Obstacles are no reason to stop you moving forward

圖文/Joshua Morgan(2014 大南澳越嶺步道工作假期參與志工)

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Josh Morgan and I am from Australia. I have only recently moved to Taiwan to study Mandarin – just two months ago, in fact! My Chinese is, let’s say, very basic.

And so I’m sure you can imagine that I was somewhat nervous about embarking on a volunteer weekend with TMI Trail. Would I understand anything? How would I know what to do? Would I be able to contribute or would I simply be a burden? As it turns out, my fears were entirely unjustified. From the moment we arrived in Nan’ao, it became clear that this weekend would be all about inclusiveness and the sharing of experience and knowledge.

Each individual brought with them a unique set of skills and life experience. Some had previous knowledge of track building, others hadn’t. Some were experienced hikers, others weren’t. But what was common to us all was a motivation to make a positive contribution to the local community and, most importantly, a preparedness to share what knowledge we did have with others.

Despite the obvious language barrier, I feel I came away from the weekend with a far deeper understanding of Taiwanese history, culture and the important role the natural environment plays in each of these. And, of course, a newfound knowledge of track construction and maintenance!

Life, like nature, often puts obstacles in the way of your intended path. But what I have learnt from my experience volunteering with TMI Trail is that obstacles are no reason to stop you moving forward. All that is needed is a little ingenuity and some hard work!