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The village people

When we traveled by bus from Guangzhou to Kaiping in Southern China, we saw several villages and the entrances to many more. Leon taught us that the nicer the entrance to the village is, especially when you see a paved road, the better off that village is. I couldn’t help but think about the villagers and how secluded their lives are. They live and die in these villages and I wonder if they know what else the world has to offer. Are they able to watch the news or listen to the radio, or do they depend on the signals from the earth itself using Taoism and the yin and yang theory? The villagers truly live the simple life, they work to survive by growing crops, raising animals and mining their territories. I wonder if they yearn for a better life, do they know what else is out there. Could they even fathom the life of the fast-paced Western culture or even the pace of China’s city life?

I can’t help but feel sorrow for the people in southern China due to the mass flooding. After driving by the flooded secluded villages and then reading yesterday about the many deaths that are taking place in the south, it is sad to think about the devastation for these people. Many farmers are losing crops, they depend on these crops to survive, both to sell to others and to live off of. When we were in Kaiping, there were places where people were walking through a foot or more of water and it has not stopped raining since then, and that was two weeks ago. There are many news reports about Foshan, China which is located just southwest of Guangzhou. This area is just west of Kaiping where we stayed so I can only imagine that the conditions for the two places are similar. There have also been reported landslides and some factories in the Guagdong province (near the coastal areas) have been forced to suspend their operations due to the weather.

China has not had much luck with Mother Nature recently. First, there was a harsh snowstorm that killed over 50 people and halted the transportation industry during winter holiday where millions of Chinese were unable to travel to see their families in southern China. Then, there was the May 5th earthquake that killed 70,000 people and left much of central China in ruins. Now there is major flooding that has also done significant damage to Southern China and we have not yet seen the full impact of this natural disaster.