See below for an update from Li Zheng. Please continue to message her your support, even if you can't write in Chinese - the translation team will work to make our messages more accessible to her.
I am Li Zheng, I don’t know if you celebrate Spring Festival in America, but I will follow the Chinese tradition ands wish you a happy new year! How did you enjoy your holidays?
When I came to register for school on February 26h and received the letters from you, I was so excited. I was very curious what you wrote to me when I received the letters written in English, as our village is very isolated and I am not familiar with English. I still couldn’t understand some parts after reading them several times. I had to consult some classmates to understand the messages. I was very touched after I read them, as most people who have helped me are students themselves. Jessica McDonald and Aodra Sarana, I really want to say “thank you," but that would not convey my gratitude and respect. But I will pray for you in our way to wish that good things would happen to good people like you. Also Hscibetta, who should be a bit older than me, I wish I could see you more clearly as your photo was a bit blurry and I could only see your kind smile and long black hair. I would like to call you “big sister”. Although I could only understand part of your letter, I understood I should apply myself more at school. If I have any worries, or difficulties that I cannot solve, can I write to you? I would also like to share my happiness with you. Be assured that I will try my best to understand the things in your letters. I am very curious, are you still in school? Saddmon, first I have to say sorry, because some of the words in your letter turned out very blurry, but I can understand what you mean. I think I am like you, and share the same feelings, perhaps to a greater extent. In a poor and backward region like ours, knowledge is the best way to change our fate, and getting into a good college is the only way to leave, and knowledge will indeed make one rich.
I am currently in 10th grade, there is only a year and a half left before the college entrance exam. It’s a lot of pressure, and we have a lot of homework everyday that never seems to end. However, I know, although it is hard work, this is temporary, and I believe that you will reap what you sow. Last semester I worked very hard, and got two months of stipend from school to cover meal expenses. They totaled 150 Yuan. This is the third time I traded knowledge and sweat for money. This money is nothing to people who are wealthy, and they could spend it in one day, but I saved all of it to give myself courage and confidence. I will earn more stipends in the future, so my parents don’t have to pay for my living expense. This will lighten their burdens so they can pay for my brother’s college expenses.
I don't have much time, and I have much to say to you, but I’m running out of time and it’s a shame to say goodbye again. I would like a photo of you guys, so I can see what you look like, and look at you when I’m feeling lonely. It would a shame to not know who have helped me. I don’t know if this would be possible, but I would like to make a suggestion: could you write in Chinese in future letters to me? This will train and improve your Chinese as well. I will try my best to write to you in English. I am just afraid of misunderstanding your original intentions when communication is in English. I will pray for you, and wish you health and peace.
Wishing you health and luck,
Li Zheng (郑丽)'s Blog
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