My group members are Aidan and Grace. Our partner is Mr. Zhao, age 68, who works at a pharmacy on ShiShang Jie.
I learned that our Service Learning partner really does not like to work. He just wants to enjoy life as comfortably as he can. I think this is partly because when he was younger times were very hard. Instead of getting used to the hardships, he disliked it and has resolved to avoid it for the rest of his life, when he can. I also found that he has a strange sense of humor. When I invited him and his friends to YZR to watch the Service Learning videos, they all declined. I said we were leaving on Friday, and he replied, "Have a nice trip!" Interesting guy.
I learned that Xizhou was one of the places that was hit the hardest during the Cultural Revolution. Another thing is that water used to flow down from the mountains, through the streets, and to the fields in small ditches next to the roads. People would all wash clothes and vegetables in the same water. For some reason, the ditches no longer exist. (Hygiene issues? Underground pipes? Safety hazards?)
To put it very simply, I did not learn very much about history at all. Our partner would not mention the Cultural Revolution, and many of the questions we asked him were opinionated.
Recommendations...as in people or tips? I don't really know any people...we had a hard time trying to find people ourselves! So just tips, then.
- Find a Service Learning Partner early!
- Do not assume a person will agree to Service Learning, no matter how friendly they seem
- Always get their contact information and make appointments!