编者按：晶晶是她的中文名字，Jenny Chen是在美国出生的华裔姑娘，也就是人们常说的ABC（American born Chinese）。她一直在美国念书，现在在读高中。她去年曾游过云南，对云南的美丽赞叹不已。今年暑假她在师大学习汉语，其间加入上师大云南支教扶贫考察团，这次她走得更远更高更深，在考察拉祜山寨时，她惊呆了，困惑了，这是真的吗？她看到了美丽风光的背后还有人类共同面临的难题：贫困。眼前的一切始料不及，但又挥之不去，她用英语，这是她的熟练书面语言，写了以下这些文字。
This summer, June18th-June 27th, I visited YunNan, China for the second time this year. I thought it would be the same old experience, but I was wrong. I found a part of YunNan that I hadn’t seen before, the bright green rice fields and lush wilderness, the rich culture and beautiful traditional costumes. What gave me the deepest impression on this trip was not only the beauty of the land, but more importantly the lifestyles of the inhabitants of the mountain villages. It was during one trip to observe life in the mountain village of LanCang that I, as the “rich American ‘tourist,’ ” so to speak, finally gained a feeble understanding of poverty…
I remember that I stepped out of the jeep and heard a squelching sound. After a few misplaced steps, my feet were already covered with mud, and the sky began to pour again, as we had arrived in YunNan in its rainy season. When I entered the village, I thought, ‘this looks like it came straight out of a movie.’ I felt that this experience couldn’t be real, that the little children standing in the doorways watching us were not real, that the dogs snarling at us were not real. We visited the most affluent family house of the village. When I saw the sick child sleeping on the nearby straw mattress, noticed the mud floor, and learned about the family’s situation, I seemed to drop into a speechless trance. It did take me until the last minute to even bring my thoughts out onto paper.
However, I knew I should not pity these villagers. Because they have had so little contact and knowledge of the outer, wealthier world, the villagers only have this perception of a comfortable life; pity would be useless in their situation. Our sense of affluence is merely relative to quality and quantity of possessions. I believe that our worlds (mine and theirs) are galaxies apart, and that we shouldn’t try to help them with our complex technology and big sums of money, but leave them be and instead provide health care, a center to treat dangerous diseases, provide a way to keep them comfortable without damaging their world. Maybe I’m just fantasizing or oversimplifying the situation, but as a teenager who doesn’t hold bigheaded, stereotypical views of the “poor” and “the rich” and also one who has not yet experienced much in the world, I think this understanding is enough. Sometimes I just wonder what would happen if I took a movie star straight from the television and placed him/her in my situation. I would assume he/she would be as speechless as I was.
My stay in YunNan has taught me more than ever. I’ve made new friends along the way, discovered the deeper culture, the beautiful scenery of YunNan, and most of all I have now touched the edge of a world completely different from mine. I have reached the end of the sidewalk.