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to ShiBing (29th Aug)
  There are 3 minority autonomous prefectures in GuiZhou.

Going anticlockwise, they are:
1) Qian South East Miao Tribe, Dung Tribe Autonomous Prefecture (QSE)
2) Qian South BuYi Tribe, Miao Tribe Autonomous Prefecture (QS)
3) Qian South West BuYi Tribe, Miao Tribe Autonomous Prefecture (QSW).

Can't remember? Nevermind. Won't be a quiz on this.

  In the coming 3 days, Grandpa will stay in GuiYang meeting whatever boring authorities while the rest of the family inspects schools in QSE. Today's destination is ShiBing [just a nameMore Detail] county.

  Since this trip is official, 3 cars (one from GuiYang, one from QSE the Autonomous Prefecture and another from ShiBing county) with local officials are sent to escort us to ShiBing. No freedom for me until at least a week later.

This is the most major highway in GuiZhou. It's not easy building roads through the hilly landscape but it has to be done anyway.

We are heading east.

There are nutty drivers everywhere. Would be damned if this driver forgot to buy insurance.
The sign says "construction ahead. No passing". They simple block the road with a truck.
Don't take paved roads for granted in GuiZhou. Off the most major highway, 50% of the roads are dirt roads.

As part of China's mega project to develop the west. GuiZhou is building lots of roads. It takes a lot of hard work to make things happen.

All-you-can-sightsee terrace everywhere.

A Miao tribe house.

Look closer then any vampire can - I am not afraid of garlic.
img_6474s.jpgMy car's driver tells me GuiZhou's drivers are the best drivers in China because they drive lots of winding hilly roads.

An hour later, we are involved in an accident. It's obvious that the other driver is not at fault.

Well, GuiZhou drivers might be the best in China. I just run into a bad example.

  After a whole day of traveling on rough roads and riding beside a rough driver, we reach the school at around 4pm - safely.

  This is a school grandma sponsored before she passed away about half a year ago. Although she is not with us today, she might be watching from somewhere above.

Through the rough roads .. ..
.. .. across the sea .. ..
.. into the village where the school is.
Villagers welcome us with curiosity.
And they look at us from a totally new angle.
Caught unprepared? Note really. The Kid on the right hasn't forgotten about his pants - he doesn't wear one. I am not kidding. Kids may not wear pants in villages.
We are guests, and we look funny. When 2 worlds from far apart come together, the least we can do is to look at each other.
Keep looking.. ..
The Miao tribe welcomes guests with  "door guarding liquor". All you have to do to clear at the entrance is to drink. 

The 3 ladies in white head wrapping are members of the welcome team. My middle uncle is taking the first hit. Cheers!

This is the new wing to be built. It will hold another class so kids don't have to walk miles to classes in the next village.

This facility is a "learning point" which means only primary 1-3 classes are available. A full blown primary school is still a long way ahead for them. 

In front of their classroom.

Don't conclude that Chinese kids have a weird way of playing basketball. The basketball court is taken apart temporarily to make way for the construction only.

See what the adults are doing.

For the next 1 hour, mum and uncles, in representation of grandpa and grandma, engage in a formal "inspection meeting" with local officials and school staff. It might look interesting from the outside but I ensure you it's boring like hell inside.

Slogans on the wall. In big cities, they are ignored like background noise. In remote areas, people live by these slogans.
This is the teachers' residence, or hut if you like. Being a teacher is not easy in this part of the planet.
Step into the hut, I can't help but respect the teachers more. One has to give up a lot to be a teacher in rural areas of GuiZhou. 
  It's a little heavy finding out in person the hardship of honest people here. Good mercy it's dinner time. Eat and relax!
3 tables are set outside of the classrooms. This is the "farmer dinner" that I have been longing to eat.

There is a seat reserved for me. Yeah! 

img_6574s.jpgOk, what do we have here. In the big wok, it's a geese. We city folks have long forgotten what fresh, non-frozen, geese meat tastes like. And upon realizing killing a geese is not something they can afford to do every day, week, or month, the geese tastes even sweeter. No MSG! 4x We also have, stir fried chilli & pork at 12 & 7 o'clock 3.5x, pig bone soup at 1 & 8 o'clock 4x, bowls of chilli at 2 & 9 1x (very hot) and salted duck egg at 4 & 10 4x

Oh, don't forget the cold beer at 7 1/2, 5x!!!

GuiZhou people like to drink - a lot. Used to be scared when my customers pulled out750ml  bottles of cognac at dinner tables. God forbid, we have a gasoline tank of liquor tonight!!!


The welcome team, with the gasoline tank of home  made liquor, toast with all guests to show respect. In such occasion, Miao people drink with a pair of bull horns tied with a piece of string. One for the guest, one for the host, forming some sort of connection literally.
Will someone out there help me? They are showering me with alcohol.

I don't know at this moment that it's only the beginning of my days of liquor in GuiZhou. I will be submerged in this liquor culture in the weeks to come .. .. 

Local people are born singers and dancers.

After dinner, they start doing wooden chair dance. Clapping chairs and kicking feet, the night slips away quickly. That's a party GuiZhou style.

So it is my first contact with GuiZhou school and honest people. 

  Deep sleep, you bet.
  How did grandpa's personal Hope Campaign get started in GuiZhou?

Grandpa has been sponsoring schools in the mainland for quite a while without much satisfaction. Biggest problems being 1) corruption; 2) no capable local people/organizations to follow thru with plans.

In 1997, grandpa was introduced to a small semi-government organization (i.e., MJ) through a political party. Someone from the party proposed building a school in GuiZhou. Grandpa, after much disappointment donating elsewhere, thought it wouldn't hurt to see what MJ can do. So he chipped in.

A year later, grandpa was invited to an opening ceremony of a new school. He was 200% surprised by the fact that US$13,000 could really turn into a decent school. He was moved and impressed by MJ's enthusiasm, sincerity and competency. And knowing that every penny of his money was spent on school kids made him feel good.

So grandpa chose GuiZhou to be his Hope Campaign ground. In 1999, in his high 80's, grandpa took a 3,000km field trip in a car with MJ officials inspected most of GuiZhou. As of Sept., 2002, grandpa has built 24 schools in GuiZhou.

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