Australian Students Group China Expedition Project Brief

During December last year we had the visit of a group of 19 students from Australia who did a Tiger Leaping Gorge trek and a watse pit project in Trinyi village

Project: The China Expedition team has built a waste pit for the community of Trinyi in Shangrila. Community Description: Shangri-La also known as Gyalthang in Tibetan. Trinyi Village (Project location) is in the western part of Shangrila County in the northwest central portion of Yunnan Province. Located just 6 kilometers from the Shangrila County seat.There are more than 53 Family with 256 people in the village, the village is surrounded by mountain and barley field. People always wearing their traditional custom and speak mainly Kham Tibetan and a little Chinese.

Each household typically has at least 3 generations living together. Because of geographic conditions, a semi-agriculture society has been the dominant lifestyle in the village for centuries. Many families raise livestock. Each family runs more than 10 animals include yaks, Dri( female Yak) Dzos (cross animal) sheep, horses, pig and chickens. The majority of agricultural yields are consumed locally. Locals earn a living largely through manual labor such as construction, harvesting local mushrooms and medicines that has been planted in recent years. Women in the area generally stay at home and manage the homestead and also supplement the family income through selling livestock and products such as butter, yak by-products and dried cheese. All the houses are traditional Tibetan house, constructed with earth and wood with 2 floors, (tradtinaly the downstair part is for animals and second floor is for people, now both floors are for people to live and they build small hut for animals closed to the houses).

This projected implications is very important for the local Environment. Currently, there are very few waste pits in the village that local people can disposal their life garbage. The garbage is thrown everywhere including into the river. Traditionally, Tibetans are using all kinds of natural friendly containers such as the wooden bowls, bamboo basket, leather bags that has no harmful to the environment. In recent 10 years, they have started using the modern plastic bags, glasses and bottles. Because the most village residents are technically illiterate. The official illiteracy rate is 85%. Children are getting the family education through generations and doing what the elders have been doing through the years. They have no awareness of these life garbage would harmful to the land. They are throwing these garbage as traditionally to everywhere. Therefore, a waste pit changed their behavior , a very important behavior that can make big change to their life. The waste pit the group built can burn the garbage at the same time. The group completed some of the following task in project days:

 Dig foundations and lay rocks and cement

 Move the bricks to the project site

 Complete brick walls

 Paint

 Paint the wall

 Start with the drawings on the wall

We also did a fantastic trek in Tiger Leaping Gorge:



Chinese American International School Trip

During April we had the visit of the Chinese American International School to Shangri La. We, from the April 2nd to April 15th.


We visited Kunming and Lijiang, after which we drove along the Yangtze to Qiaotou town for 2 hours. We visited the Tiger Leaping Gorge and trek there for about 2-3 hours and then drove to Shangrila in the afternoon.

In Shangrila we visited Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan, where we added our prayer flags to the thousands of hung colored cloths embellished with Buddhist sutras. Songzanlin is often called “Little Potala” for its resemblance of thePotalaPalaceinLhasa, the former home of the Dalai Lamas.

We also visited Napa Nature Reserve for the black-necked cranes.

We did a homestay at Trinyi village, where we visited  2 particular houses in order to understand the architecture of Tibetan houses.  We also had a farming Class, a herding Class, a cultural night with people from the village, and we spent 2 and a half days at the village school to interact with local students.

At Trinyi village we helped  with following things:

  1. 田里施肥
  2. 种土豆
  3. 捡牛粪
  4. 松土
  5. 放牛
  6. 收牛

We also held a 2 days Thangka Painting Program in Thangka Center, learning the basic Thangka Painting with the local Thangka Masters.


Finally we did a 2-day trek with 1 night camping after which we had a traditional dancing party and local hotpot dinner with host family.