Our Service Learning partner was Ms. Yang. She is 63 years old and is the wife of Mr. Du the antique dealer. She was born near Erhai and moved to Xizhou because her sons liked it here. She is a member of the Bai minority. She has two sons and two grandchildren.
As a result of this experience, I learned that Ms. Yang is a very typical elder in Xizhou. She was not educated and worked on the farms as a child. Her family had no money, and because of this, she had to work. She wants a better life for her grandchildren. She really values her family.
I learned that Xizhou is actually a pretty poor place. During the Great Leap Forward, small villages like Xizhou were affected the most because of the rushing to grow as many crops as possible. I also learned that Xizhou used have a lot of farming land until some modern construction started.
I learned that during the 20th Century, many of the children had to work on farms to grow enough food for their families. It was a hard time for people living in the countryside. Many of the kids did not have much money and had to work very hard to make sure that they had enough food. Their parents would work, but not earn much money. It was a hard time for most families and the children to not enjoy having to farm.
Sharing my video with my Service Learning partner was interesting (to be continued)
My first recommendation to future Microcampus students is to make connections the moment you step into the village. The more connections you have, the easier it is to find a Service Learning partner and the less awkward the recording will be. My second recommendation is to think of questions before you go record so you can make the most of the time you have for recording. My third recommendation is to have a lot of raw footage so that you have a lot of questions to choose from. My fourth recommendation is to use the tripod so that you can have stable footage. Finally, make sure that you help the Chinese speakers with other things so that they have more time to make the Service Learning video.