We left Jiangkou to head back to Shaoudon’s village, while Dr. Chen and Shushien went on their hike into the core of the reserve to record their data. We met up with Shuang, who we haven’t seen since first departing Jiangkou because he needed to go to a local university to recruit students to aid him in the household surveys. When we arrived, Shuang and his selected team of surveyors from a local university in Tongren were finishing up a survey and training.
We set up the camera and began recording from several different angles parts of the interview for the documentary and promotional video. The villagers who were nearby and could see us were very interested in the foreigners and the camera equipment and came by to check out what was going on. They shared sunflower seeds and cigarettes with us, I was really amazed at how giving these people are.
Shuang explained to us that this village was one of the poorest in China and the lady taking the survey was receiving approximately 200 Yuan per month in financial relief from the government in addition to food and an education grant for her children. The financial relief equates to around $1 a day. The survey was entirely in Mandarin but Shuang had briefly explained part of the process.
The researchers recorded demographic data such as household size, income, and family history. In addition to the demographic information they had the woman show us her farm land on google earth. This was a challenge because the woman had zero education and was unfamiliar with the aerial view of the land that google earth displayed. She could only explain how far away her plots were and the direction.
Once the researchers finished recording the data into the survey and her approximations on her fields, we followed her to her fields to record the locations with GPS in order to get an accurate location and size of her fields. Each survey takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete including traveling to the locations of their fields. Shuang told us that they are planning to get about 100 surveys total by the end of their trip. After lunch, Shuang and his team returned into the village to conduct more surveys. While we took a break to review film footage for the projects promotional video.