Village Visit

I always jump at the opportunity to visit a village, especially ones that are farther away. It’s a good way to see new places and meet new people. Before we got to our destination, we stopped by this marketplace where the neighboring villagers buy and sell their wares/produce once a week — this day just happened to be “market day.” I was immediately drawn to the livestock — chickens, piglets, ducks, geese, fish, turtles, but no dogs (thankfully). It was a lively and noisy and smelly section of the market, but I could not resist picking up these little ducklings! They were warm, gentle, and wiggly.

adorable ducklings

The drive to the village was long and windy. On occasions, we’d encounter the buffaloes on the side of the road with their owners, though they are usually out in the field working. Sometimes, we’d see a herd of goats being guided by an old woman or a little boy. An amusing scene that I saw was a mother duck crossing the street with her little ducklings. The roads are actually not always this smooth. In fact, we drove through a few construction sites and some very deep potholes. I’m amazed at the durability of our vehicle throughout the whole ride. It made me wonder how American SUVs (built for these types of road) would fare in these truly rugged places.

long and winding road ... to the village

We got to the village early and visited quite a few people, mostly young students. One of the things I learned is that most of them live with grandparents because their parents leave home to be migrant workers out in the city. As such, in these villages, one would find really old or really young people. It’s rare to find their parents. The children only get to see them once or twice a year. Most are able to send money, but the children still have to work the farm. We met up with a rare family of four (parents, two children) who invited us to their house for lunch. The mother had just come back from the city after spending a month and a half there. She told us that she would never go back because she found city-living to be stressful; her husband supported her decision. He needed help in the farm and seemed to have missed her, too. It was great to hear their story. Nice happy ending.

village house with rice stalks drying

There is a Chinese saying that goes, “every grain of rice in your bowl is won by the sweat of the brow.” I now know this to be true. I’ve seen a single wheat stalk and I know how much work goes into filling a sack of rice. Some families who can afford it have animals to carry their harvest; I only saw one family with a horse. Many, though, are like this old woman who walk to and from the field, using a stick to carry their harvest. I don’t think I will look at a bowl of rice the same way again.

old woman carrying rice bundles

4 Responses to “Village Visit”

  1. Yvette says:

    D : are those ducklings for sale as pets or food…

    Btw, Ms. Hao, I’m thinking about starting a blog for csc to post up csc photos from our activities and events. Do you think it is possible to use your domain 😀 and like create something like “mbcohao.com/smicsc”?

  2. mbcohao says:

    definitely not pets!! 😛

    you can now log on to

    http://www.mbcohao.com/smiccsc

    username: smiccsc
    password: smiccsc

    you can change password when you log on

  3. Yvette says:

    Thanks so much ms. hao!!!! 😀 CSC owes their thanks to you~

    Oh no…poor ducklings…:(

  4. mbcohao says:

    you’re welcome! my pleasure! :-)

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