Wan-Ti, a young Chinese girl barely sixteen years old, is one of the Yi people who live in Southwest China. As she appears here, her rich black hair is worn tied back almost in a bundle and tucked under a scruffy brown hat with the brim turned up. The outfit she is wearing is the typical dress of the region, namely a gaily-colored pleated skirt and a jacket with a swath of colored stitching of an intricate design, crisscrossing her chest. Note the pair of basketball sneakers on her feet.
"Ni-hao, everybody. That means hello. My name is Wan-Ti and I live in China. My life has not been easy as I, along with all the people in our village, have gone through several famines where there is literally nothing to eat, or almost nothing. But things are getting better now. All I want is to do well in school so that I can get a fine education and help my family.
"I met Marco through Minerva, his Auntie M. who had been traveling in southwestern China in a very rickety old car. Auntie M. hit a rut in the road and flipped over down an embankment. My father and I found her not far from the car from which she was thrown. She was a bit dazed..."
"Excuse me young lady. I think the proper word is 'rescued,'" said Auntie M, "and you were so wonderful to go to such great lengths to help me."
"Oh it wasn't such a difficult thing."
"Forgive me my friend; it was indeed a big deal. Wan-Ti, you and your family took me into your home after the accident --- the swollen ankle and all, blood running down my face…. but that another story. I'm so glad that I could introduce you to Marco and his friends."