With no doubt, the work Pollard did had a lasting impact on the community of Shimenkan. The village of Shimenkan would still be poor and isolated without Pollard’s influence from the last century. The major reason why the Chinese government invested so much money on this village is to control the Christian influence. As a way to show power, the government used the money in building infrastructure to show the villagers that the government can bring a better life than Christianity.
I found a source to Pollard’s diary from the Shimenkan Educational Charity Organization. I’ve been reading this diary for the past week, and it recorded his hardship and joy. The part that left an impression on me is his journey on getting to the village. Every day, he encountered new difficulties, and he nearly lost his life on many occasions. In traveling between two provinces in China, his boat sank due to the carelessness of the boatman. Pollard thought that he would have drowned in the cold water with the people who accompanied him, but they were rescued by another Chinese fishing boat. The journey never lacked this kind of stories, but he also wrote about the beautiful people and landscape he saw along the way.
I think the beauty of my project is that not only I get the chance to learn about the history and politics of this village in China, but I am also gaining personal reflection in the process. After I wrote my weekly blog last week, I kept thinking about how much can one contribute to their current community, to the world? What is one’s value? Hitler, Martin Luther King, Michelle Obama, The man behind the Las Vegas music festival shooting and etc. We can all leave positive and negative influences in history. We don’t necessarily have to go to a remote village to make a positive influence in the world. The action is as simple as being aware of what can be done around you. I really encourage everyone who is reading this post to think beyond your project and expand it. Consider your value as a person in your current community, and take actions make more positive influences within that community.
The attached pictures are the landscape Pollard enjoyed on his way to Shimenkan as well as what I enjoyed when I visited over summer.