Our service learning partner is Mrs. Yang, but we call her nai nai. She is 80 years old and is now retired she lives very close to the Linden Centre, but still helps around the house by cooking and making food for the family. Our service learning partner is now a great-grandmother and she has been through a lot of challenges and tough times throughout her life. She has also lived in Xizhou for her whole life so she was able to give us her full story from when she was younger to now.
During this process I learned a lot of information about my service learning partner Yang nai nai. When I first saw her I could learn about what she looked like and how she worked I als learned about her. I also learned that she is very thankful for the communist party and Chairman Mao since they gave her family her land to grow crops and a place to live. So then I learned that she is thankful for what has happened in her past that affected her future.
What I learned about Xizhou's history was when Ms. Yang was talking about how in Si fangjie's gate was destroyed twice and she said that the old gates looked better. Even though there were many changes through her life she still was staying in the same house and courtyard for her whole life.
While our group was having a conversation with her and making connections with her I learned a lot about Chinese history. For example, she said when she was younger it was a very hard period of time, she would make textile work then they would sell it and then they would take the money that they earned and they would buy a lttle bit of rice for her family but, then after the Liberation it started getting better. I noticed that it was like when we had a chinese lecture with Mr. T and he talked about how after the Liberation that it would get better for families, which is the same as what Mrs.Yang said.
Even though our service learning partner was not able to come we had Ms. Zhang her daughter in-law come over so she could also watch it. Today while each group was presenting their service learning video, since my group was the first to present we all went to the front and I noticed when I was watching everyone react, I especially loved when another service learning group's partners started commenting on our work, while everyone was watching and I noticed that even though it was hard to hear them I thought that it was nice that they were talking about what they were thinking of. Anothe thing that I realized was everyone laughed when we talked about how we thought that she had ten kids when she only had four but the two workds sounded the same.
When I saw the other groups works I was happy to see the stories of people around XIzhou and their stories, and I noticed that they all kind of knew each other. Especially when there was a group where htey had two service learing partners and I thought that it was interesting bcasue they were best firends for over 30 years, and how they live nex tot each other. Plus how they both embroider together and how they always meet up.
One thing that I would reccomend for the other groups that will be to working on the service learning project is to make lots and lots of connections with locals so that if one person opts out then you would have back-ups. Another thing that I would give as advice is after you found a service learning partner to instead of barging in and asking to record some questions, but instead have a conversation with them before and then asking if you can record. The final thing that I would give as advice is after you find some people show Mr. T a photo so that your group is not choosing some one who has already been done.