May 14. They have moved three years ago.

The guidebooks are right: Kunming is the most relaxed metropolis in China. We hope to encounter better luck in finding small-scale charities here, and gahter a list of phone numbers and addresses. After a while we manage to make an appointment with an ecological ngo called greenwatershed, and we figure out that it is actually just across the street from where we are living. But first we have breakfast in a very place, and we order some dishes by pointing at them, a task not too easy because we had to make clear exactly which dish we desired without dipping our finger in another guest’s bowl. We ended up eating something very bitter and greasy, along with a bowl of sweet doughnuts that were big enough to point at on the other customer’s table. Despite the unusual taste I eat up and feel strong enough to tackle our task.
With the help of a local, we find the correct building and walk up seven floors to the roof, where we see a little office. We ask the few curious Chinese about greenwatershed, and they think for a while. Then the answer comes:
“They have moved three years ago…”

-“Three years… and where are they now?”
“In another building, about twenty minutes by bus.”
It is darn hot and we don’t feel like pursueing this any further (why don’t they care about publishing the correct address on these websites, 3 years after moving? I think, do they have a PR person?), so we hop on a bus that takes us to the Hump hostel. We check in and it’s business as usual. We are surrounded by cheerful backpacking youth and a friendly bearded Californian coin collector with a consistently mellow appearance. We tell him about our concept and he seems to like it.
Is it impossible to find a supportable ngo here, are is it just us having bad luck? I call PEAC, a very promising initiative fighting pesticide use in China, and they hang up on me – several times. Some other foundations cannot be reached either, and we end up walking around Kunming.

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Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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