How much of your life would you give to carve into not one, but three sheer, rocky, mountainside cliffs to provide water to your drought-stricken village? A tenacious man named Huang Dafa spent 36 years carving a 10-kilometer water channel. He kept going after several failed attempts, and people called him a fool. He is now a celebrated figure in his community at the ripe age of 82.
Dafa was sneered at when he first suggested cutting into a mountainside cliff in Caowangba within China’s Guizhou Province with hand tools. Locals called him a foolish man. They thought he might be crazy. He is now compared to the legendary figure, Yu Gong, whose determination was so profound, it caused the Gods to move mountains for him.
Dafa’s first attempt to create a mountainside irrigation channel failed, but it did create a tunnel through the mountains making it easier for people to travel.
He realized that he needed more knowledge to complete the project successfully, so part-way through he abandoned his efforts temporarily after finally having compelled some fellow villagers to help him chip into the mountainside. He left to study engineering.