Fireworks provide a dazzling finale
Splashing about with a net of squirming fish and picking peanuts in the hot sun gave Hong Kong students a taste of traditional village life in the mainland.
Lian Tang, near Qing Yuan in Guangdong province, was the destination for 24 Form Three and Form Four students on a trip organised by the YMCA Social Work Unit, Corner Stone and the Counselling Committee at CNEC Christian College.
Fog and rain during the four-day visit failed to dampen our enthusiasm for exploring and savouring new experiences.
We visited a fish farm where the boys had a chance to catch fish in the pond. They were told to enter the muddy water and the fisherman showed them how to round up fish with a huge net. Finally, they were able to pull up the net, weighed down with fish.
Later, it was time to help the farmers harvest peanuts in the fields. We helped pick them from the soil, sweating under the scorching sun but enjoying the work.
The students also visited villagers' homes. They were all farmers and their living conditions were very poor. We learned about their daily lives and difficulties, and helped them prepare lunch. The kitchen conditions were unbearable. Choking smoke from the stove made us cough. There was not much food, but we could feel their warm hospitality and generosity. They were poor, but contented.
We also visited Kai Nga Primary School, where we organised a fun day for 100 students. Though we came from different backgrounds, the fun, laughter and games brought us together.
Our last night on the mainland was illuminated by a colourful fireworks display. Our trip, like the splendid fireworks, was colourful and absolutely amazing. Qing Yuan and Hong Kong are far apart, but we all have the same Chinese hearts.
Ho-ying and Wing-shan are members of the 'China Heart' Organising Committee at CNEC Christian College