First, I was able to learn how hard the farmers work to produce crops and provide them to us. During the program, we helped a lady pick up the weeds in order to sow new seeds. After several minutes, my back hurt so much. As I dug the ground to take out the roots of the weeds, I saw so many disgusting worms and bugs that I wanted to cry. I realized all of this was what farmers have to go through to produce their crops. Four hours of work was so tiring for me. I could only imagine how tiring it would be for the farmers who have to do that for years and years. In this manner, participants of Nong-hwal program would learn to appreciate farmers for working hard to provide healthy vegetables and fruits for us.
Second, I was able to meet new people and have a great time with them. Ewha students from diverse departments and age participated in Nong-Hwal program. We made meals together, had makgeolli at night, rode on a Bongo truck together and sang songs before eating meals. Two nights and three days with them made us really close. When I coincidently meet them on the streets or in campus, we cheerfully say hi to each other and sometimes grab a bite together. In this way, participating in the Nong-hwal program will enable you to make more personal connections with other Ewha students.
Last but not least, I felt really proud of myself for helping elders who otherwise would have done all the work by themselves without us. To mention more about what we did there, we cleaned the elders’ houses, helped them with their sowing, and helped them get their fields ready for new cultivation. My favorite moment was listening to their sad stories about not getting enough payment for their harvest. Although listening to them would not solve anything significantly, I was glad because the elders felt comfort by having someone show sympathy. In this aspect, the Nong-hwal program is meaningful because you become proud of yourself for helping someone else.
The program was exhausting and difficult. I hated how the dirt got into my shoes and how my hands got dirty. The bathroom was the one that you can expect in a very typical rural area. At night, I thought I was going to freeze to death. Nonetheless, what I was able to learn through the program outweighed the difficulties. I learned to appreciate farmers for their hard work, make new friends, and feel proud of myself. For these reasons, I suggest every Ewha student to try out the program at least once in their school life.