Getting grounded with REAP

I arrived at Sichuan University in Chengdu about four days ago. The original location of this Rural Education Action Program summer internship was in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. Therefore the preparation work on expectations about the culture and local tradition before leaving for the trip was all for Xi’an. Chengdu is a very different city from my own hometown or the city of Xi’an. It’s a southern city located in a basin with a significant amount of ethnic minority population. It is known for the spicy food, tasty noodles and hotpot.

I am here for the week to learn about the findings of the interviews that the other team conducted since I will be doing the same interviews at a different research site. I also learned after I got here that the research assistants who were originally going to do the interviews with me are not available anymore, which means that I will need to conduct the 40 interviews by myself.

Part of what we learned at the Moellership training sessions is to be flexible and work with the unexpected changes. It is also the first time I actually had the chance to interact with the REAP research team from Stanford University. I am getting to know about the team members and their working style. The team is a group of people with mostly economics background. They seem to think and view things from different perspectives compared to the educators that I am usually surrounded with. It is a great learning experience, and I am very excited to start the field research next week in Henan Province.


— Min Wang
Chengdu, Sichuan, China