As I was planning to travel to China specifically to see pandas in 2018, I started communicating with Alvin a year before. He was incredibly patient, prompt, helpful in suggestions and reassuring in regards to safety as I was planning to travel solo. However, in early 2018 I informed Alvin that something had come up and I was unable to make it then but I hoped to visit in the near future. He was very courteous and we left it at that. In 2019, I revived my dream to travel to China to see pandas again, this time with a friend and I remembered Alvin. It was great to kickstart the planning again and this time we made it to China! We signed up for day tours and had lots of fun and the precious pandas are such a gift to humanity. Rosa and Heather were our guides for the Chengdu Panda Base and Dujiangyan respectively. Heather was also my guide for the panda volunteering in Bifengxia. I planned to volunteer in Wolong but due to recent floods a couple of weeks prior, the roads were closed and Alvin had suggested that I might want to switch to Bifengxia instead. It was the experience of a lifetime! I was in awe being up close and personal with, no less, a celebrity, YiYun, with her shy demeanour and beautiful white socks! I cleaned her enclosure and fed her. I will never forget how shy and gentle she was! Such a sweet and beautiful girl! Many thanks, Alvin and Team for making my panda dream not only a reality, but totally unforgettable!
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