Sixia about her “lasts” in RVA

After 5 months of being here, it seems like that everything I do will be last time I’m doing it in RVA. Last building weekend, last mango/avocado season and last agitation day. And gradually, it will become last night and last meals in RVA. It sounds quite sad but I know it’s good for me because it will make me learn more and grow up a lot.

beach cleanupActually, I hate to say goodbye to people because I know I will cry easily (I don’t like to do that). From March to July, there were a lot of people coming and leaving. At first, I would cry every time when people left. At last, I’ve learned how to say goodbye bravely to people, knowing that then life will reward me with a lot of new hellos (as Paolo Coelho said). I am wondering when I stopped crying when people leave, and I think it started when I accepted all blesses from people who have left.

People always ask me what I have learned in RVA. Every time my answer is that I learn a lot of agriculture and climate change knowledge. But I know it’s not as easy as that answer. Firstly, I have lots of teachers so that I learn a lot from them. Secondly, I have been part of different teams (I am a special student, since I’m the only person doing this specific course), and my teams were all quite different. Of course, I have also gained a variety of knowledge from people from different countries. March CCC team made me a feel like family. One month teams gave me friendship, especially Fiona, who always “protected” me when others guys wanted to make fun of me, and always comforted me when I felt sad or bad. July CCC team taught me how to work as a team and I started to do some more theoretical studies (I didn’t like it at all before July!) The most important thing though is that I now feel comfortable to show my presentations, on my own or with my teammates.

Compared with that person from 5 months ago who doesn’t know English very well and feels very dizzy about everything in RVA, I think I have learned a lot. Learned how to swim and how to recognize when we can collect different kinds of fruits. And learned how to make bread and plant vegetables and trees. By the way, I never tried to work in the garden in China (most of Chinese don’t have gardens since they live in apartments).

How can I forget the life of work/study during the day and going to swim after 4:00 pm? When you finish swimming, you can pick up some mangoes on your way back. What could I say at that moment? I love my life.

Thanks to all of the people in RVA who have left, or are staying here. Because of you all, my life starts to change. I always think about how I can change the world but the world starts to change me at last. I will miss every time we sang together in main hall, every time I laughed loudly with you all and every time I cried with you all together.

Life is going on. Anyway, ending seems like it’s coming soon. But new beginnings are often disguised as painful endings (Lao Tzu).


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Sixia about her “lasts” in RVA

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