May 16. Oh those rice terraces…

Windows of Yuanyang is a community shop selling handicraft run by the large Christian NGO World Vision. They cannot accept donations of any kind, because of the system the big host ngo imposes on them. I perfectly understand the need to eredicate corruption, but I simply can’t deny that I feel the unnecessary burden of bureauracy resting upon my shoulders. Here we are, a small informal ngo, just willing to support one poor family with a scholarship or a means of income generation, and we are being denied. There are not even forms to fill out, no way to cooperate, even though the women at the handicraft shop are very helpful and friendly. The are just not allowed their independence, because World Vision deems it more transparent and effective when all vital decisions are made from behind a desk.
We walk around the pretty town of Yuanyang and have breakfast amidst a group of age Frenchmen. I walk off to the market and take some photos of merchants and children – this place is teeming with life. Since we can’t really support the organization actively, we end up buying some of their handicrafts (I try to insist on paying more, but they have to give back the exact change). We bridge a few lazy hours in the small coffee room above the handicraft shop. I have already bought us onward bus tickets.

Then we continue to Lushun. It will take us a few more hours and from the window of our bus we get a glance of the brilliant rice terraces. I understand why people travel here “just” to take photos. We shoot a few, not entirely satisfactory, but hey, we also bought a pack of postcards with really pretty views of that rice paddies.

The guesthouse in Lushun gives us a nice treatment. Very good value you get in southern China. Living like a god in China, it could become a proverb some day.

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Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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