Our Service Learning Partner is Mr. Gao. He is 64 years old, and is the local of a clothing store off of SiFangJie.
His full name is Gao Shunliu. He was born in 1950, met his spouse in 1980, when he was 30 years old. He married her a year later, and has two daughters. He is currently retired, and owns a shop off of SiFangjie.
He was born and raised in Xizhou, and has experienced many things, including many key moments in Chinese history, such as the Great Leap Forward, or the Cultural Revolution. Generally, life in China has been getting progressively better and better.
Xizhou has been very much affected by the Chinese central government's decisions, and as a result, the village's history has been very similar to others' in a similar position. In addition, since the village has several ethnic minorities living in it, there are several issues regarding them. For example, Mr. Gao faced trouble while marrying his wife, since he is of the Bai minority, while she is Han.
Generally, the 20th century, for the everyday life of the average Chinese citizen in this village, was much worse than it is now. Mr. Gao told us about "Da Yue Jin", or the Great Leap Forward, in which many people faced troubles, such as perpetual starvation. He also talked about his parents, and the troubles that they faced.
For future Microcampus students, I recommend you find a potential service learning partner as soon as possible, so that you can have lots of footage, and can make your video as interesting as possible. In addition, find many potential partners, because some people may decline filming, or not feel comfortable sharing experiences. Furthermore, if you speak Chinese well, or are the best in your group, a lot of the burden will end up being placed on your shoulders, so try to start early.