Our service learning partner was Mr. Yang. He is 83 years old and lives next to Dong An Men.
Mr. Yang (JiSheng) lived in Kunming during his working years and when he retired, he came back to Xizhou. He was a former basketball player for China's National Team, and still likes sports. Before he retired, he had several jobs other than playing basketball. He was a PE teacher, chemical engineer, and a miner. Mr. Yang has three children, two of them live in Kunming and they visit him once a year depending on their schedule.
In my Day 26 journal, I wrote about my experience of sharing the video with him. Here is what I wrote:
At 3 o'clock today, we all shared our service learning video with our partners. My group picked up Mr. Yang at around 2:30 PM and walked him to YangZhuoRan. I was kind of excited and nervous at the same time. Mr. Yang has been to YangZhuoRan before and knew the place quite well, and told us about what was new. We were the first group to arrive and still had some time before the presentation so we showed him around. When another group arrived, we brought our service learning partners together to introduce and was suprised by what happened. Mr. Yang patted Mr. Zhao on the back and Mr. Zhao called our "YangJISHEngggggg!" And it turns out that they were high school classmates.
We asked Mr. Yang about the changes here in Xizhou, and he told us that the older generation is not as open and relaxed. He also told us that government officals and soliders went to people's house and took away gold, silver, money and other valuables. They also locked up the house with banners that prohibted anyone from entering. He did not really tell us anything about the Cultural Revolution, just that he was a miner during that time. He mostly talked about him and his experience.
For future Microcampus students who will be involved in the Service Learning project, I would recommend them to find several partners before the end of the second week. This means that you need to start making connections right away and this will make your Service Learning project a lot easier. During filming, you can take pictures of what your partners house looks like, photos of when they were younger, and these are what makes the videos interesting. Another piece of advice would be to share previous Service Learning videos so they understand what you are doing.