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!
I received messages from the dearest people in my life this morning as soon as I woke up. Another birthday has come, which means it’s been a whole year since I left my job. Looking back at the past year, I’ve been doing things as I want, exploring the world, and myself. I have a lot of thoughts and even finished writing a book. Still, as soon as I stop being busy, I start to feel the strong force of ‘reality’. Sometimes I miss the days when I had a stable job and look through job sites. But then I suddenly woke up at one moment, reminding myself of the lifestyle I discovered to be my favorite during this one year. If you give up your ambition because of the difficulties, then it remains a dream forever. Don’t make decisions that you’re going to regret.
Now let’s get back to the journal. I’m happy to be doing the environmental protection work that I like on my birthday. In the morning Duoduo explained to us in detail the facilities in the station and their functions. After lunch, Kang Kai introduced the working process in the post office and taught us how to make coffee with the professional coffee machine, so that we can serve the guests who come here. When we were in the post office today, there was a team of motorcyclers came to visit us. Normally we only asked if the car drivers would like to take a bag of trash. Surprisingly, these mid-aged papas strongly required to take trash. One bag per moto is not enough, they want two to take one on each side. They said happily, ‘Ayayay, it’s a very meaningful thing to do! Don’t worry, we promise to send them to Golmud!’ In the end, we felt bad to let them biking with discomfort, therefore gave them one bag per person. Besides, they also donated two hundred RMB in cash. There are many people supporting environmental protection. We meet them every day!
I feel very healthy today, and plus a cup of coffee by our coffee master Kang Kai, I was very energetic and start working in advance. I put on the little volunteer’s vest and went along to trash investigation. Trash investigation means picking up non-degradable recyclable trash while recording the numbers of each brand of the trash. We brought a speaker with us on the way, playing recordings to educate people not to throw trash everywhere.
Around dinner time, I finally met the legendary Mr. Yang Xin for the first time. He’s been spending more time in Bende Lake and only comes back here from time to time. Thinking about my initial idea -travel to save the earth, Mr. Yang seems to have achieve it already. Hope there will be more opportunity to communicate with him later by Bende Lake. I’m sure he will bring new inspirations to the same goal that I have through different means.
After dinner, nature presented me with a birthday gift as well. There are three bar-headed goose families looking for food very close to our station, including six adults and nine babies, three for each family. It is almost impossible that someone comes here doesn’t fall in love with this beautiful cute bird. They are the highest-flying birds in long-distance flying. Every year they migrate through the Himalayas. They can fly for nine hours non-stop at 8000m above sea level. They are level two protected animal in China but already recognized as near-extinction worldwide. I look forward to ‘living with’ them by Bende Lake.
In the evening we celebrated my birthday in a container. Everyone sits casually on the floor (of course including the every-one-love Mo Jiecao). We eat and drink and play ‘who is the spy’. The last time I played games with a bunch of friends like this was half a year ago in the Amazons. It’s been so long. I’ve had the most meaningful birthday training, learning new skills, picking up trash, appreciating the view of Tuotuo River, and laughing with friends. As long as life continues, change continues. I’m not going to fail the times of the rest of my life.