Targeted poverty alleviation hits its mark in Hunan village

Tyler Terrance O'Neil( | Updated: 2016-09-02 10:50

Targeted poverty alleviation hits its mark in Hunan village

Long Decheng poses for a photo with China Daily reporter Tyler Terrance O'Neil in Shibadong, Hunan province, Aug 31, 2016. [Photo by Liu Jing/] 

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Within a few moments of stepping into Shibadong's village lodge, a spry elderly woman in an intricately embroidered dress and turban-like hat makes a beeline for me, grabs my hand, and begins babbling in a language I've never heard before.

Her name is Long Decheng, and she clearly has some things she wants to tell me.

After organizing a translation chain involving fellow China Daily reporter Liu Jing and a local fluent in both Mandarin and Miao dialect, we begin conversing.

Long starts, her statement is translated from Miao, to Mandarin, to English.

"Where are you from?"

"I'm from America."

English, Mandarin, Miao. Long replies. Miao, Mandarin, English.

"You are so tall and handsome."

Looks like Long is quite the flirt.

"Aside from looking beautiful, what do you do in the village?" I ask.

Another round of translation.

"I'm the village greeter, and I'm looking better now than I was a few years ago," she says before ushering us to a picture on the wall. In it she walks hand and hand with President Xi Jinping during his visit to Shibadong in 2013. She says it was not a good time for the community then—the general income was low, many of the buildings were in disrepair, and her son, like so many other men in the village, was unmarried.

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