Renee Zhang on Trying Sheep Placenta and Helping the Homeless in Guangzhou

By Jocelyn Richards, October 17, 2017

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Every month, Take 5 sees a PRD resident answer five questions on whatever our editors feel like asking.

When we asked around to find a woman who’s selfless, humble, down-to-earth and just generally awesome, Renee Zhang’s name came up a few times. 

An English trainer, restaurant consultant and modeling agent by day and leader of a volunteer group in Guangzhou helping the homeless by night, Zhang is to many a pillar of the PRD community. She also nailed this five-question interview, setting the bar almost as high as her tolerance for weird/revolting Cantonese food (see question three).

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had while working with the homeless?
Oh, that's a difficult one. I remember once I was out of the country for a while and when I got back, one of the homeless guys jumped up in surprise and shouted, "I was looking for you! You were missing for weeks!" I was so happy.

What tells you more about a person: their eyes or their wrinkles?  
Their eyes, it has to be the eyes. I believe eye contact is a powerful thing. 

Cantonese are said to eat everything. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried in Guangdong?
I'm a proud Cantonese so my bar is pretty high. Sheep placenta is definitely one of them though.

Whoa! How was it?
The actual taste was masked by the Chinese herb medicine in the soup so I couldn't really tell. But Chinese believe eating sheep placenta helps improve women's health, just like eating tiger/deer penis helps men… 

While we’re on a somewhat nauseating subject, would you rather drink Pearl River water for a week or eat those huge South China snails raw for a week? 
Ewww… if I must choose, it would be drinking the Pearl River water for a week, not that I'll survive that long anyway!

To get involved helping the homeless in Guangzhou, add Renee on WeChat: reneezhangzicheng

For more Take 5, click here.

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