Our Service Learning partner was Lao Mao. He is 60 years old and is the owner of a old antiques shop near Si Fang Jie. Lao Mao's actual name is 张亮春(Zhang Liang Chun), but people call him Lao Mao because of his beard, so he changed his store name to Lao Mao's Old Antique Shop. He has lived in XiZhou for 10 years now, but he has been traveling around Yunnan most his life.
From this experience, I have learnt that Lao Mao is a very open person and is willing to share memories of the past with us. He also taught us that Chairman Mao did good for China, but he also did bad, so there really is not a way to judge Chairman Mao because if you say he is a bad person, then you are forgetting that he also did good for China.
I have learnt a lot about the history of XiZhou, that during the Cultural Revolution life was hard and even though his family wanted money, they could not get any and even though they wanted food, they did not get any, and when they wanted meat, they could not afford it. Even though there was fighting on the streets, the ordinary citizens were not immersed in politics so they were not caught up in the war that was going on around them.
I have learnt in the 20th century, China was going through major dips and the people in the higher social classes or the people with talent and education were all suppressed, so that they were not allowed to overthrow Mao. That made China have severe issues of expanding and revolutionizing since Mao was the only person in high intelligence.
By sharing this video with the audience since our Service Learning partner couldn't come, we had the experience of joy and laughter. Though Lao Mao could not come to the Linden Centre, we showed him the video after the presentation finished. My group and I went to Lao Mao's, and we showed him the video. When we started showing him the video, he was watching everything by himself, but soon after, he asked his wife to come out from her afternoon nap and enjoyed the video with us.
When we were in the process of watching the video, we could hear Lao Mao's laughter throughout the whole movie, he was really pleased with the result of this project and he told us that any future Microcampus kids could go to his shop anytime to enjoy a small conversation with him and that we will always be welcome in his shop. After the video finished, we took a picture with Lao Mao, then he asked the neighboring coffee shop manager to come over and see the video since he liked it a lot. Overall, he was very happy with outcome of this video and was so glad that we worked with him.
Though we were sad that Lao Mao was not able to come to the Linden Centre, we were all glad that he was able to enjoy the video and accept the thanks that we give him for hosting us here at this village and showing a great amount of hospitality.
For future Microcampus students, I would suggest that their work groups start making connections with the people as early as possible and making sure that when the form comes out for the approval of being a Service Learning partner, that they go that specific day so that they can get an early start because it is not fun trying to find a Service Learning partner 10 hours before filming stops. So make connections, and use time wisely. And finally, to make sure to follow the instructions. Because the instructions are easy to understand and if they are followed correctly, life will be easy, so follow the instructions.