Seeing the road in front of our door today, brought back my memory of seeing the same road in December 21, 2003.
At that time the road is amidst the river. With Yunnan spring weather all year round, the flowers and trees along the roadside grow lushly, making it difficult to find the road. Walking along often have scraping clothes, with long worms, mice, birds, crickets as the companion. In rainy days, the small ditches from the mountains gather water into the river, and walking is like a boat against the current, making it very difficult, and sometimes there is no way out. I remember one time our house guests (including a priest) had to go back early, but the river water was up to the thighs. Fortunately the dumb son of a rehabilitation person carried us on his back to go across the river, sending the guests to the car. We usually travel in and out of the rehabilitation center by walk, for example buying vegetables for the rehabilitation people. There is no road, no car, no phone, we have to walk 15 Km to the road to catch a public transport. Road is for the people to walk, and everyone has no choice but walking.
In January 2014, we saw the road being built along the hillside, a winding winding narrow road, but you can ride a car. I am surprised there are roads here now, thanks to God, and also to Ricci Social Service (RSS) which supplies the rehabilitation center with a car. Now we can help the rehabilitation people to buy food, send them to see a doctor, do a lot of things they need, all thanks to the contribution by the benefactors of RSS. Every two weeks we will take the rehabilitation people to Shiping to buy food, meat and daily necessities, because there are 30 people in the center that cannot take care of themselves, including eating, drinking, and toiletting. There are 46 people that can do their daily necessities, every time when we go out these old people will give 2 yuan, 5 yuan to buy things for them. I was using a book to write all the things that need to buy, and running the city non-stop to get them till sunset. Every time we fill the car full. There are several times we bought too much and overloaded the car. Traveling on the public road is fine, but on the winding path at the steepest place, the car suddenly turn off and started to slide back down. I was frightened , I shouted loudly asking God to save us, the car slowly stopped. I started up again fiercely added the throttle finally came up, thanked be to God. Sometimes the elderly have to get down car so I can drive the car up the slope, because the road is narrow and slippery during raining days, hence difficult to travel especially with debris flow down the hillside.
On one occasion when I picked up the priest, he said, "When you see the director, tell him that the priest says, “Fr. Fu said that the road was becoming narrower and narrower.” I replied: “When the director came, Fr. Fu said the road is getting more and more narrow, and what to do?”. The Director promised "We repair."
Today we are so happy to see the white cement road in front of our door! The elders are sitting in a wheelchair every day to play on the road, watching the mountains, watching the water… there are walking exercise, leisure walk etc., they are so much happier. We get more convenient access, and are not afraid of landslides, not to mention shopping, we can drive those rehab people who would like to go out to buy their own needs. They can also feel good to have a road, and experience that they are not abandoned, but live in the moment to be taken care of, really feel alive in the happiness and thanksgiving.