I planted my first tree when I was ten years old, back in 1965. I grew a bunch of horse chestnuts from the nuts we used to collect as kids. When the trees came up, I put them on the hill in front of my house. One is still there, now forty-seven years old. I know because my old house is up for sale and the tree is the picture. Today, with my forestry operations I plant trees on a semi-industrial scale, but I still like to touch the dirt with my own hands.
The Huni Kui gave me an opportunity when we visited their village. One of the nicer parts of the welcome was a tree planting. I got to touch the dirt and put the tree in. Mariza got to help, so she was also part. They said we should visit our tree for time to time.
The picture up top shows Mariza and I planting a tree. Notice the guy taking a picture of us using his mobile phone. I thought it was very interesting when the people wearing native costumes would pull a mobile phone from their pockets. The picture on the left is the band’s forester. He does not have formal training, but learned his business from tradition and experience. In front of him are the trees to be planted.