Yangtze River Headwaters Volunteering Day 1 长江源志愿工作第1天

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!
这是我参与长江源志愿工作的一系列记录。我争取每日更新,但在野外工作没有网络的那些日子会有延迟。在时间允许的情况下,也会尽量使用中英双语。喜欢的话,关注我的Ins账号(@anar.chica.yichenguo)获取更新吧!

1 July, anniversary of the CCP’s establishment. Mount Tanggula Town, 4540m above sea level, sunny.
7月1日,中国共产党建党纪念日。唐古拉山镇,海拔4540米,晴。

At half past two in the morning, the train Z917 finally arrived at Tuotuo River, the station so small that doesn’t even show up on the internet. Three fellow volunteers and I reached The Yangtze River Headwaters Ecological Conservation Station. 
凌晨两点半,从兰州开往拉萨的Z917次列车到达了沱沱河,这个由于级别原因,在网上查不到的小站。我和同行的三位小伙伴们在多多大队长的迎接下终于来到了长江源水生态环境保护站。

The accommodation here is beyond expectation. Comparing to the shed with no solid covers around deep in the Amazon where I worked voluntarily last time, this elaborately built station is star rated level! I went to bed with the expectation of insomnia due to high altitude, but slept surprisingly well. When I woke up in the morning at eight, no special syndrome is shown except that the world is filtered with light violet for a short while. Not sure if it was the pill I took last night worked, or the free diving training has made my body more adaptable to thin air, or both. But once I thought of the ‘curse’ in the volunteer’s handbook: no one who thinks they are well that day will end up well the second day. Therefore I responded in low profile to their inquiries, ‘I’m just fine.’
住宿条件超预期,与上一次在亚马逊雨林深处的志愿工作时住的四面无遮拦的露天棚子相比,这精心建造的保护站简直是星级。带着未适应海拔可能一夜无眠的心理预期睡下,竟睡得香甜。早上八点多醒来,除了一瞬间世界蒙上一层浅紫罗兰色的滤镜外,竟无任何其他反应。不知道是先前吃的肌苷片起了作用还是练了自由潜,身体比从前更适应缺氧了。或者二者兼有之。但想到志愿者手册里的那句“诅咒”:“凡是当天自我感觉良好的第二天没一个有好下场……”便低调地回应小伙伴们的问询道“我还行。”

There are no special work for us for the first three days. We are required to rest and adapt to the altitude. Even though I don’t feel unwell, I was required to stay inside the station and not allow to follow and film their trash investigation today. Therefore I brought my camera, put on sunscreen, hat, and sun glasses, and went for a walk by the Tuotuo riverside inside the station. The water here resembles Rio Madre de Dios in Amazon. Both are originated from the glaciers and washing all the way down from the mountain. The mud in the river makes the water not very clear but indeed it’s very clean. Tuotuo River around this area is not a single flow but several of them tangled together, which forms a wide range of flow in the vast plateau. I sat by the riverside, watched the water non-stoppingly running, and could not avoid thinking what Heraclitus said, ‘one cannot step in the same river twice’. Tuotuo river is flowing quietly, but also changing. It keeps providing nutrients to nurture lives, as well as recording human activities. In the next one month I will be guarding this river, guarding the wildlife in the core of Hoh Xil within its basin. Now that I see it in front of my eyes, the excitement is added with a sense of solid responsibility. 
前三天我们没有特别的工作安排,需多休息,适应海拔。虽无不适,也还是被要求留在站里,不允许随行跟拍今天的垃圾调查工作。于是拿上相机,涂上防晒霜,带着帽子墨镜,到站内的沱沱河边走一走。沱沱河的水很像亚马逊里的Rio Madre de Dios,同样发源于冰川并一路冲刷下来。河水里泥土多因此看起来浑浊,但其实很干净。保护站这一区域的沱沱河不是一支河流,而是纵横交错的很多条,形成了广袤的高原上很宽的一片。坐在河边发呆,看河水片刻不停地流动,不免俗得又想起赫拉克利特说过的“人不能两次踏进同一条河流”。沱沱河它静静地流淌着,也不断变化着,源源不断地提供着养分孕育无数的生命,也悄悄记录着人类的活动。我将要在一个月的时间里,守护沱沱河,守护沱沱河流域可可西里腹地的野生动物。这样亲眼看着美丽的它,来时的亢奋渐渐多了一些实实在在的责任感。

After walking for a while, I sat in No.1 Post Office of Yangtze River also inside our station. The settings there is very comfortable, suitable for reading and writing. And then we encountered again the cat mewing at us when we arrived early in the morning. It seems she has already accommodated herself in the station, and she’s very close with people. When we squat around in a circle to pat her, she rubs her face against everyone’s legs. She doesn’t show any sign of the cat’s arrogance. She’s a cat without Jiecao (self dignity). The staff in the station said she doesn’t have a name yet and that we could give her a name. Her hair is desert brown, similar to that of the Chinese desert cat. We guess she might have some desert cat genes. And considering her interactions with people, ‘Mo (desert, similar pronunciation with ’no’ in Chinese) Jiecao’ naturally became her name. I think it would not be a bad idea if she became the mascot of this station and famous on the internet. She can add some fun and cuteness to the serious working conservation centre. 
走动了一阵子后,我来到站里的长江一号邮局,那里环境不错,很适合坐下来看看书,写写东西。这时不期而遇了凌晨到达时向我们喵喵叫的那只野猫。它似乎已经住在站里了,而且非常亲人,大家围成一圈撸它,它便挨个蹭过,雨露均沾,完全没有猫咪高冷的样子,节操碎一地。站里的工作人员说,它还没有名字,你们给它起个名字吧。它的毛色是很浅的沙漠黄,看起来有些像沙漠猫,我们猜想他可能有一些沙漠猫的基因。加之它与人互动的表现,“漠节操”便成为了它的新名字。我想,如果漠节操成了一只网红猫,又当上了保护站的吉祥物,为严肃认真的保护站增添一点戏谑调皮的色彩,似乎也不是个坏主意。

漠节操

There was only one dish for lunch, but it was really delicious! In the station we take turns to cook. I became an apprentice of the chef, hoping one day I will surprise myself. I had a long nap after lunch, then discovered a great spot in the station – the coffee room. It is right by the riverside, another great spot for reading and writing, and watch the river flow. 
午饭很惊艳,虽然只有一个菜,但是真的好吃!保护站里是大家轮着做饭,我拜了厨师长为师,期待某天突然惊艳自己。饭后睡了个长长的午觉。下午发现又一处宝藏地——咖啡室,紧靠沱沱河,坐在窗边看看河景看看书,写写东西,简直太棒了。

Everyone I met here is awesome. We all made the same decision to come here, no matter staying long or short. There’s that same wild blood in us, the infinite love for nature. 
这里遇到的每一个人都很棒。既然做出了同样的选择,不管是长期留在这儿,还是短期的志愿者,骨子里都有一种野劲儿,都有对大自然无限的爱。

Tuotuo River
沱沱河

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