Li Damai left several days later, after which he kept up letters with Ah Jin.
After each passing day, a major event happened in the village.
The village got electricity!
Each household began to connect lines with electricity.
Ah Jin's "antique" small oil lamp finally withdrew from the stage as history.
Ah Jin had more time to teach her two children to study at night thanks to the electricity.
The third and fourth children were serious about learning and had a good foundation.
Their studies were among the best in the whole village.
The college entrance examinations resumed in '77, when the third child, Jianyun, became a freshman.
Ah Jin's ambition wasn't just an ordinary college.
She wanted to send the third child to a prestigious college.
People in the village couldn't understand.
From their perspective, when a child had grown up and had strength, he had to help the family work and earn work points.
About education, as long as they were not illiterate.
They could not think about going to college.
Their families were large, and they did not have the money to support their college entrance.
The village people were envious, some were jealous, and some said terrible things about Ah Jin's actions.
The elders who liked Ah Jin also advised her not to do anything foolish.
The most important thing was to have enough to eat.
She should think more about herself and save some dowry for her future marriage.
Ah Jin ignored them and just buried her head in her own business in response to these words.
But there was one person who was extraordinarily supportive of Ah Jin, and that was Ms. Bug.
Since she had been reborn, she knew how educated people would be in demand in the future.
She doubted Ah Jin's origin many times.
After all, in that era, Ah Jin's forward-thinking was considered a different kind of person.
To her repeated attempts, Ah Jin said that it was her parents' last wish.
Her parents firmly believed that only by studying would they get to be successful.
She was just following her parents' words, and that was all.
The village did not know that Ah Jin was privately giving them extra lessons.
Otherwise, Guo Lihong would not have believed that a person who did not graduate from junior high school taught a high school student.
Which was a proper bug ah?
Guo Lihong's mind was only focused on her studies, so what happened before was slowly forgotten by everyone.
Some of the village youth began to notice her again, but it didn't affect her.
Her ambition was to go to college, to the city, to a more prosperous place.
After another two years, Jianfu graduated from senior high school.
Ah Jin also fulfilled her promise to enroll him in the army.
Moreover, she was not satisfied with the level of education in the village.
She made an application for the two remaining children to go to school in the County.
The brigade examined her situation and the two children's academic performance, who were indeed two good students.
So they approved her application and even gave Ah Jin a letter of recommendation to work in a weaving factory.
In the 70s, a letter of recommendation was very important, and Ah Jin did not even have a degree.
If she worked in a weaving factory, she could live in a dormitory and save money from renting a house.
Since she had to take her two younger brothers with her, Ah Jin applied for a single dormitory.
It was much more expensive than a shared one.
It was more convenient than finding a house on your own out there.
Sadly, Li Damai learned the skill very well and was appreciated by his master.
He was brought to the city by his master six months ago.
From the city to the County, it would take two hours by bike.
For them, a bike was a modern Ferrari, which Ah Jin could not afford.
The notice of enlistment for Jianfu soon came down, and it was scheduled for March after the spring.
There was less than a month left.
It was more convenient in the County than in the countryside.
There was no need to get stamps to buy cloth at regular intervals because the commune was always open.
Ah Jin had a discount to buy cloth as a weaving factory worker.
She did not make green clothes for the children this time.
Instead, she chose a dark blue material that was resistant to dirt and wear.
Everyone was given a new set of clothes.
Jianfu's new uniform was also issued to his hands.
This time there was no need to bring beddings to the army.
The army provided ready-mades.
On the day Jianfu enlisted, he was dressed in a green military uniform with a big red flower on his chest.
Ah Jin took her two younger brothers to the station to see him off.
She held Jianfu's hand and instructed him, "Behave well in the army. Be smart. You graduated from senior high school, which gives you an advantage over others. So try to join the political party early, okay?"
Jianfu nodded and answered, "Yes, eldest sister."
Ah Jin added, "Write home often! Do not send back your monthly salary. Keep it for yourself. We have enough for ourselves."
Jianfu nodded again, "Got it."
"And ah, you are not allowed to forget about your studies. We do not know when you will be able to take the university entrance exam. I still want you to get a military school!"
Jianfu did not retort for the first time.
He simply nodded his head.
Ah Jin shoved some money at him, "Take this money. Don't expect me to give you money in the future."
Jianfu lowered his head and did not say anything.
His tears fell on Ah Jin's hand.
Ah Jin reached out to wipe away his tears.
"You silly boy, what are you crying for? To be a soldier is a good thing."
Jianfu looked at his elder sister, whose height was equal to his own shoulders, with a thin figure and her usual white-washed clothes, but her small shoulders held up a family and raised her three brothers.
He put his head on Ah Jin's shoulder and began to cry bitterly.
Jianyun and Jianman also hugged him, and they cried together.
The scene was the same for every family in the station now.
There was no need to be afraid of losing face.
Ah Jin heard the conductor urging them to board the train and hastily dried his tears.
"Hurry up and go. Don't be late. When you settle down, write back. Tell me whatever you need, and I'll send it to you!"
Jianfu reluctantly said goodbye to his family and got on the train.
He got on the train in a hurry, found a seat, and then opened the window and looked out at Ah Jin and his two brothers.
"Jianyun, Jianman, you take good care of eldest sister at home. You've grown up, don't let eldest sister worry!"
"Second brother, I will remember. You also need to be good!"
The train started to depart.
The windows were full of heads of children who joined the army.
Looking at these young faces, who were about to be taken by train to an unknown place to accept a crueler world, Ah Jin's eyes also got somewhat wet.
The children on the train were desperately trying to stick their heads out of the window just to see their families.
People on the platform were also chasing the train just to get one more look at their children.
This scene happened in every place and at every station in the 70s.
Trains and trucks were filled with these young lives, going to infrastructures, defending the country, and everywhere needed.
Jianfu got back in his seat and opened the thing he held tightly, which was the money Ah Jin gave him before he left.
Seeing the 30 yuan in his hand, Jianfu's tears dropped again.