September, a golden autumn, the harvest season. Harvest of grain, we can see the harvested corn and grain all along the way to Congjiang; harvest of hope, the two schools which “BZ” donated to build in the spring time have also been completed.
The path winds along mountain ridges and the thousand turns of the mountain road lead us to the Miao village—Gunhe village. Far away, we saw the villagers and the children lined along the road and it was obvious that they had been waiting a long time for us. They stopped us on the path to the village with some little girls who was holding wine to welcome us; Lanlu wine, which is a kind of wine custom of the local minority to welcome their guests from afar, with one song and drink a cup of wine, which have been stopped are our footsteps, which have been drunk out are our affections and which have been intoxicated are our hearts…with the firecrackers and the bouquet of wine, the Miao girls dancing in the Lusheng music. Those villagers especially children’s faces were filled with joy, because finally they can study in the bright and spacious new classrooms; the original precarious wooden house has been replaced by the solid concrete building and the children needn’t to worry about the leaky rainy days and the cold windy times any more.
Marco brought the kids stationery sets and a variety of sporting goods for the new semester. It was gratifying that, most kids gave the affirmative answers when asked whether they still remembered who Uncle Marco is. They had never forgotten the friend who helped them. The kids were so excited for getting these gifts and it was understood that this was the first time they got so many new stationeries.
The new school building has a total of two classrooms (the number of classrooms is depend on the no. of students), the blackboards and windows were still under construction but according to the responsible person that these would probably be completed in a few days, when the time will put new sets of tables and chairs inside. Besides, there’ll also have a new basketball stands on the playground which is in the front of the building.
At noon, after the villagers treated us with a warm and hearty lunch we saw off each other with Lusheng dancing. Then we left for the location of the second school, Yao village—Baiweng.
The villagers who had been waiting for long lit the firecrackers as soon as they saw us, with holding the tea and wine, those shy Yao girls sang us a welcoming song. After we drank over the wine we entered into the village and there stands the new school that had just been completed. In front of us the students were orderly arranged in six lines, and then some dressed up students performed us their traditional Chang-gu-dance (a dance with a kind of long waist drum), once, this kind of dance can only be performed in new year festival or for sacrifice and it was not allowed in other times. But nowadays, Chang-gu-dance is performed when there are significant celebrations in towns and villages. Allegedly, it was the students’ personal arrangement to welcome our arrival. The kids were all well-mannered, everyone said thank you when got new stationeries. Then, the kids playing with those new sporting goods happily beside the new school building.
The newly built Baiweng primary school is a two-floor-building with a total of three classrooms, an office and a library. Lishan told us that the villagers themselves financed the expansion of this library by this opportunity, which evident their emphasis on education. “BZ” and its’ donor built this school to create a better learning environment for the kids there, schools are places where children can fly their dreams, in this spacious classroom, with all kind people’s concerns, the kids have no more precarious troubles.
Soon it was the time for us to leave again, the local people’s enthusiasm made us reluctant to part with. The intoxicating wine, the sincere smile, the simple songs and the children’s joyful face are really memorable… this is a land of hope, need us sowing hope and harvest hope, as Marco’s words for the children, though not so long but full of his infinite hopes for them. When we find out that the expectations on their faces turn to be joy, things we’ve done will have been worthwhile. All for the kids.
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