The life of a 13-year-old in rural China

Wang Lemei, 13, reads books in bed after waking up in Xialao village in Xundian Hui and Yi autonomous prefecture in Southwest China’s Yunnan province on August 9, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

Those who live in flourishing cities may find it hard to imagine the life in a remote mountain village.

Wang Leimei, 13, lives with her parents and six-year-old brother in a rundown cottage in Xialao village in Xundian Hui and Yi autonomous prefecture in Southwest China’s Yunnan province, where life is much different to the hustle and bustle of the city.

There is no traffic to be seen or heard near their small cottage which has no furniture except for a small table.

Every morning during summer vacation, Wang Leimei gets up early to study for an hour before helping her mother prepare the breakfast.

After eating, she helps with farm work in the mountains where the family plant potatoes for a living. “My best childhood memory is that mom and dad had bought me a Miao skirt after selling potatoes,” Leimei said.

For most adults that would be a grueling day, but Leimei and her mother then cross over two mountains to start their next task of mowing the grass for horses.

In the evening after they return home she learns needlework from her mother and feeds the pigs after supper.

Leimei recently graduated from primary school and will go to middle school 20 kilometers away from her home when her summer vacation ends. She hopes to pay back her parents by diligent learning.

china daily

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