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Monday, April 01, 2013

Farewell to My New Farmer Friends, For Now

As I report in the April 1 update on my story of a boy needing help with surgery on my blog at JeffLindsay.com, my new friends from Jiangxi Province in China have left the hospital and gone home. The surgery that was provided to the surprise of the family and me, possibly an unnecessary surgery, requires the boy to remain lying down for the next 3 months, according to the surgeon. But to get home, he would need to be moved in and out of taxis, through a train station, and onto a train, where the best the family could find was a "hard sleeper" seat where the boy can lie down, but it's an elevated seat about 5 feet above the ground that people normally climb into. The parents were were hoping to lift up and place him there. He is home now, and from the father's text message appears to be OK, but I'm sure there were some ugly jolts and terrible pain along the way. I hope nothing was damaged.

I saw the family last on Saturday, the day before they took the long train (11 hours) back to their town in Jiangxi Province. Kendra, my wife, saw them the next day when I had to be in Hangzhou, and brought them some pillows, another blanket, and some food that I purchased Saturday evening for them for the long journey home. It was be a painful ride, I’m afraid, for our little young man, Zhiwei, whose upper thigh bone was cut and bolted together in a surgery that may not have been necessary and may only delay the work needed on the knee. But perhaps it’s just what he needed most, I can only hope. There is a chance that the decision to operate that way was actually brilliant and perfect for him. Well, I’m hoping for a miracle. But I’m pretty sure he’s going to need to get that knee rebuilt. And that’s why I’m working to raise more money to be able to bring them back here and get things done right, if possible.

Below are some photos of our visit on Saturday, March 30. They have invited us to come visit them soon in Jiangxi, and we intend to do it. I think we’ll fly into Nanchang and then take a train or taxi from there.

So strange, this chance encounter on the streets of Shanghai, and how it has changed me. It’s been quite an experience, this escalating drama and the process of learning to know, love, and mourn with a poor family family whose parents have a total of 3 years of education between them. Day after day, visiting, talking, experiencing the various cycles of relief and outrage, happiness and anger, resignation and resolve, well, I can feel that it’s changing me a little, changing the way I look at people, money, and society. Somehow, this random encounter has mattered deeply to me. It’s the Chinese concept of yuanfen, a touch of destiny, I think. But perhaps much that actually is chance offers the opportunity to grow and learn and love in ways that will seem like destiny as our efforts help to grow and cultivate crystals of meaning around seeds of chance. Random or not, destiny or not, I feel my life is linked to some distant souls now that are part of who I am, and I must return and maintain this friendship and this responsibility. They are somehow like family how.





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