Updated 6 years 11 months ago


Our service learning partner was Mr. Yang. He is 72 years old and owns an antique shop and manages the temple in XiZhou. 


I learned many things about my elder from this experience. I learned that his life was very tough for him. I learned that if you work hard enough that it will pay off in the end. Mr. Yang is still a hard working man and lived to succeed. I learned through Mr. Yang that hard work pays off.

I learned a lot of the history of XiZhou from Mr. Yang and his stories. I learned a lot about the cultural revolution from Mr. Yang. I learned how the government took away property and distributed it to others. Also how many people were executed in SiFang Jie. This is the kinds of things I learned from Mr. Yang.

I learned that it is more peaceful now from talking to Mr. Yang. Mr. Yang tells us how there is less crime, violence, and atrocities now than before. His stories are about death, suffering and providing, from this I learned that XiZhou is now more peaceful. 

Sharing my video with my service learning partner made me very nervous. My group and I walked Mr. Yang from his house to the Linden Centre. We sat and talked to him while we waited for the videos to start. We were the third group up. I watched Mr. Yang watch our video. He seemed very interested. We offered to walk him back, but he had a friend and walked back with him. He told us he was in a hurry for something. A person who works at the Linden Centre named Andrew asked us questions because he wanted to talk to him later on, because our story "inspired" him. He told us he rarely hears stories like Mr. Yang's.

I have three pieces of advice. Make as many connections as you can when you can. If you have any free time, go out and sit and talk with some of the elders. This will help you find a partner faster, and get to know many people in XiZhou. Also do not procrastinate on service learning work. If you have time to do work, do it! Two days before the final project is due you will be rushing around no matter what. It is better to get most of the things done and out of the way. Also split up the work or work on it all together. Things will go faster this way. Working on this all together worked for my group. This is the advice I have for future Microcampus students.

About This Learner

Hello, I am Niko. I was born in San Francisco, California. I lived there for about 12 years. Then I moved to Shanghai. At home I have 3 people in my family, including my mom, dad and myself. I can speak English, and only understand Tagalog. I am currently learning Chinese and I am in Chinese Foreign Language Level 2. I am thankful have been on this "life changing" trip