I never imagined it would be possible to see, interact and learn so much as in the one hour Dong Minority Village in Southwestern China experience in which I participated recently. I’m referring to both the physical locations (the homes, drum tower, weaving coop, etc.), the array of people in the community (including a village elder with a long beard and very long pipe and the woman who runs the weaving coop!) and responses to the our questions/comments in the chat. I’m passionate about the cultural connections, and this experience was chock full of them! Our guide, Ted, was masterful. In addition to his deep knowledge, his ease at engaging with community residents and skills with the camera were outstanding. The pace of the experience was great. This experience really brought home the impacts of COVID in a very powerful way. Despite no COVID in the village, the epidemic has reduced the men’s work dramatically. As I understood it, the weaving coop is still young and unable to generate much income at this point in time. What may have been seen as potential ancillary income, has been thrust into a role in which it may be a family’s only source of income at this point in time. The experience also taught us an enormous amount about the beautiful products (100% local!) and all the love and time the women put into creating them. I’m looking forward to receiving my beautiful pillow sham woven with locally grown cotton and colored beautiful shades of blue from using locally sourced indigo leaves. To quote one of my friends, “I’d love to go and spend three or four days in this village!” Thank you Local Purse!