1. Life Changing Experiecne #1
This is probably the most moving event of charity, I myself, have ever participated in. I worked in a school at my dad's local town, Qing Zhou. It's in the province of Shang Dong, and it used to be this teeny town (still is) that was dirt roads, with not even proper runninng water. It used to be completely 100% country. I remember the first time I went there still, there was no normal toilets, they were these holes in the ground with a little cermaic circle surrounding them. The smell is absolutely unbearable, and there is no such thing as sanitary. But, this time when I went back to China, where my heritage comes from, I found a developing town. There were huge department stores, and proper plumbing in most modern houses. But, the sad thing about things developing (which is basically all of China), is that everything old, everything you remember, is just gone - like that. All in three years, all in one year, all in 10 years. It's just gone, and the only part left is that within your memory. A whisp lighter then the floating clouds above your head, right now. Just ponder upon that thought, how sad is it? I had a first hand look at that. I visited the place where my dad grew up, I've been there before, but never has it been so fresh and clear in my mind, which is as well growing up, pondering upon what used to be - the barbies and the games with my sister who had alwalys been so close to my heart. The house where my grandmother lived, who recently passed away just over a year ago, as well as my grandfather was completely under construction, only the foundations and the structure of the building recognizable. My mother told us about how in my father's apartment, there were two rooms, and his parents sacrificied everything for him, their money so he could study. We visited a building just across the dirt street of my father's old house, his best friend's house - at least one of them, the only one he still keeps in touch with. His mother was there, in a tiny little building, on the first floor, made of rock and wood, it look almost primative. Inside I could see there was 3 rooms, plus the "living room" with a TV covered with a cloth cover and newspapers everywhere. She lived alone, had bad hearing, bad eyesight, and her house reeked of something disgustingly unimaginable. But, once she saw us, her smile was brighter then the sun itself and her eyes poured out tears of happeniness and old memories became her. It made me so sad to see that, to only live in the past and remember that, because that is all she has. Her son is visiting her soon, and all these trips to all these people are so bittersweet. Especially one visit, the one to my grandmother. The one in the grave. I'm so glad I still have 3 grandparents, and I will be forever grateful for it. I love them all to death, but the languages that we don't share tear us apart. I find that the hardest thing, not being able to express your love, whether through a bunch of roadblocks such as language, or personality. At her grave, all her children and grandchildren were there with their loved ones. Her daughter weeped tears and howled louder then I"ve ever heard. And her eyes were red and swollen because of the thoughts of loving memeories with her mother. Everyone missed her so much, her importance in everyone's life, including her husband's was so unbearably large. And when I saw this, I knew her impact on everyone's else's lives was great. In the family, everyone alwalys said, the third sister and the first (the oldest and third oldest) had the best children. That was my daddy, uncle and sister. And I bet that my grandmother is so proud of all of them - because they're making their mark on the world, and on the people around them.
Anyways, I forgot to mention my school experience through all of that. The first day I entered thorugh the ratty doors, I gasped inside my head. A rowdy group of about twenty children were sitting on rotting desks and rickety chairs. But, through the week, I made a real connection with some of them, helping them understand and know what it was like in the USA and learn English. The people in this town don't know English very well and even the high school english teacher, well isn't very good. I tried talking to her, and she had a terrible accent and could not speak very well at all.
This is a lot, so another installment later!!