Sunday, August 16, 2009

In Every story, there is a journey…!

Article published on Sunday Chronicle newspaper, PNG, on Sunday 16th August, 2009 under "Letter from China" column.

By Livingstone Hosea in Guangzhou

I first of all would like to thank Mathew Yakai for this opportunity to share my story with the Sunday Chronicle readers through this column, “Letter from China”.

When I first arrived in Guangzhou, from Beijing, I wasn’t really sure whom to go around with. Everybody seems to have lost in their own world, carried away doing their own things and busy engaged in their daily activities.

Foreigners from all over the world, majority I guess from the African continent, the continent known as the, “Cradle of Humanity.”

I made friends from all over the world, but none really was what I regard as a true friend. It is much easier to make friends but yet, it’s another thing to really get into somebody. True friends are just totally different from just friends. However, the fact remained; true friendship does not come instantly.

It was a Sunday morning, the tallest building in Guangzhou, Tianhe zhongxin, stood against the blue sky. The morning sun was projected at a certain intensity that fits a morning sunbath. I and friends from Samoa walked out of school to see the surrounding environment and places.

A group of Chinese students passed by and out of curiosity we greeted each other and exchanged contacts. I met a girl named Jean. She wished to improve her spoken English and wished I could be her friend.

I agreed and we exchanged contacts, she then promised to introduce her boy friend to me. After a few days I met her boy friend (Roger), who I lately realized that he was studying in the same university as I was in. He was doing automation engineering.

Roger requested that, if I could find some free time, to teach them the book, “Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren”.

He saw this book on my bookshelf one night when he came for a visit. I agreed right away and said I would love to teach them some of the true principles that govern human behavior and motivates human conduct.

I was so happy that I found friends who were curious to learn. I felt the sense of completeness when I realized that what I have read became something that I could share with somebody.

Only then I realized that, what we learn from books and related sources are meant to be shared to advance the right principles of neighborhood living and right attitude, in this diverse human society.

We studied the book for almost a month or two. They lately admitted that they paid for a lesson similar to what we were learning, which cost them around K1500.00, and they asked if I would charge them.

I told them I was given free and I shall neither charge but give them free as well. They really appreciated everything and Roger never knew how to appreciate me, but thought it would be a better idea if he could take me to his home town, Sichuan Province.

The journey began on January 7. The misty winter morning was freezing cold. I grew up in the highlands of Papua New Guinea but the coldness, comparatively was something I couldn’t cope.

In fact, it was the first time in my lifetime to experience winter. However, I was wrapped five times more then what I am used to. That at least kept me warm.

The train left Guangzhou and headed for Sichuan. The bullet headed fast moving snake was approaching everything in just a lash.

During that time my Chinese was not that good, I was in the midst of all Chinese nationals. I realized that I was the only foreigner amongst them.

Regardless, I felt some ease inside me because Roger was such a sociable guy. Additionally, I was doing some of the card tricks that I learnt as a teenager back then.

It all kept them amazed and they asked for more, but unfortunately I had limited skills, so I could not do more as to grant their request.

It was a sitting train and people were all over. We were lucky we had seats, but we were unlucky we couldn’t move freely. To walk to the rest room has taken us more than 20 minutes, actually it would have taken a person to reach that place within 1 minute.

I learnt that higher the populations there are disadvantages as well as advantages. People started speaking to me in Chinese. I did only one semester Chinese and my language fluency was not that competitive, but could just speak some basics.

Well I did exchange words with the people and they were surprised that I could at least say something in their language.

They started saying, “Zhe ge wai guo ren hui shuo Putonghua.” That means, this foreigner can speak Chinese.

Along the way I enjoyed the scene. Beautiful hills clothed with green coniferous trees, orange trees along dry ridges. High mountains standing tall in the far sight matching the horizon, lovely lakes and muddy rivers really brought to mind the architect and the great design of the great Almighty, Who is the perfect designer of all time.

Farmers were busy harvesting their crops. Dressing them, etc... They looked satisfied with what they were doing; they seem to be appreciative of where they are.

They seem not to envy but they loved where God has placed. Only then I understood the true concept of satisfaction and contentment.

Satisfaction and contentment brings purpose and true identity of who you are. The more I lived with these people the more I understood vividly the concept of satisfaction and contentment.

It was practical, not only a theoretical myth, because they live it and practice it. The guy who is collecting cardboards on the street is faithful to what he does. A waitress does her job dutifully with a round smile.

The cleaner cleans until they know that the place is clean enough. The people who sell their produce in the market bring the best for the people. They understand that we all live to complement our needs.

We all can never have a $1 million in our account to benefit the needs of human society but we can do what we can in little ways, after all it does. “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do something with love. (Mother Teresa)”

My trip was very rich because by observation I learnt more then what I could have.

After 33 hours we arrived in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. A province next to the autonomous Tibet region, well known for its panda.

In the cloudy afternoon of January 9, the train station was colored by people from all over the province coming to receive their family members whom they will spend the winter break with.

Particularly, the very special event in China, the Chinese New Year, ”Zhongguo xinnian or qiun jie.”

It falls around January 28th and 29th; it's a time of feasting and togetherness. Chinese value relationships, it is much more similar to what we Papua New Guineans do.

Roger’s dad was there at the station to receive us. After a brief introduction we jumped into the taxi and headed for Wenjian, Roger’s resident.

Though it was a tiring trip I learnt a lot, it’s as if I had spent the whole night searching deep into a book. As a new scene unfolds a new chapter opens up. I still remember a Chinese proverb, “Traveling a ten thousand miles is far better then reading a thousand books.”

I wish I could write the complete story but I wish to complete it in the next write up. I hope you learn something from this article, because I have learnt a lot from my experience. In every story there is a journey if you would like to walk the journey then put yourself into it and start walking.

My friend Roger and her girl friend Jean have graduated. Jean graduated as an accountant and Roger as an automation engineer.

I am happy I met them and taught them for a little while. Which my pay was arranged by nature itself, God paid me in secret. The pay is the lifelong lessons that I have learnt while traveling to Roger’s hometown.

When you do something for someone, do not always expect to be rewarded because God knows the best He has for you.

He brings people into your life so that you could reap unseen blessings, blessings that you did not expect. Blessings in His own ways, at the right time and at the right place, God provides.

If you always expect something you will always be disappointed. If you always don’t expect something you will always have surprises.

Note: Livingstone Hosea is doing his BA in Civil Engineering at South China Technology, Guangzhou. He will graduate after 5 years. This column provides PNG student’s experience in China. Contact Mathew Yakai on for comments.


Anonymous said...

Hi bata,
Livingstone 's story is great na fit nating stori blong yu.

Keep up the great way of simlicity, giving, caring and above all, Jesus your brother,our King, friend and savior.

Nice article, Mathew.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mathew,

Hellow and hope you are fine out there but i just want to make a comment on the letter from China written by

Livingstone Hosea on and was printed on the Sunday Chronicles last weekend.

Its really inspirational and boosted our hopes and its just great.Thumbs up and i am really proud as an individual
PNG citizen.

Please forward this to Mr. Hosea

Wish you all the more and keep on going!!