Video: Children travel on zip-line across abyss to and from school
Hongde Village in Guizhou province, enveloped by mountains and turbulent rivers, cannot be accessed using any form of road vehicle. The only viable transportation method connecting the village with the outside is train. The nearest train station to Hongde Village is only less than two kilometers (1.3 miles) away. But a gorge 140 meters (460 feet) deep and 80 meters (260 feet) wide lies in between, which ends the road abruptly. All 3,369 villagers, including dozens of school children, must either somehow cross the gorge, or take a detour by walking for several hours, in order to get out of the village.
In 2002, a zip-line was set up over the gorge. Villagers have entered the era of travelling down the flying fox. Last week, a tourist uploaded to Youku (Chinese YouTube) a video of how villagers of Hongde, young and old, used the zip-line. Over 1.2 million viewed the video, and 4,200 comments were left on the Youku page.
Video translated by Ministry of Tofu (Text version at the bottom of the page)
Thick gloves for riding the cable car.
Students trek in the mountains before they arrive at the zip-line.
The good news is, earlier this year, three households in the village chipped in 125,800 yuan to build a simple bridge.
Selected comments from NetEase:
金明焱 [网易辽宁省沈阳市网友]：2012-04-14 12:49:13 发表
Traveling down the zip-line once is adventure. If it becomes a daily routine, it is the sadness of life.
月君 [网易江苏省连云港市网友]：2012-04-14 12:50:36 发表
Better to keep it the natural way! Mass construction of roadways will destroy the environment. The best solutions are relocating the villagers or reinforcing the zip-wire and the bridge.
网易北京市网友 ip：210.72.*.*2012-04-15 23:15:10 发表
The sight of it really makes people feel nervous and shudder. Let those officials die.
网易山东省网友 [马霏43263862] 的原贴：1
The country should care more about villagers here. Make those billionaires donate more money to charity. Build a bridge for them. Sadly, I am right now unemployed. Otherwise, I will surely offer my mite of help to help them, unlike those people in Guizhou who drink Maotai every day.
What makes you think you can require rich people to donate money? The people are the people of the nation, whereas the government is the government of the people. If the government doesn’t even care about them… Besides, as a fellow netizen mentioned just now, The governments in Guizhou can build 100 bridges if they drink less Maotai in a year. I knew it. What can I say? They have the gall to report this? What a shame. Moreover, if I donate 100 yuan, will even 10 yuan out of it can really reach these people?
网易山东省潍坊市网友 [冷眼爆炒河蟹] 的原贴：
Is the 90 million yuan donated to Egypt enough for building a bridge?
网易广东省网友 [爷只要刀乐] 的原贴：
Why making rich people donate…There is a saying: With greater ability comes greater responsibility. Did you even graduate from elementary school?
cxiaohu [网易福建省厦门市网友]：2012-04-15 11:53:34 发表
I suggest that cadres live there for a few months and travel down zip-lines every day. Bump this up if you agree with me!
网易广东省深圳市网友 [mxsz168] 的原贴：1
This bridge cost over 120,000 yuan to build. The same bridge would have cost at least 1.2 million if the cadres were to administer its construction.
Text version of the video
Vlogger (To villager): How do you feel when you sit on it (the cable car)?
Villager: My heart is racing. It’s too dangerous. It’s quite deep, after all.
Vlogger (To a boy): Besides using this (zip-line with) pulley, do you have any alternative route?
Boy: Other roads are a bit far away.
Vlogger: How long does it take if you use that road over there?
Boy: Four to five hours.
Vlogger (To Hui Xinfang, builder of the zip-line): In what year did you set up this zip-line?
Vlogger: Why did you want to set up a zip-line back then?
Hui: It was because using the road down there would take four to five hour. It is just too far. Students go to school in Yingpan (Township). Two little kids of the Yang’s were drawn into the flooding river on their way home. (Their bodies) were not found until seven days later. I was thinking, ‘my kid is going to junior high soon.’ I had 1,000 yuan then (US$120), and I borrowed 200 ($25) from others. So I bought the steel wire at 1,200 yuan. I started on it right away. For the convenience of my own kid and other 100 kids in Hongde Village.
Vlogger: How did you set up the zip-line back then?
Hui: I had help from more than 20 people. They tied a rock to the rope, hurled the rock to the other side along with the rope. And the rope brought the steel wire along. People just pulled the steel wire over to the other side little by little and then fastened it in place.
Vlogger: How long did it take you to set it up?
Hui: A month. After I got the cable in place, I used a hammer and a steel drill rod to calve out a small path. The path is very steep though. Barely a path. Not until the path was done was the entire project completed. Then everybody began to use it (zip-line). 2,000 residents of Hongde Village all use it.
Vlogger:(To a girl) What grade are you in?
Girl: Junior 2. (Equivalent of Grade 8)
Vlogger: How long does it take you to walk from your home to here?
Girl: About an hour, if I walk really fast.
Vlogger: (To a boy) What grade are you in?
Boy: Junior 1. (Equivalent of Grade 7)
Vlogger: How did you feel when you first travelled on this?
Boy: My heart was pounding. Very scared.
What’s your dream when you study?
Boy: Get into a university.
(To several students) Kids, do you feel scared? You don’t feel scared? It’s so high…
A girl: We are quite used to it.
Vlogger: How did you feel when you first travelled on this?
Girl: Very scared.
Caption: For maintenance purpose, Hui Xinfang charges 1 yuan for each travel by a student. The adult rate is 2 yuan.
Vlogger: (To Hui Xinfang) What about your own dream?
Hui: My dream is to build a bridge here. After the bridge is built, the 2,000 plus villagers will feel safe, and students, relieved.
Vlogger: What benefits do you get from setting up this zip-line?
Hui Xinfang: The benefit is: all fruits and agricultural products can be loaded on trains and sell to anywhere. It is also more convenient for students who go to and from school.
Vlogger: (To two boys) Did you have to pass here when you went to primary school?
Boys: No, we didn’t.
Vlogger: Which primary school did you go to?
One boy: Hongde Primary School, over there.
Vlogger: Usually on which days do you have to pass here?
Boys: Sunday and Friday.
Vlogger: (To girls) Do you live at school over there?
Vlogger: Do you take food from home to school?
Caption: It takes students more than an hour to trek all the way here from home. They travel from here via zip line to the other side, walk another half hour in the mountains before they arrive at a train station and ride the train to school.