Setbacks are treasures of life time
04238 Zheng Wen Li
I come from Shuanghe Township in Yanyuan County, Sichuan Province. It has been more than six years since I started my own business. From the time when I began my internship in Shanghai in 2008, to when I moved back to my hometown to start my own business four years ago, I have worked hard, learned a lot, struggled and accomplished so much! I am ever so grateful for the encouragement and support from PEACH. PEACH has taught me never to give up and always keep going, even in the face of greatestdifficulties along the way.
My family was poor. I could only get some new clothes during Chinese New Year holidays.In 2003, I was admitted to high school. But the tuition was too expensive, 800yuan per semester. This was an astronomical amount for me. I was ranked in top 50 in the whole county and was entitled to go to Yanyuan High School, the best high school in the county. Instead, I went to Yanyuan Ethnic High School since they waived my tuition.I missed the opportunity to go to the best high school. Sometimes I would imagine how my life might have been different if my family were better off and could afford to send me to the better school. But I have no regret. If I didn't go to Yanyuan Ethnic High School, I would have dropped out ofschool and never have the opportunity to meet Aunt Jeng and PEACH.
After joining PEACH, my situation improved a great deal. I did not have to ask my family for living expenses and tuition money. Yanyuan Ethnic High School provided monthly scholarships and grants. Since I did not have to worry about money, I could concentrate on my study. PEACH took good care of mejust like my parents would. Without the encouragement and help from PEACH, I would certainly be destined to repeat my parents' life today, laboring away my days working in the farm.
July 2005 was a low point in my life. I graduated from high school but I did poorly in the college entrance exam. PEACH encouraged meto repeat my senior year. I went to a different school. PEACH helped me to secure a small loan of 800 yuan. I felt so grateful! In 2006, I was accepted by Nanchang University in Jiangxi Province. PEACH again gave a helping handwith a student loan of 3000 yuan.I studied really hard when I was in college. In order to be financially self-sufficient, I tried all kinds of ways to make money. I started by collectingplastic water bottles and selling each one for a dime. At that time, the living expense was not very high. If I managed to gather ten bottles a day, it would be enough for my breakfast. Later, I joined the work study program as a janitor and worked off-campus as tutor. I even opened a small snack shop in the dormitoryand chartered cars during holidays. Whatever could help me make money, I did it. I still remembered the time when I travelled by train from Nanchang to Chengdu. It was when all the students were on holiday. The train was extremely crowded. In order toearn money formy travel expense,I brought a box of bottled mineral water and a large bag of snacks to sell on the train. Nowadays every time I travel by train, I always remember this. How young and strong was I then! I did not even feel tired. Now I even feel exhausted when I take some small luggage.
In 2008, I went to Shanghai to work as an intern. On the first day, I was completely dazzled and conquered by this international metropolis – subways, highways, huge glamourous shopping malls, and so many different things! My eyes were really opened. I vowed to work hard and determined to realize my dream in Shanghai. During the time in Shanghai, I practically spent all my time studying. My starting salary was 960 yuan when I first arrived. By the end of my internship, I was making more than 5000 yuan. I managed to pay off my PEACH student loan before I graduated.
There was a big earthquake in Sichuan in 2008. My hometown Yan-Yuan is prone to earthquakes. My family house was tiny and dark, desperately in need of repair. Whenever it rained, there were leaks everywhere in the house. I slept in a wooden shed outside since there was not enough rooms in the house. Aunt Jung was sharing the story about me living in the shed when she visited Shanghai two years ago. I was concerned about the safety of my parents and determined to build a new house for them.After graduation from college, my financial situation improved a lot. I helped my family build a modern house of more than 200square meters. At that time, there were very few modern houses in our village. Our family house became the envy of the village.
When my brother and I were in middle school, my family was too poor to send both of us to school. My brother decided to give up and drop out.I always feel guilty and deeply indebted to my brother. If he could continue his education, he would definitely do very well since he is more intelligent than me. My brother got married in 2010. I helped him a little to ease my guilt. Now I am in business with my brother. Both of us are doing well.
In 2014, my relatives found a place for me to open up a supermarket in my hometown. I was in Shanghai. The housing market in Shanghai was very expensive. At the same time, my children were growing up and my parents were getting older day by day at home.I decided to go back. I may not be making as much as I would in Shanghai, butmy daily life is much less stressful.
I am a grateful person. PEACH has helped me in the past. Whenever I can, I will contribute to PEACH. Two years ago, I sponsored a child from Yuan Yang. Without PEACH, I would never be able to go to college. If I did not come to Shanghai, I would not have the opportunity to accomplish what I have achieved so far.I hope that all the PEACH kidswill do that I have done, never give up and stay in school.