Our Service Learning partner is Mr. Yang and he is one of the few casket makers left in XiZhou. Please look at our Service Learning project here. Casket Making has been his career and income for his whole life. He mentions that he is getting a bit old, so in less than a year, he will probably retire and the residents of XiZhou will need to find a new casket maker or to get cremated.
Mr. Yang also told us about his experience on Hua Dian Ba and how it was a very difficult journey. He talked about carrying up pounds of potatoes and carrying down potatoes and wood for his caskets. He told us that times then were really tough and a lot of people had to go there to get their resources, and they had to wear thin grass shoes. Mr. Yang also compared his life now to his life before. He told us that his life now was better because before, life was very tough but now it is more relaxed. Before, he went up to Hua Dian Ba pretty often to get wood for caskets and afterwards his feet would be bruised and blistered.
Mr. Yang also told us that we have the "keys" to a happy life. We have the chance of education and if we work hard, we can have a pleasant life.
When we presented our final Service Learning video to Mr. Yang, we all did not know what he would say. When we sat in front of the room and the video started playing, we saw him crinkle a smile. Throughout the video, it was really nice to watch him and his godbrother laugh and smile at the video. He seemed really happy which was a joy for us and we were glad that he liked the video that we spent so long on. It was also nice that we had subtitles so that if they could not hear the audio that well, they could read the Chinese subtitles and there was also English subtitles. Above, is a picture of Mr. Yang and his godbrother watching our video.
Some recommendations that I have for future Microcampus students are to always get a Service Learning Partner before Day 12. We had delayed our Service Learning by a bit but we still had a lot of contacts. We did not get a confirmed one until the start of filming which at the start was a problem but after a while it worked out. Though, if future Microcampus students want a less stressful process than we had, then they should get a confirmed Service Learning partner by Day 12. Another suggestion for future Microcampus students is to have multiple contacts. We were glad when we had multiple contacts because our Plan A did not work, nor did our Plan B. So we had to go to Plan C which was Mr. Yang. Also I suggest that future Microcampus students not scare their contact by filming on the first day. They can ask a few basic questions and slowly get to the filming part because there are some contacts that are not open much to filming but after a while of connecting, then maybe.