“If I rest, I rust.” It’s not quite clear how actress Helen Hayes’s piece of potted wisdom reached the ears of Cun Yanfang, a member of the indigenous Naxi people from one of southwest China’s more remote villages.
“But that is quite true for me,” the diminutive, apple-cheeked Ms. Cun adds with a laugh. “I cannot stop.” Her restless energy has brought Cun a long way. Born 31 years ago to an unschooled mother in Yunnan Province on the banks of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River , she is now just one English exam away from entering a master’s program at Cornell University. But today, her mind is on a more immediate task. At a gathering of local worthies in this grubby one-horse town, 12 miles from paved roads, Cun is wrapping up the program she runs to help save one of the world’s most endangered species, the Yunnan golden monkey. [Full Text]
[Image: Cun Yanfang has garnered international attention for her ability to change local attitudes, by Peter Ford from The Christian Science Monitor.]