Go and Give Concept

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Lijang, China via
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Person: 
Kamiel Verwer and Yeon Choi

Doing something good doesn't need to be professionalized all the time. Every once in a while, Charity Travel finds a needy individual and makes them happy with a sustainable donation in kind. We donate something useful, that is a commodity to the tourist wallet but a valuable asset for the less privileged.

The city of Lijang lives from tourism and the region is relatively well off, so it is not the perfect place to showcase our go-give concept, but alas, we don't have time for a detour into China's most empoverished regions. We hope that bolder and more resourceful travelers will challenge us on this one. Still, there are poor individuals we can make happy for a while and that may count as well.
So we decide to buy a tricycle here, use it for an excursion to the countryside and then donate it to a poor farmer or merchant in need of a vehicle. A taxi driver brings us to a backstreet marketplace, where we buy a tricycle of the kind typically used by local merchants to transport merchandise and farmers to transport crops to the market. At first, we buy the cheapest model, assuming it would fulfill its task just as well, but after a loose screw, a defect brake, and a broken chain we conclude that it is better to purchase the better brand for 30% more. The new trike is much better and a real pleasure  to ride. It has a mechanism preventing excessive force on the chain, a pedal brake giving it something car-like, and a more stable trunk. We take it to our guesthouse and adorn it with the letters "Charity Travel" on a yellow background to improve its visibility at night.

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Date: 
2010-05-19

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Lijang, China


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