"Such a generous and beautiful welcome was rather overwhelming. I do not think I was able to capture how touching it was that this village had opened themselves to us and had taken the time to give us an opportunity to learn from them..."
"The visit to this village was significant for us, and not just because of the grand welcome. The story of one man moved the entire group in a way I cannot adequately describe. Mr. Zhang Xiu lives with his wife, who cannot speak, in a small two-room house. His house was one of the smallest we, as a group, had seen so far on our trip. Standing outside their home, a translator explained to us that with the extra money Heifers project had enabled the family to earn, Mr. Zhang Xiu and his wife had purchased a window, which allowed sunlight into the home. One the other side of the house, instead of a window, there was a plastic bag covering a large hole in the wall. It is the hope of the couple to buy a second window some day."
These words were written by University of Alaska Anchorage student Meneka Thiru about her recent visit to the village of Shicagou in China. Last month she joined a group of students and faculty from the university in a 12-day study tour of Heifer projects in China's Quan River and Dabie Mountain areas. Meneka and a number of other UAA students created a blog to chronicle their experiences, and you can read their compelling stories here.