- MEDIA CENTER
Mo Fuyuan drives a mail delivery van in Longli county in the Qiannan Bouyei and Miao autonomous prefecture, Guizhou province. WANG LIXIN/FOR CHINA DAILY
Urbanization has made deliveries easier for Mo Fuyuan, who has been hauling mail to residents in mountains since 1995
Postal routes wind deep into the mountains in some rural parts of Longli county, which is in the Qiannan Bouyei and Miao autonomous prefecture in Guizhou province. Mo Fuyuan has been delivering letters and parcels there since 1995, connecting villagers to the outside world.
"I like seeing the smiles on faces when people get their mail," said the 44-year-old postman, who works for the China Post branch in Longli.
"That way, I barely notice that 28 years have passed," he said.
Mo, who has broken four bicycles and six motorcycles driving along the area's muddy roads over the years, has also seen the area develop.
"In recent years, China has been putting a new urbanization strategy in place and has accelerated the region's integration with the development of the provincial capital Guiyang. Rural areas are improving more and more," he said.
Thanks to the expanding network of concrete and asphalt roads, as well as expressways, he can deliver mail by car, and even the farthest villages are now less than two hours away.
Back when there were no highways, he would have to go on foot along trails through the mountains. Sometimes, Mo would walk an entire day just to deliver a single letter.
On other days, it would take him six or seven hours by bike to reach a village 100 kilometers from the county town.
Mo (right) talks with a villager while delivering mail. WANG LIXIN/FOR CHINA DAILY
"The villagers also looked forward to my visits," he said. "I brought them letters, telegrams and money orders and took their letters, handmade shoes and local specialties to families and friends who had left the mountains."
When he received college admission letters in the summer, Mo always made sure to deliver them first, regardless of the weather.
"I was just as happy that they would have the chance to study at universities and experience life outside of the mountains as their parents were," he said. "But I was even happier when I'd hear some of them say that they would like to come back after finishing their studies to make their hometowns more prosperous."
Since local authorities have been consolidating the achievements of poverty alleviation in coordination with the drive for rural vitalization, great changes have taken place in the mountains of Longli.
There are now more sources of employment and more ways for villagers to make money.
"Since smartphones are widely used, people seldom send letters. Most of the items I deliver are daily necessities and things people have bought online," Mo said.
During the season when local produce such as honey, kiwi fruit and purple yam is harvested, specialty products are sent all over the country by mail.
Nowadays, Mo mainly works in an urban part of the county town with a route that covers hundreds of buildings, delivering around 2,000 items every day. He has always been willing to work hard.
Mo walks a trail on the way to deliver mail to a village in Longli. WANG LIXIN/FOR CHINA DAILY
In May 2003, he had a letter from Taiwan to deliver. The recipient's name was written in pinyin, and the address was given as "Xiguanpo", with no specific street or house number. Mo knocked on doors until he finally found the intended recipient, an elderly woman in her 80s.
"The old woman cried when she saw the letter. It was from her long-lost brother, who she thought she'd never find again," Mo said, adding that he had delivered other improperly addressed items to 100 recipients.
"Behind each letter, there is a family or a relationship. I'm happy to be the link that connects thousands of families," he said.
Over the years, Mo's hard work has won him many honors. He has been nominated as an "excellent postman" and as an outstanding member of the Communist Party of China in Qiannan prefecture, as well as a national model worker.
This year, Mo was elected as a deputy to the National People's Congress.
During the recently concluded two sessions — the annual sessions of the 14th National People's Congress and the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference — Mo proposed the creation of better postal services for the countryside based on the county, township and village logistics level, and proposed detailed measures for the creation of comprehensive postal service stations in each village.
"As a grassroots representative, it's my wish that rural areas get better, more convenient postal services to facilitate rural vitalization," he said.