This is a series of journals recording my days in the Yangtze River Headwaters volunteering project. I will try to update every day but there might be delays in the days I work in the wild without the internet. I’m also trying to write bilingual if time allows. Like it? Follow my Instagram (@anar.chica.yichenguo) for updates!
Right now I’m on my way to another one-month volunteering program starting on 1st July 2020. This time in my own country, China, at Tsinghai-Tibet plateau where the altitude of my base camp will be over 4,700m.
When I talk to people about volunteering, often I get a reaction that volunteering is for those who are rich or that they do not have living pressure. Well… I’m not rich and I’ve never thought it that way. For me, it’s slowly becoming a part of my life.
I met Teddy many years ago in Shanghai through our mutual friend Shasha. He is a French architect who used to work in Shanghai. At that time, he went to Africa to volunteer for one month every year, helping poor areas to build schools and hospitals. The month before is usually his busiest time. His boss well understood and supported his volunteering work, but he has to finish his work before his trips. After continuously volunteering for several years, Teddy has now been working for the International Red Cross for three years already in different countries including, for example, Iraq, Congo, etc. I haven’t told him yet that his volunteering experience is one of the important road signs that guided my road to endeavoring to be a useful person to our planet.
You see, you don’t necessarily need to quit earning money to volunteer. Plus everyone has annual holidays if working at a firm. Why not volunteering instead of pure traveling? It is much more meaningful and memorable, and you can learn much more in-depth about local culture. And normally, it is actually more economical than a regular trip.
Volunteering is one of the most direct ways to decrease inequality and indeed ‘make the world a better place’ with our own hands, no matter it’s about inequality, racism, environmental issues, or education and medical treatment.
I look forward to July of the magical 2020.