Our service learning partner is Li Nainai, she is 70 years old and lives with her husband uphill next to the temple, where she goes/works at all day.
From our conversations, I have learned that Li Nainai is a person of strong religious beliefs, specifically Buddhism, in fact, she wakes up at 6am every day and goes to the temple to make and and burn paper. She was originally born in Lijiang but moved to Xizhou because of marriage to Yan YeYe, whom we also filmed. Some of her hobbies include making tea, singing, and dancing at the pavilion every night.
I have also took away numerous lessons from our 70 year old partner, ideas that may seem weird, but when you really think about it, makes sense. Li Nainai is a very interesting and chill person and has lots to say about herself. Our group has gradually found out over time after we got to know her that she really values about contributing to the society, and that it is happiness if she can help her society in anyway so that was very interesting to hear.
The history that we have learned from the old couple is that China has definitely changed a lot through time. For example, it is more convenient nowadays and according to Mr. Yan, people do not need to work that hard to survive anymore and there are convenient tools like cars and mobile phones.
Li Nainai and Yan Yeye both claimed that the life back then before the Cultural Revolution was very harsh and that most people did not have enough food and clothe to survive. Yan Yeye said that after the cultural revolution, all his family's wealth were taken away and they had to survive on things that he did not do before. Overall, they thought the cultural revolution had a great impact on China as a whole.
On May 27th. 2016, we led our service learning partner, Li Nainai and her husband, Yan Yeye to YangZhuoRan to witness the video that we have collaborated with her. The four of us went to her house and picked her up, although the process was kind of slow, both of them still made it to see our video. Once the sharing started, they sat in the second row and they had a huge grin through out the entire video although there were a couple of phone rings during the process.
I felt very accomplished and proud to see Li nainai and Yan yeye happy when they were watching themselves on the screen. It was definitely worth it to go through all the hard work just to show them gratitude and say thank you for warmly welcoming us to their society. It was the least we could do after what Xizhou has provided us. So I just really want to say thank you.
Some suggestions for the future Microcampus students are to make connections, connections, connections. It might seem weird at first talking to strangers, but the more you make, the better you trip would be, you would know in the end. In addition, even if you are not fluent in Chinese, still try to make eye contacts or at least learn the basics. Last but not least, the most important thing is the listen to Mr. T because he knows the instructions that he gives and i is always right because he has done this for so long. If you do all three things, it is going to be a great trip, do not wait until the last few days to do it though. Make the journey amazing from the beginning.