China Notebook
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Clarifying the location of villages and the identity of the people:

Map of Guangdong ProvinceYubei is in Guangdong [Canton] Province. It refers to the area made up of Shaoguan and Qingyuan. Therefore, you will not find it on the map. The photos I took were at Pingshi in Shaoguan, and at Lianan in Qingyuan.

Yaozu is a minority group. There are two different sub-groups. One is the White Group, the other is the Red Group. All live in poor, far-away little towns. The White Group usually wear clothes with black and white colors. Their standard of living is very low. Their yearly income is about 500 Chinese dollars [about US $66]. My monthly income is 2,500 [about US $332].

I am showing you these pictures I took ... in Yangchun City... This place is about 300 miles from Guangzhou. This is a poor place... we took a lot of pictures to reflect the life there. I am hoping to get some sympathetic response... This is an agricultural town, and I'm sending these pictures which reflect the boat people. Their ancestors lived on the boats. Boats are their homes. These boats are not for fishing anymore, this is where they live.

Weather extremes:

June: That day the weather was very hot, over 35 degrees Celsius. That day all of us got sunburn. Even though taking pictures is hard work, I feel it's very meaningful.

July-August: Recently I haven't written you much. Last Sunday I was going to Lianan, to take pictures. However, recently the weather is not very good. It rains every day. As a result, the road to Lianan was being flooded, and there were some mud slides, so the traffic is being blocked. As a result, I was not able to go. If the weather gets better, I plan to go on Friday.

On "modern" Chinese life and his own feelings:

Right now in China, a lot of young people are very empty... They feel life is not interesting. When they work, they don't shoot for perfection. Every day they are just wasting their time. They don't have any ideals. In the modern society, if you cannot make your dream come true, it's very sad. This also includes me, because the pressure from life is great. Every day I feel very nervous. I feel there is no future... Every day I have to do a lot of so many other things, so sometimes I feel down.

Some time ago, I planned to go to Lianan to take pictures. However, because I had a serious stomach problem, I didn't go. However, now I plan to go to a small fishing village to take some pictures...

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