now continues to learn and enjoys to read.
As a result of this experience I not only learned about the biographical details of Mr. Zhang's life but also about him as a human being. Getting to know his thoughts and opinions on certain things and so on was the core and root of our project and this was not only helpful to our service learning but it was also a doorway to getting to know him as a person. My elder was an interesting person and as a result of connecting with him I learned about personal perspectives during events such as the Cultural Revolution, Liberation, The Great Leap Forward, and so on. I also learned about how these events affected Xizhou in general such as the Japanese planes floating above the heads of citizens. After a while no one seemed to care but they had not realized the importance of the plane to their country's history until later on. I learned that there were many plane stations set up making a route to the destination they hoped in China. One of these stations just happened to be located in Xizhou.
When I was sharing with my service learning partner I could tell they were excited. When we picked him up he seemed to have forgotten that we had invited him but he, nevertheless, walked with us. At first he did not accept the fruit we offered him but, after much arguing, we were able to successfully give him the fruit. On our way there he talked to us about his life and how he had been to Yangzhuo Ran and went there often around 70 years ago. When we finally got there we gave him a tour around Yangzhuo Ran and he noted all of the changes the restoration required. Before watching the presentation we offered him a bit of tea and then began. I could tell that he was quite pleased with the work we had done as I could se the smile on his face as he watched. It was really great knowing that our service learning partner enjoyed the clip we made. With another chance to go to Xizhou I would surely make it a point to visit him.
For future students I would suggest that they find a service learning partner early. This is really useful because then you aren't scrambling to get one in the last week. Also, film as much as possible. You want a wide range of videos and questions to choose from to make your video more interesting. Lastly, begin picking possible sections of your project early. You don't want to be doing this at the last second as well because combing through 3 hours worth of information is not the best thing to do when your service learning project is due tomorrow. If you follow these tips, you'll be well off.