The Long March
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to a remote corner of China, a volunteer group of UCLA students
help the region's impoverished people to help themselves
Xin Zhang Ph.D. '06
Illustration by Cathie Bleck
you think shepherd boys there really need to know English?"
my friends ask when I tell them of my plans to participate in a
volunteer English-training program in a poor, rural area in the
mountainous northwest Chinese province of Qinghai.
a good question. I know that this trip will be a great adventure
for the 11 UCLA students and three professors who will go, but I
can't convince my friends it will be of any benefit to the kids
there. And even as a native Chinese, I really have no idea what
I'll encounter once I get there; having grown up in Shanghai, the
United States is more familiar to me than will be this remote and
mysterious region of Mongolian, Tibetan and Muslim minorities to
which we will travel.