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First Person: I'm happy to be with my family every day

By Xin Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2018-02-08 08:04

Hao Xiangping, former migrant worker

I am thankful that nowadays I stay at home with my family for Spring Festival.

For a decade, I worked in Shandong province, which meant the journey home for the New Year celebrations was long, arduous and expensive.

Every year, I would take a 20-hour train ride from Qingdao, Shandong, to Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, and then spend another eight hours travelling by bus to my home in Miaoping village, Shanxi.

The Qiushui River runs through the village, and at the time there was no bridge, so it presented a major obstacle during winter.

Moreover, the dirt roads were very uneven and bumpy, and when it rained the loess soil turned into a quagmire.

At the end of 2014, three bridges were built across the river, and in the past three years a road has been built and sealed with asphalt and cement.

The improvement in infrastructure has allowed advanced agricultural techniques to be used, and also attracted companies to the village.

I was born and raised in Miaoping, which is in the mountains, so I didn't get much education and I have no professional skills.

I had to raise a large family, with two children and an elderly parent, so money mattered a lot.

For years, the household depended on me to provide our income.

I left the village to work on a construction site in Shandong, which is in East China.

Even though I only earned about 70 yuan ($11) a day, I worked there for about 10 years.

My life started to improve in 2014 when the road was laid and businesses arrived. That meant I didn't need to leave Miaoping to find work.

Instead, I started working at a mushroom and vegetable farm in the village. I am mainly in charge of monitoring the temperature of the mushroom houses.

My wife also works at the plant. She monitors the growth of green beans, zucchini and tomatoes.

The family's income is now three times higher than before. I earn about 30,000 yuan a year, while my wife gets 20,000 yuan. In addition to our salaries, we receive subsidies from the local government and are given shares in the company every year.

Every Spring Festival, I remember how things used to be and feel so happy that I don't need to spend so much money and time any more, and I can be with my family every day.

Hao Xiangping spoke with Xin Wen.

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