La Salle Study Centre Changjiao
June 2007 Newsletter
June 2007 …
Greetings from LSSC Changjiao, China. Peace and Joy is within you.
How time flies. It is already the middle of the year 2007. The weather here is hot and humid. The heavy rains have caused havoc in the county of Meizhou. Some of you may have read about it in the news. Meizhou is now declared a flood disaster county. The economic losses run into millions of yuan. Thank God, Changjiao is safe so far. We did have a serious landslide at the back of the primary school but no one is hurt.
We started to move LSSC to my grandpa’s house on 5th March. It is three times larger than where I have been operating (2004-6) in my nephew’s house. On 9th March three of my students helped me to fix LAN cables to enable a network of 10 computers for internet access purposes. On 10th March we started shifting the computers to the new computer room. We had to reinstall all the computers and add new software and hardware to upgrade the system to meet the needs of students who have gone beyond the basic computer literacy stage. My wireless system in my laptop expired on 12th April. I decided to go cable as it is faster and cheaper and can be connected to a LAN (Local Area Network) to enable all the computers with internet access. Furthermore, many of my senior students need internet access in order to do their homework. Internet access will be strictly controlled and is enabled only for the senior students from Friday night to Sunday noon only.
On Sunday 25th March I returned to Hong Kong to accompany Brother Victor from Rome back to Changjiao to visit LSSC. I left at 4 p.m. Very soon after thieves broke into La Salle Study Centre and raided the computer centre. They broke the locks of two metal doors at the back of the house to get in. When they could not break the lock of the computer room’s door, they sawed the window bars to get into the computer room. Fortunately my niece decided to clean the house at 5.30 p.m. and in the nick of time discovered the break-in. She called for help. The thieves escaped through the back doors. In their haste to get away, they left behind a laptop that they had taken out through the window. Thank God nothing was missing.
Immediately after my niece sounded the alarm, villagers gathered to offer assistance. I was on my way to Hong Kong at that time. They contacted me on my hand phone to break the news to me and also to assure me that they would look after things until I return on Tuesday with Victor. I was told that the police turned up at the request of one of the villagers. There were villagers working in the fields and no one saw any stranger going in or out of the Baijiang. The many dogs in the Baijiang did not bark at all. Almost everyone in Baijiang believed it to be an “inside-job” except one family who suggested that it must be my students from the town of Dabu-Huliao.
On my return and after discussing the incident with three Baijiang elders, I decided not to pursue the matter further as nothing was stolen. After Brother Victor left, I called for a contractor to strengthen the doors at the back of the house. The incident has hastened my taking up residence in the “house that my grandpa built”. So, some good did come out of the unpleasant affair.
Due to a necessary change of schedule to accommodate Brother Victor’s visit and the urgency to secure LSSC against future break-in, I decided to spend Holy Week and Easter at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Meixian as guest of the Bishop. It was my first Easter in China. I had to depend entirely on familiarity with the readings and ceremonies of Holy Week and Easter in order to follow the services as everything was conducted in Hakka. I was better off than Olivia a Polish Music Teacher, Marialinda a Filipina English Teacher, George a Filipino Marist Brother studying Chinese and Patrick a Nigerian Marist also studying Chinese. They are all attached to the Karying University of Meichou. At least I was able to catch a few Hakka words here and there and conjured up the rest. They were completely at a lost.
On 13th April I went to Guangzhou in the company of the Political Secretary and two other elders of the village to represent Changjiao at the Worldwide Liao Clan Assembly in Henan. Last year, the Central Government returned a piece of land on Liao Wang Shan (King Liao Mount) to the Liao Clan. This year we gathered at the site to take possession of the land and laid the foundation stone for the yet to be constructed Liao Clan Ancestral Hall. The site is in the Province of Henan, the State of Tanghe, the town of Heyang. After attending the two days Worldwide Liao Clan Assembly in Henan, six of us decided to book a 3 nights 4 days holiday to visit Shaolin Temple, World Heritage Longmen (dragon gate) Buddhist Grotto, China’s National Mautan Flower Show, the ancient Capital of Louyang and the home of the Legendary Justice Bao at Kaifeng.
The national May Golden Holidays began on Tuesday 1st May. The students wanted a picnic on Labour Day so we went up to the fish pond at Yangpan Xia. English lessons at LSSC were held daily from 2nd to 6th May. The stretch of time enabled me to speed up the typing skills of latest batch of Primary 4 students. The primary 3 students are already eagerly waiting on the wings. They want to be the first batch of primary 3 students to be allowed to learn to use the computer.
The small piece of land in front of LSSC is slowly transformed into a neat little garden. I am pleased with the work done so far. A parent who is also a local garden nursery owner donated all the plants that we need. I employed local labour to help me. Wood that we need to mosquito-proof the study rooms finally arrived. After drying them in the sun for a week, the carpenter began work. Work is still in progress and should be completed before we begin our summer programme.
After Easter, I took delivery of an electronic piano (which is much cheaper that ordinary stand piano) and an electric organ from a factory in Dongguan. I am still scouting for guitars and a few Chinese traditional music instruments. Music is important to the wholesome development of children. Playing a musical instrument helps develop the right brain.
Thank God, the mission here is going well. On behalf of students and parents I thank Lasallians of Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong for the financial support without which it will be very difficult for me to bring up to date education facilities to this rural hill village.
Summer will soon be upon us. With more reinforcements from Malaysia and Hong Kong coming to assist us, I confidently look forward to an interesting summer English Reading Programme. I will write about that in the next report.
Take care and God bless. Please keep me in your prayers.
As always with love in the service of youth and nation,
Brother David Liao FSC
Changjiao June 2007
All good things must
come to an end...