Mr. Chen Qinlie 陈勤烈

From the Cement Dam we drove straight to Mr. Chen’s home. He’s the third generation, 97 years and counting, to look after my great great grandfather’s grave in the mountain, up the hill from his house, unpaid.


“Obligation” he said casually. He showed me a letter from my relative. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand their dialect well, and the hosts only translated sporadically.

His house in chengxiang Yunwukeng 石城乡 云雾坑 (35 km/21 miles southeast of Dongzhi county) is newly built and sparsely furnished. Their children are working in the cities, coming home on holidays.

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Only Mr. Chen went up the hill with us. After we came down, I insisted to invite them both to lunch at Huayuan Xiang 花园乡 (zh wiki). I didn’t think the hosts considered to include them but I was glad they made extra room for them. This is the least I could do. I thought I could pay for it but there’s no chance, then did I feel a little funny – being generous on other’s dime.

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This man must be a leader of the village, Shicun 石村 he drove off in a SUV before we departed. After lunch, we went to Tangshan Si 唐山寺.

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