Posts Tagged ‘Personality’

The hills in Gansu Province’s Nantai Village are painted in a myriad of colors. Column of red, orange, yellow, white, pink, and purple lines zigzag across the uneven earth. After rain, the colors would turn more vivid than usual, as if the earth is grateful for the rare shower in this part of China.

For years, local farmer Lei Xingyi thought the colorful hills in his backyard was how all hills should look like. Not until in his mid-thirties, when he was elected a village head that he had a chance to travel outside for study trips and realized the multi-hued rocks were unique.    

When I met Lei, he has already relinquished official post a long time ago. He is now running a guesthouse cum guide service for photography enthusiasts and tourists in awe with the landscape right behind his home.

“I’d rather be a herder than remaining an official,” he told me he quit the village head post before his term was up in 1998. Disillusioned with officialdom – which he said was curry favor for the big shots by exploiting the common people – he resigned and bought 100 sheep to become a shepherd.

He roamed the colorful but barren hills from one end to the other, in search of a small patch of grassland for his herd. It was during those shepherding days that he learned the routes around the hills by heart, and by chance he met a photographer who changed the course of his life. (more…)

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