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3/21/10 Tree Planting!

For the second year in a row, I helped plant hundreds of trees on the Spring Equinox. :) I think this annual tradition should continue after my return to the US. Who's in?

Again, the International Day of Trees isn't officially related to the Arbor Day Foundation, but it certainly has the Arbor Day spirit. :)

To celebrate it, the SouqTown English Club partnered with the Water and Forestry Department and a few other NGOs and GOs to hold a day-long environmental day. The centerpiece was the planting of several hundred trees. :)

To draw attention and provide a base of operations, they erected a tent on a hillside east of SouqTown.

The banner on the left reads, "Trees = Oxygen = Life". (And I was way more excited than I probably should have been that I managed to (1) sound out the words, Sesame-Street-style, and (2) understand what those sounded-out words actually mean. My Arabic is mostly non-existent, so when it actually works for me, I get ridiculously happy.)

Soon, our fearless leaders appeared:
The man on the left is one of the leaders of the SouqTown English Club. The man on the right is the director of our park, aka my counterpart. Together, they organized the activities of The International Day of Trees.

...which started, naturally enough, with saplings:

These tiny, plastic-wrapped micro-trees will grow (inshallah!) into a towering pine forest. Using only water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide.

Yeah, trees definitely deserve to have their own day. :D

So after some paperwork and other organizational things, we got down to the business of the day:

See that snazzy neon vest? All 11 PCVs, plus most of the Water and Forestry staffers, and several of the more senior members of the SouqTown English Club, were given these dayglow vests to wear. Here, two other PCVs are sporting theirs:

The joy and pride that tree-planting always brings...there's nothing quite like it. :)

So after a few hours of tree-planting (and tree-encircling with rocks, since the tiny saplings are far too easy to step on if they're not marked in obvious ways), we washed up at the water tanker and headed off to the next activity of the day:

This vital beastie holds thousands of liters of water, which were used to water the newly planted saplings. The nearest public water source is half a kilometer away, so if we'd needed to carry buckets of water back and forth, the tiny trees might have been doomed. Thanks to the foresight of the Water and Forestry Department, though, this need, too, was met.

So, our grand total? 400 forestry trees planted on the hillsides east of town. This coming weekend, several hundred more will be planted near the schools (inshallah).

Happy Tree Day!

1 comment:

  1. Sign me up! I was born on the Winter Solstice, not the Equinox, but I still like celebrating it.


Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps