Rabu, 20 Juni 2018

Long Valley Harvest Festival, Hongkong, 2016

By. Administrator » 22 Jan 2016 16:21:55   



Talking about Hong Kong, people will always think about skycrappers, busy people, shopping malls, and international commercial and financial centre. Hong Kong is often described as a place where East meets West. But i knew from this workcamp, Hong Kong is not about the above at all. There is still a few places, far from the city life and light pollution, which we usually called it as village.
Held by VolTra, a non-governmental voluntary organization (NGO) which is a registered charitable institution in Hong Kong, i joined my first overseas workcamps: The Long Valley Harvest Festival with another overseas volunteer. Consist of 8 people, our workcamp members are: me from Indonesia; Sofia from Russia; Enrique and Dorali from Mexico; Samantha, Crystal, and Janice from Hong Kong; and Pui Yan as the camp leader from Malaysia.
The meeting point on the first day was on the exit A4, Sheung Shui Station. I’ve never been to Hong Kong before and i don’t really know where is the exit A4. Moreover, i only depended on free WiFi services so i couldn’t google-maps it. After wandered along the station for a few minutes, with that big luggage of mine, i finally found the exit A4. It was before the meeting time, so no one there. An hour later, the camp leader came along with the volunteer from Russia. We said hello to each other and introduce ourselves. Then, another volunteers came and finally our team are completed.
To reach Long Valley, we need to take a minibus from the station. But some volunteers had a huge (like 2-3 times bigger than mine) luggage, so the minibus driver would not allowed them got into the bus. So we split up, 4 people with the biggest luggage took a taxi, and 4 people with the not-so-big luggage took a minibus. I was in the team who took a minibus. The trip took about 15 minutes, with the jet-coaster like minibus.
From the bus stop to our soon to be camp, we need to walk for about 10 minutes. Hong Kong people walks very fast so actually they can reach the camp by only 5 minutes. But they had to stop a few times to wait for us, the international volunteer who tried to walk faster but cannot because of our luggage.
Shortly, we arrived at the house. A grey square room with a desk in the middle, big windows in every side, a bookshelves on one side, a bathroom, and a storeroom. We put our luggages in the storeroom and that means the only place to sleep is the place where the local host, Mr Kan, and CA representative of that place, Jin Pan, welcomed us at that time. After a short introduction and presentation about the valley, about the project, and about why it is so important to protect this place, Jin Pan brought us to the festival site. We walked (again) for about 5 minutes through the paddy fields and farms until we reached the site. Then after only a few minutes we need to go back because the sun was already set.
On the night, the camp leader held a first meeting. At first, we introduce ourselves and why we choose this project. Then we discuss about what we expected and what we worried about this workcamp, and also about the household chores. After that, we had a Hong Kong Hot Pot as a dinner. We were getting closer that time by learning a few simple phrases from each other country.
The Long Valley Harvest Festival was held on January 3rd, 2016. So we only had 4 days to prepare that annualy held festival. We worked very hard on the second day. We need to cleared the site first so we moved a few sacks of fertilizers, soil, and sand, bamboes, broken chair, tables, end everything that need to be moved. I thought it was the day i worked hard the most. And i’ve never been so wrong because the next day is getting harder. We set up a goal post, fixing the bridge, set up a tent, and cut all the grass (and the pretty flowers). Thankfully, weekend volunteers also help us that day.

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