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Fish in the desert

Fish in the desert

By Winfred ParkerPublished 4 months ago 9 min read
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He washed his face with a glass of water.

A cup of water into the basin can only cover the pelvic floor's thin layer. When he tilted the basin, the water pooled in a small pool. Dip your hands into the water and your skin seems to gurgle. When your palms are wet, rub them together and rub a few on your face. At last, he reached down and scooped up a handful of water to his face... He closed his eyes and felt the cool and moist water.

Why not use a towel? If you use a towel, there's not enough water in the basin to suck it.

He washed the vegetables in a cup.

Put the dish first, a cup of water slowly over, even if the wash is done. The water used to wash the dishes is used to brush the pot, and the water used to feed the sheep and pigs is used to brush the pot.

He takes a bath with a glass of water -- a shower. Many years ago, when he left his hometown to work in Kunming, he discovered that he could shower, with the shower open from head to foot.

In their place, a lot of people do not take a bath, midsummer heat, exquisite talent with half a basin of water to wipe the body. After brushing himself off, he doused himself from head to foot with a glass of water, which was his shower -- a luxury of bliss.

Water is more precious than oil here. Five villages, each with a quota of how much water a person uses per day. The water source is 300 meters deep Wells, once a week for half an hour. When the time comes, no matter what happens, he will stay at home to guard the faucet and use two jars.

His hometown is called Minqin -- you must know this place from TV, newspaper, Internet?

To the west of Minqin County, Gansu Province, is the Badain Jaran Desert, the third largest desert in China. To the east lies the Tengger Desert, the fourth largest desert in China. It was this oasis that kept the two deserts from merging into one larger desert. This place used to be a pearl on the Hexi corridor, and now, it is also "famous" -- its specialty is a sandstorm.

In his memory, the village was beautiful.

The village was formerly called "wormwood Beach". He had heard old people say that 70 or 80 years ago, it was in a zigzag branch with continuous water flowing all year round, and there were large euphratica forests beside the watercourse. In autumn, the leaves of the euphratica trees turned yellow and red, and the scenery was beautiful.

When he was a child, he often played at the edge of the village, where poplar, zaozao, ammodendron, tamarisk, Baizi, wolfberry, sand millet, and other tall and low trees and wormwood, as the plants increased and grew up, blocking the quicksand, over time, the formation of a three-dimensional ecological community.

The change came in the early 1990s. Rising prices, living expenses, farmers have opened land, cut down the trees, the land leveling, kind of good economic benefits of black melon seeds. Even some government departments and enterprises are not idle, running horse enclosure farms.

Since then, sandstorm this devil was also released from the cage, and become unbridled.

Minqin, an oasis in the desert, is getting smaller every year. The desert advances a dozen meters a year, eating away at villages and farmland. The young and middle-aged fled the village. Therefore, the children in this county are particularly strong in the college entrance examination. They are admitted to a good school and never have to come back.

In Minqin, the annual precipitation is only about 110 mm, while the annual evaporation is 2460 mm, 24 times the precipitation.

He opened the door and his eyes were full of yellow sand.

"If Minqin becomes a desert, where can I go? Won't my hometown be gone?"

Every time he returned to his hometown and saw what he saw, he couldn't sleep at night. He thought it is time to do something -- a person's power is meager, but that is also a power.

At that time, he was working in other places but was more and more concerned about his hometown. He studied several boxes of books about deserts and Minqin and wrote many articles about Minqin on the Internet, which attracted attention from all sides.

Later, he met a fellow countryman through the Internet and set up a "Save Minqin network". Two people hit it off, met late, and through the network pulled up a large circle of volunteers.

Few people in the village knew why this young man, who had been out working for years and had grown accustomed to city life, would return to the village.

He contracted a plot of land in the village. The old forest that had been cultivated had long since become a barren beach - the wind, sand, and stones, grass has been blown away.

400 mu of wasteland, 50 years of use, he wants to plant shuttle on the wasteland.

