I just got an interesting post-reply to this blog:
“I’m sure that was a great trip and I would love to do something like that but I also have to think about the cutting of the rain forest. I hope something was planted in their place.”
I agree on all counts! The unfortunate fact remains, though, that these folks, the ones that are doing all the cutting, trimming, sawing, etc., are doing the only thing they know how to do in order to feed their families. They’re not really trying to destroy the environment, they just don’t understand the big picture, or maybe they have never seen it. And as long as there is a demand for this kind of lumber – yes, that’s you and me – they will continue to do their best to care for their loved ones. I would, too, if I was in their situation.
That’s one of the many reasons FOR making trips like these. We need to understand their predicament and help them find solutions (for example, re-planting) that will help mitigate the damage that inevitably accompanies their work. And if we can do something that will make it a little easier for their families, like helping them gain a source of clean water, so much the better. Clean drinking water means less illness, which in turn means less lost time, better education, etc.
Meeting us also gives all of them a whole new perspective on what it means to be a part of a community – in this case, the global community. A good portion of them might not have ever met someone from farther away than the next village or two. Now, that’s a sobering thought.
So, since we agree, how about coming with me in April, pitching in, and come home with a new sense of excitement?