The average temperature in the forest is only 20 degrees but everyone was sweating. However, when I saw the nearby residents smiling at us and giving us a thumbs-up, I felt it was all worth it.
Starting the journey
On July 28, 2018, I departed from Beijing capital international airport and took a direct flight to Frankfurt airport in Germany. After a subway and a train ride, I finally arrived at the destination of this trip, Rothenfels. This quiet and beautiful town is surrounded by a rich forest, and the purpose of my visit has a lot to do with the forest: Our mission at the volunteer camp is "Help to maintain the forest".
Exploring the forest as an international volunteer was a novelty to me: I walked among the trees and saw the mist filling the air like a white veil. The trees stood quietly under the blue sky, with their arms open to the sun. But the most important thing for me was to learn how to protect the forest. At first, we mainly learnt how to clear the roads in the forest. We used hoes, iron brooms, shovels, and other tools, none of which were easy to use. Although the forest staff was patient to demonstrate how it’s done, it still felt very laborious without experience, the average temperature in the forest is only 20 degrees but everyone was sweating. However, when I saw the nearby residents smiling at us and giving us a thumbs-up, I felt it was all worth it. The meaning of volunteer work lies in service and dedication.
In the next few days, we tried to cut down trees, maintain forest barriers and build "hotels" for insects. I benefited a lot from each activity, and I felt the close integration between human and nature. Many people stereotype that all human activities will destroy nature, which is also a kind of prejudice, because human's proper participation can also protect nature, which is a win-win for human and nature.
Apart from volunteer activities, I also got to know new friends from different countries in the camp: The 16 of us were from 11 different countries, ranging in age from 16 to 26 years old. When we had free time, we went to the supermarket, swam and even visited other cities on weekends. Thank you very much for this volunteer activity, which made me gain precious friendship.
Just two weeks of volunteer activities, I have a deeper understanding of volunteer work. Thanks to every volunteer in this event, we have all made great efforts to make the forest better and made a small but profound contribution to the green of the earth.
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