Yunnan, China

Pascal Li 11E – Yunnan, China (Poverty and Human Rights) 


During the CAS Trip, the most memorable experience was farming in the traditional Hani way. My job was primarily hoeing the soil to prepare it for farming and seeding. I initially thought that it was going to be relatively easy as it did not seem that hard, however I quickly realized that it was not an easy task to do at all. Exhaustion and fatigue kicked in very quickly. Then I realized that I was using too much energy in swinging the hoe. I overestimated my endurance and stamina, hence got tired quickly. I then adapted to change my mistakes and learnt how to efficiently use my energy consistently, by exerting a minimum amount of energy to get the job done which allowed me to preserve and persevere throughout the process. 


I also learnt that trying to accomplish as much as possible by myself was an inefficient use of manpower, hence I talked with my classmates and decided that we’d cut up the plot into different sections, and we each would be responsible for an individual section. Even though it seemed like an easy task at the start, after that experience I learnt that even simple menial tasks require thinking and certain skills to accomplish the tasks. Furthermore, I learned how teamwork and dividing up tasks and responsibilities was important and that one man or one person could not possibly accomplish everything. 


At the end of the day, by working with the locals, I got a glimpse of how tough their lives are compared to mine, requiring them to work in the fields to make a living. It also demonstrated how big of a difference was the urban lifestyle and rural lifestyle. I also learnt that the locals had to make a living with the price of rice being purposefully set lower. This gave me insight to truly how hard it was to make a living for farmers, and how policies which seem unimportant to me, can significantly impact people who live in rural conditions and those who depend on farming as their source of income. I was able to gain a deeper knowledge into the local’s lifestyle and culture, making me a person with better global awareness and insight.