Essay, 3 pages (550 words)

Project part 1

I am a Chinese farmer, living in the mountainous county of Tongjiang in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province. I live with my family of five, includingmy wife, my old mother and two children. My family is representative of an average Chinese family living in villages, dependent on farming and living a very modest life. We have quarter of hectare of land where we produce food to sell and to eat at the same time. Our family life has improved over years technologically, but we still lack sanitation and health facilities in our village. Education is one more issue where I hope there will be improvement one day while am living. Our village is in mountainous regions and the nearest city is Chongqing which is 369 kms southwest. Chengdu is also now a couple of hours away due to good roads. We only travel very rarely for entertainment or for medical reasons (China Daily, 2004). My typical day as a farmer and head of family starts at 6 am. I get fresh in a local nearby pond and use the sanitation facility there. After having light breakfast, I head towards the local market to get some vegetables for lunch and dinner. We try to grow some vegetables in our own farm to cut on food shopping costs. Later I spend some time with children teaching them what ever I can from experience of life. Afternoons are less busy, and I have a small nap post lunch. Later in the afternoon I head towards the farm and work there typically till evening looking after the crop and sowing seeds etc. water is problem most of the times so we have to be more careful about the crops. After I get back home, we cook rice and curry for dinner and go to sleep. Very rarely I get some meat for the family as it is costly and we cannot afford it. Most of the times we depend on local vegetables and rice as our staple food. We buy these groceries from local market which is not far from my home and is situated at the centre of our small village. Since last decade we have telephone, cable and internet connection in the village due to which life has improved and we get know the world events as and when they happen. For entertainment we get together and talk about world events, enjoy a locally made cigarette or two. We also visit once in a while the local market fair where people from other village come with their offerings and people drink rice beer and make merry. So you can say the entertainment is local, but with internet we enjoy some global entertainment in spite of being in our own village. My biggest worry is electricity prices because everything is dependent on it. If the prices go up, we can’t afford to water our fields by pumping water and hence we don’t have good crop to sell. If this happens we will have no money to live on and eventually might have to sell our land. This piece of land is the only assess me and my family have and cannot afford to lose. Since 1998, the people’s government has invested in electricity but we don’t get it as cheap as the big cities. Also it is irregular at times. The upgrade was finished two years ago, but we are still using expensive electricity which makes me worry for future of me and my children. (Tropix. co. uk photo library)

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