The 3rd part of the story about teachers from Guangdong aid to Guangxi (469)
Yuanfei Wei, The Teacher Aid to Guangxi, Guanyao Middle School, Shishan Town, Nanhai Region, Foshan City
Saturday, 9 am, after prepared some dry rations, water and the flashlights, the headmaster and I with three other teachers set out to the Lengzhao, a small mountain village of Li Lake, braved the small rain, to visit the family of Jiangheng Qin, the student who did not come back to school this term.
First we went to the Dadongjia Primary School by motorbikes and ate some things in a teacher’s house, and then we went into the mountain on foot. We climbed up and “slide down” steep slops one after another. The “roads” were narrow meandering footpaths, with rain, the slippery “roads” had become more difficult for us to get over. We doddered along (maybe “crawl” would be more apt) on the roads, and a small village, the farthest one in Li Lake, was our destination. It was almost 4 o’clock at the afternoon when we arrived in a small village called Huabo. The villagers there told us that it was about thirty or forty minutes’ walk to our destination from Huabo. We were already tired out then, and can not walk any more. However, it was our luck that Jianzhu Qin, who lived in this village and was ploughing not far away from us, was in grade three class 68 of our school. So the headmaster asked him to come and told him the situation. Jianzhu Qin worthily was such a village unsophisticated child that he leaded us to have a rest at his home, after that he stopped his field work and climbed up to a mountain to our destination to invite the parents of Jiangheng Qin for us.
Since had a rest at Jianzhu Qin’s home, we tried to find out how was Jianzhu’s study at home and told his parents his performance in school, meanwhile we also ask them something about Jiangheng’ family. It was about 5 o’clock when we finally met Jianghenheng Qin’s father. When we asked him why his daughter did not come back to school this term, he told us embarrassedly their family’s difficult situation: Their house was built with soil walls and bamboos which were hard to take shelter from the wind and rain; their household goods were quite primordial, all of them were made by rock and wood; they hardly had any income, even they ate less and sold their grain ration could only afford the tuition fee of Jiangheng’ younger sister, they really could not hand over Jiangheng's tuition fee anymore; her younger sister had better academic record, therefore Jiangheng Qin discontinued studies in home to do the field work for her family to help her younger sister to go to school. After we had heard these, our headmaster decided immediately to exempt Jiangheng from the fees of lodging and homework books, and allowed her to pay her meals fee later, moreover, he encouraged Jiangheng’s parents to overcome the difficulties and let Jiangheng return to the school.
When we were talking with Jiangheng’s parents, Jianzhu’ parents had already prepared the supper for us. We finished the simple supper quickly, and then filled up some “mountain water” and started our return trip in evening about 6 o’clock. On our way back, with only three flashlights we were nearly groping on the roads, and in addition bodily tiredness, we spent more time on the return trip. It was almost 10 o’clock in the evening when we returned to the school. But we all laughed when we saw each other in the school, because all of us had got several big “dirt marks” on our clothes.
(translated by Ben)
we must climb this mountain in order to go back home
the cliff which on their way home
the baggage of a teacher