Jing Ying's family cultivates rice. Her parents are migrant workers working in Guangdong, a big city about 10 hours down the highway. Her aunt prepares her food during the day, and her grandma takes care of her at night, when she's done working in the fields. She has an older brother, who was also born with a cleft lip and palate, and an older sister. Both are also migrant workers. The brother is learning to use heavy construction machines. The parents borrowed money for his surgeries many years ago, but they couldn't afford to pay for their daughter's surgeries. The translator said that girls aren't as important. Her mother had developed cancer, and the cost of her surgeries has left the family in debt, although she seems to be well now. Although Jing Ying's mother works far away, she returned to bring her daughter to Interplast. She will return shortly to her job.
Here I am pictured with Jing Ying and her family. I was given the highest honor you can give a guest - I was served eggs (in rice wine soup). It was a bit embarrassing since I am not the hugest fan of rice wine soup, but it was very sweet, and I ate it nonetheless.
It was a wonderful peek into a very different way of life.