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Out in the woods

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Out in the woods there’s only the rustle of the trees, the crunching of sticks and the screeching of the cicadas to break the silence of our single-file team of 5 farmers and a technician as we wind between the trees quarrying the coordinates in our GPS.CBD_0006

At least most of the time.  Occasionally we were knee deep in swamp and very often stopped by the undergrowth, forced to hack our way through while a surprisingly large number of spiky things dragged at our clothes and skin. But those things make it sound like it was not fun, and it was a lot of fun indeed.

The measuring went very well, it is simple once everyone knows their place in the drill.  Christian noted that the M’Nong farmers were much more sensitive to the different tree species than the outsiders and so by the second day we were all supposed  to be recording the infinity of M’Nong tree names.  This did not slow us down at all as the farmers seemed to know the plants inside out: only once did they stop to sniff and chew every part of one plant that they did not to recognize and even differentiating between the flavor of the skin of the stalk and its leaves.


Occasionally, the friction as we passed through became too much and we were forced to skirt the edges of what was normally an area where uncontrolled deforestation had left a thick undergrowth.  It was also depressingly common to find that places marked as forest on the map are now coffee, sweet potato or cassava plantations.  We will have to wait and see what the new map looks like and the picture of deforestation that we’re looking at.

Written by calumdavey

November 2, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

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