Knowledge has changed my life
02024 Li Wen Xue
I was born into a poor family in Shengcun Township, Yuanyang County, Honghe Prefecture, Yunnan Province. When I was a child, my father fell ill to some mental disorder. My mother left us because of this. My old grandmother and my mentally disabled father were the only adults left in the family. My elder sister dropped out of school and went out to work. I was still out of school when I was ten years old since my family was too poor.
When I was ten years old, grandma went to school office and begged them to allow me to attend school. They refused the first time. Because of their rejection, I just wanted to stay away from school. Eventually they allowed me but I was afraid of going to school. At the beginning of every semester, I was reluctant to go, because there was no money for tuition. In 2002, when I was in fifth grade and was about to drop out, aunt Jeng from PEACH found me and gave me the opportunity to continue my study. I gradually stopped being afraid of school and began to concentrate on my study.
With the help of PEACH, I successfully finished primary school in Yuanyang County Shengcunl Primary School. During this period, my grandmother took on the burden of supporting my family. She worked hard all year round to support my father and me. She did everything, from planting in the spring to harvest in autumn. Grandma had worked for so many years, but she never had a pair of shoes. She always worked barefooted. She went to the market to sell some vegetables on the street, just to make some small change for my exercise books and pencils.
When I was a child, I often suffered from stomach ache. My grandmother would take me to see a doctor only when I could no longer stand the pain. Because she didn't have any money, she had to trade some home-grown duck eggs for medicine to treat my stomach. Once I dislocated my wrist, my grandma felt so bad she cried. Although she was penniless, she still took me to the village to seek medical treatment for me. She pleaded and helped others to do farm work to pay off debts for my medical treatment. Granny passed away in 2006, after working hard and devoting all her life to her son and grandson.
After the passing of my grandmother, I was encouraged by PEACH to learn a trade. I went to a technical school at Gejiu County. At that time, I didn't even have money for bus fare to go to Gejiu. My elder sister gave me 200 yuan. When I arrived at the school, I had to pay 80 yuan for my military training and had very little money left. Often I went hungry.
When I was in school, in order to make money for my living expense, I joined the school work program. After school, I cleaned the school and worked at the school garden, watering and weeding the flower beds, pruning the branches. At the end of the month, I could get 300 yuan. PEACH grants covered the tuition and miscellaneous expenses at the technical school. At that time, PEACH gave me 1600 yuan of grants every year, 800 yuan of remittances for one semester. When I was short on living expense, PEACH subsidized me. During my study, my father passed away. Although my mother was around, she never cared about me. So I was practically an orphan. Fortunately, PEACH helped me and I successfully completed four years of training as a welder and learned a trade.
After graduation, I was hired by a machinery factory. Although it was a difficult at the beginning, I was so happy when I got paid. My training at school helped a great deal. Under the guidance of my mentor, I quickly became competent at my job. My salary increased accordingly. I am very satisfied. A person who possesses a skill can do much better than a person with no skill. With a skill, a person will be more competitive where ever he goes.
In 2014, on recommendation from PEACH, I went to work in Chengdu Wenjiang Gaoyi Engineering Company, doing HVAC installation and engineering management. The reason why I chose a career that has nothing to do with my school training was to challenge myself. I was determined to prove to myself that I could learn new things and do other things well.
Because I didn't have a college degree, I was under a lot of pressure when I started my current job. I did not know how to use a computer. I did not know a thing about office software. I did have doubt about my career decision and think of quitting. But my rational myself told me that, when one made a decision, no matter how difficult, one should not give up easily. Only by working hard, learning new skills, acquiring new knowledge, I could thrive in this world.
At the beginning, I followed the engineers to the construction sites, trying to learn all I could about HVAC, asking questions if I didn't understand. Gradually and step by step, I started to know more about equipment selection, CAD drawing, application of office software, field practice and manufacturer's payment. So far, I have made great progress from my efforts. I am happy and proud of myself.
In February of 2016, my company organized a 6-day trip for the employees to Phuket Island in Thailand. I felt very excited and happy that the company gave me this opportunity to travel aboard. The morning in Phuket was so beautiful! There were monks on the streets asking for donations. Especially interesting were the streets, electric poles and houses. When the bus drove by the sea, the scenery astonished me. I was overjoyed and took lots of pictures. I have never seen the vast ocean before. This trip gave the first chance to appreciate and experience it. When I was at the beach, I was scared of the vast and deep blue water. I was afraid that I was not a good enough swimmer. But I did not want to miss such this opportunity. So I started trying and challenging you. Finally, I let go the fear and tried everything, snorkeling, parachuting, deep diving and other water sports. Although I was choked by the salty water many times and I had terrible sunburn, I had a great time! We went back to Padang on February 22. I tried Thai SPA and saw the most unique and wonderful performance. I also went window shopping in King power, a high-end business district.
It hurts sometimes when looking back on my life. In school, I felt inferior. I could not raise my head or speak in front of my classmates. In work, I was looked down upon. I was not taken seriously. I used to live in pain. I could not feel any confidence about myself. But now it is different. Now I am confident. I have built a good life for myself and my life will be better in the future. PEACH made the difference. PEACH changed my life. Without PEACH, there would be no knowledge, skills and life for me.
Finally, I hope that my younger fellow PEACH kids will not succumb to the hardship and difficulties of the present. Knowledge can change our life and lead to a happy life. I had the same confusion and frustration. I did not understand many things. I could not express myself clearly. I hope that you hold on to your dream and put it into action. I believe our life will be better, a fantastic one! Let's work hard and work together to change our destiny!