Written by/Contributed by: Costanza Rheanna, Oliver, Max, Cindy and Leo (Year 12 students)
Fight climate change and stop deforestation by planting oxygen-producing trees! This describes the Million Tree Project which YCIS has supported for many years. This article , written by a group of Year 12 boys and girls, recounts their amazing experiences during the four days they spent planting trees in Tongliao, Inner Mongolia.
Day 1: We flew from Pudong Airport at 8.00am and after landing in Shenyang Airport we met up with all the students from other schools for the first time and took the bus to our hotel in Tongliao, a four-hour journey. At the hotel we were welcomed with dinner and a show. We were treated to lots of traditional Mongolian food, with local musicians playing in the background. We ended dinner by taking part in a local ritual as a sort of ‘welcoming’ for us as guests. After dinner, tired from our long journey we decided to call it a night and headed back up to our rooms.
Day 2: There was snow everywhere and the temperature was -2C; great start to the day! After a nice hot breakfast and a 2 hours ride by bus, we found ourselves in the desert. We spent an hour and a half walking in the desert and experienced the harsh conditions first hand…. very tough! After that, it was lunch at a local restaurant where we again ate traditional food. This was followed by a talk on deforestation and the importance of planting trees to stop soil erosion. We werethen off to visit last year’s planting sites. When we got there, everyone was given tools to trim branches off the young trees. All of us worked very hard and the task was completed in no time. It was then back to the hotel for a well-earned rest. During dinner we had a great time talking and laughing with the boys and girls from the other schools. By 9.00pm we were ready for a good night sleep.
Day 3:It was a nice sunny day, and we were all eager to get going on planting trees. By midday, we managed to plant 250 trees and by the end of the day we were up to 480 trees. It was amazing how much we managed to get done in those few hours and how much of an impact we made.
Day 4: Departure day. Sadly, it was time to say goodbye and go back home. We had four brief yet exciting days, where we did made a contribution towards the environment and have gained a fuller understanding of what the million-tree project is about.