Drinking With Village Elders of a Minority Tribe in Sichuan, China
The hot air filled my lungs as I climbed the rocky terrain and took in the green surroundings. It was hard to believe that I was in Sichuan, China where a devastating earthquake had struck just months earlier killing 70,000. The man in front of me, a local teacher wearing worn-down dress shoes and a dusty polo shirt, nodded to me encouragingly. Three hours later my thighs are burning and I catch sight of the village. A wave of relief and awe swells within me as I reach level ground. The village elders, dressed with turbans and blue robes greeted us with big, toothless smiles and shots of bai jiu, their homemade alcohol. Each household in Xige survived on one pig per family per year for food, but that evening they welcomed us to the table and fed us a feast. When you have nothing to give, yet give everything—that is the heart of generosity.