The shuttle is a very cheap plant, the hero of the desert. Drought - and saline-tolerant, it struggles to survive in areas with less than 100 mm of precipitation per year with just a glass of water. In Minqin species ammodendrum wind break, sand fixation is the most appropriate.

He hangs on the Internet every day in association with the media to do calligraphy and painting charity sales, after raising money, he went to plant the shuttle.

In the first year, he and his fellow villagers recruited more than 20 volunteers online, drove his private car to the edge of the desert, and planted 5,000 saxophone trees in 10 mu of desert.

The next year, 10,000 haloxyfop plants were planted.

In the third year, another 10,000 were planted.

The most difficult thing about planting trees is water.

If it is not watered that day, the shuttle will die the next day. Far away place has a well, have to rely on the tractor to carry water, and then carry a bucket, a bucket of water two pits, hits to pour past.

When the volunteers left, he still had to hold on. These are his "children".

He went out into the desert every few days, and if it didn't rain for twenty or thirty days, he had to water every tree.

The drought lasted for a month and scorched his heart. Then it rained, and when the first green leaves came out, he wept.

He quickly took a picture with his camera and posted it online. All the volunteers were delighted.

If the shuttle survives, it will leave some grass at its feet that will not be blown away when the wind blows. Grass can reproduce without being blown away. Year after year, the vegetation can recover.

Since 2007, the total area of the volunteer ecological forest has reached 500 mu. In April 2010, more than 200 volunteers went to plant the shuttle.

In the eyes of others, he is a strange young man.

He paid a high price to grow the shuttle. He had a reasonably well-paid job in the city, but he gave it all up for the shuttle. After all, he had spent a lot of time in the country planting the shuttle without any financial gain.

But he said that the years of working with volunteers to grow the shuttle were the most fulfilling thing in his life.

To plant the shuttle well, he consulted the old people in the village and read a lot of books and materials such as "Desert Studies". He collected books and papers from the Gansu Institute of Sand Control and read them.

To try to cultivate Populus euphratica artificially, he went to the provincial library and searched through the materials, and found a place that had previously grown over Populus euphratica forest and was now a desert beach for fencing experiments.

Now, the desert has taken on the new green, and their "Save Minqin" program has been selected into the "China Public Welfare 2.0 Training Program", which has been recognized by the outside world.

Now they have an even grander plan, and they are working on it.

On April 13, 2010, Intel China company office building in Beijing, in the Ministry of Civil Affairs and Intel's "core world" commonweal innovation award, "save the minqin volunteers association" as a folk environmental protection organization, to submit the "our village, our hometown - Internet reality tree platform" public welfare projects.

Finally, this project won the "Core World" public Welfare Innovation Award Pioneer Award.

To put it simply, they want to build a perfect Internet platform, mark the villages that need to be controlled on the network map, and combine animation technology to truly reproduce the local environmental status quo, to attract the public to participate in ecological protection and control of desertification areas.

People can donate money through the Internet and text messages, and with a donation of 10 yuan, a shuttle plant can be planted in the desert. Then as long as the computer network or 3G mobile phone, you can check the growth of the shuttle, as well as the change of the desert beach before and after.

His goal, he says, is to plant more shuttles, better protect our homes, and hope that one day the black storm will not return.

From Minqin clip He township out, and return to clip He township, which is very incredible in the eyes of villagers. In this village, except for him, the youngest farmer is 40 years old, the others have gone to school, work, and left. "I often feel embarrassed," he says. If I shatter my vision and go to the city, I can find a job with a monthly salary of thousands of dollars. But now I am a farmer, in the city did not have an industry, not a city dweller. But you say I'm a farmer, and I can't find anyone in the village to talk to. '

When I ran to interview him that day, I saw him washing his eyelids in the courtyard.

Use a glass of water. He put the basin on its side, dipped his hands in it, moistened them, rubbed a few hands over his face, and then bent over it with a handful of water.

Wash the face with water, is still a cup. He said the water would also water a living shuttle.

Born in 1981, his name is Ma June and he goes by the online name "Fish in the desert".

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Winfred Parker

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