Updated 1 year 9 months ago
By Emilly L., Jasmine Z., Alan Z., and Sejin O.

Our service learning partner was Zhang nainai. She is 68 years old and she sells flower crowns.   

Her full name is Zhang Ling Ling and is 68 years old. She is not from Xizhou, but from Hu Die Quan. Every morning, she comes to Xizhou and sells flower crowns in the street of Si Fang Jie. Zhang nainai is the oldest of five siblings, three sisters, and two brothers including herself.

I learned about Zhang nainai, that she had a hard time during the past when she was a young child. Also, I learned about her opinions on the cultural revolution of China and the big events in Chinese history. I more about her life and how she grew up, and that she used to go out during the weekends and sell handicrafts she did in school. 

During the service learning process, and as we talked with Zhang nainai, I learned that the major events in Chinese history, like cultural revolution and supporting the Soviet Union had impacts in the area of Xizhou and Zhang nainai's hometown. Many teachers and intellectuals suicide and escaped to other places like Xizhou for their safety.

They were called reactionaries and were considered as criminals who do not follow the country. I also learned that even places like Xizhou and Hu Die Quan were very poor and people did not have enough rice to eat. They in their food, they had to mic rice and other grains that were cheap. The two to three RMB was the same as 70 to 80 RMB these days. 

Today, the 4 groups shared their Service Learning video in front of Linden Center staffs, Linden Center guests, and the 4 of our Service Learning partners at the Linden Commons, Bao Cheng Fu. We went to escort our Service Learning partners. Our partner is Zhang nainai and she is not from XIzhou.

As the first group went in front and introduced themselves, their Service Learning partner came up and stood with the group. His name was Mr. Yang, and he seemed very happy. I could notice that the first group prepared a lot and with their best effort. The next group and the third group went up and introduced themselves. Their videos were really cool and could see a story flowing. 

Then it was our group's turn. We went up and introduced ourselves. We could see Zhang nainai's face. She was smiling and I was grateful for her. We did not watch our video with the audience, but instead, we were observing the reactions of the people to our video. Even though we made a video of one person's life story, I could see that the audience was watching the video with shining eyes as if they were watching an interesting history documentary. At the end of our video, My group and I saw Zhang nainai getting emotional. I could see that she was really happy and that other audiences were also able to feel the gratitude we wanted to show to the community. 

I am happy that my group and I was able to finish our Service Learning successfully. I am also happy that it was a chance for us to show gratitude. However, I believe that our Service Learning project has not ended. We can say thank you every community, wherever we are in. I hope this Service Learning will make us show gratitude and serve every community wherever we go.

I would like to give some recommendations to the future students who will be doing the service learning and showing gratitude to the community. First, the relationship and connection with the people of the village are very important. Students should look around the community and be respectful to the elders and other people they meet. Second, when students work on the filming and editing the video, it is very important that every one of the group participates and contribute to the group whether as a big or small part. If only one person works on all the work, the system and the video will break down. The group would want to consider the work of every group members. Third, being the most productive is also very important. The service learning is a project that is not only to show the video but to say thank you to the people of the community, as well as learning the history and lives of the local people. Also, it is very tough and stressful so the group should make the best progress they can.  



About This Learner

I'm a 15 years old Korean Boy. I was in Xizhou during my first year in China as part of the W group, Wildifre. I really liked the blue sky as well as the strong sun. Lake Erhai and my 28 days with my 15 other friends is something I miss a lot. It was also an experience that changed my life. I hope the future Microcampus groups will also have a great time in Xizhou. Take a ot of pictures of your friends and the Xizhou community! Enjoy your journey and always help each other.