Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Building a home for Mr Fan, Pinghu, China

This time our mission was to build a home for Mr Fan (pronounced faan).   He is an older disabled gentleman who was unable to marry because he was poor. Mr Fan was a jolly old man who was loved by the community.  He was being looked after by the neighbors but had no accomodations of his own.



The town is Pinghu is outside Shanghai (About 90 minutes by car). We would travel by bus every morning until drop off point and then walk through the fields to get to the build site. The homes were made of brick and mortar very similar to my build in India. The challenge was using string as a leveling method to make sure the wall line was straight.
I noticed initially that the Chinese folks are very reserved and shy so wasn't sure how to approach them.  After a few hours passed, and after we started laying brick, making cement mixture and laying down row after row, Mr Fan and the rest of the community started coming out and making eye contact. As soon as I took a picture and showed it to some of the older ladies, they started giggling and smiling (almost blushing).   

This was so cute and so strange to me but then I realized that they were just shy. On day two they were out and waiting to meet us and on day three, I started missing them and feeling bad to leave.

I still wonder how I made such a bond with strangers when I didnt even speak their language, and I think it was in their emotions and gratitude and the look in their eyes. 

They were incredibly grateful and this made us all feel a unique sense of attachment that is hard to explain. 
My only desire was to stay longer and work on more houses for them. God bless the community of Pinghu and I hope we filled their lives with as much joy as they did ours. 


3 comments:

Nameeta said...

I am so proud of you!

Cindy said...

so glad to see a post on your bloggy blog! keep it up:) sounds like you had a wonderful experience building in china, cant wait to see all the pics!

Alan Janbay said...

I love this Smita!! Great blog! xo