Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ma Yan Update

Man, I love it when authors google themselves. (At least, that's the only reason I can figure why they're finding my blog.)

Sometimes it leads to awesome things, like Kirsten Miller hooking me up with my awesome Kiki Strike t-shirt.

And sometimes it leads to really awesome things. Yesterday, I reviewed The Diary of Ma Yan: The Struggles and Hopes of a Chinese Schoolgirl, which is edited by Pierre Haski.

Now, I'm sure you don't read my comments as obsessively as I do, but Haski commented on yesterday's post to update me on Ma Yan's situation. She has finished school in China and is about to arrive in France, to study there-- a very happy ending to her story.

Also, when talking to someone yesterday, I realized that I want to say more about Ma Yan and China in general.

As many of you know, I was in Beijing earlier this fall, and spent a semester studying n Nanjing. I commented on Ma Yan struggling with spending 50 fen (about 6 cents USD). I once had a beggar in Nanjing through 20 fen back in my face--in the cities it's useless. When briefing Dan on Chinese currency this fall, I had forgotten that fen existed, until it became an issue at the grocery store.

One term at elementary school in Ningxia costs $12. I spend more than that on coffee every week. That's about how much Dan and I spent on a super-tasty meal of Peking Duck at one of Beijing's most famous duck places. I spent that much getting up Taishan. I got bilked for more than that in the Great Wall adventure that will one day be funny, but isn't yet.

But, in the interior of the country, the new economy hasn't hit yet, and it never will if children cannot go to school.

The Diary of Ma Yan created such a stir, there is an organization to help the children of Ningxia. You can help. Click here to find out how.


Susan said...

wow, Kirsten sent you a Kiki shirt??? rad.

Jennie said...

I blogged about how I wanted one, hoping the cosmic gods would hear my plea and help me out. It was pretty rad.

Susan said...

ha! that's sweet. i should start a blog and get begging! hmm what do i want? Anne Rice, please send me a signed book. AFI, please come to my house and say how goes it hot stuff >:)

poet~lover~rebel~spy said...

You have been tagged.

MotherReader said...

Sorry that I missed this post originally. I thought The Diary of Ma Yan was a wonderful book and really makes you appreciate what we have and sometimes take for granted. I'm glad to know that she is doing well, and how to find out more. Thanks.