I was really moved by the following images, from Hunan Province’s Chaping township where the region is hit by a severe cold storm. The images appeared today in China Daily, entitled, “Pupils take up books, pens, and hand-stoves.”
My heart felt warmed by these young students as they were unwavering in their learning, lunch, and commute, despite the economic and bitter cold conditions dealt them.
I once used hand stoves too while growing up in China. The image of the classroom with the student desks and chairs scratched and worn reminds me exactly the conditions during my elementary school years in China. I have written about Project Hope (see “希望工程 (Project Hope), bringing education to China’s rural poor“) in the past, and I am reminded again China is still very poor.
The Chinese New Year is also fast approaching. I remember the hand stoves were really handy for lighting up firecrackers. We used firecrackers on everything we could get our hands on, including cow dung. One of our favorite games was to huddle around a cow dung, light a firecracker inserted into it, and see who can’t escape the splatter.