These are some pictures of some women who really get at the heart of service. Their job is to be the grounds keepers of Hebei College of Finance, the school at which I am currently employed as a teacher. Their jobs in the Winter are to scrape snow off of the streets (no plows in Baoding city) using wicker brooms or makeshift shovels (usually a board nailed to a stake/ stick of PVC pipe); they sweep the streets daily, a never-ending job in a dusty campus with little or no grass; they clean windows and pick up bicycles that have been knocked over by the wind. However, the job I'm most impressed by is their "Spring cleaning" gig: before the school authorizes the lake to be refilled with water (during the winter, it is emptied to ensure no one tries ice skating and falls in), they sit on tiny stools in a row of ten-twelve, picking up every rock and stone on the lake bed and clean it off, ensuring that the lake is clean for the Spring. Check it out:
Piles of already-cleaned stones dot the path the women take to clean the lake bed.
I'll never complain about having to teach 16 hours of class ever again.