By Mona Fias, Nadia Umuhoza, Olivia Lipsky, Tulizo David Malavanu, Victoria Reynal

Dear diary,

How have you been? I haven’t been writing much lately, it’s been a pretty quiet winter. Not really much to say about it, except maybe that it snowed a couple of times.

Now with the spring, things started getting quite interesting… In fact, strange things have recently happened in the forest.

A group of human beings came over with several tools, all wearing a funny fabric over their noses and mouths. They all came sitting down on sticks with circles underneath that moved pretty fast. Then they got off and came walking towards us with lots of determination. We all stood as still as ever to try not to draw attention.

They walked around for a bit, looking at us, looking at our dwarf plant neighbors. I felt intimidated! Eventually, they all gathered in one spot, put a big box on the ground and started getting weird things with weird shapes out of it. Then they made two squares with ropes, a big one and a smaller one – I heard them calling those squares ‘plots’. My tree friends who were not allowed in the squares were very sad and kind of jealous. Those who were in both squares on the other hand were super proud. I was one of the lucky ones within two squares!

They started putting a rope around me, maybe they were taking my measurements to make clothes for me? I thought it was my lucky day! Later they pointed at my head with a laser and wrote something down. I hope they noticed the little family of sparrows living between my leaves.

With a little shiny thing (I heard them say “spoon”) they looked at my own and all my friends’ crowns! Maybe they wanted to know who the queen in our community is. Also with a very tiny tool apparently called a basal area gauge, they measured how close me and my friends are to each other (physically speaking ;).

I think they wanted to check if me and my friends are spread wide enough to allow the light to reach our juveniles. I wish I could have told those humans that we always make sure new little trees can grow here – after all we are one big family!

Initially, I was very scared that they wanted to cut me down, like they did with some of my beloved former tree friends… But then they suddenly started hugging me and took pictures with me!! I was reassured that the same fate would not happen to me. I really did not know what their aim was, but in the end, they wanted to know my name, size and how my friends and I contributed to shape the community we live in.

However, I’m still a little sad, dearest diary. The people have not come for a few days now, and I miss them very much… Hopefully they will come back soon!

I have the feeling these humans cared about us, they looked at us with kindness and admiration. My dwarf plant friends said they took many pictures of them and wanted to know all their names. I hope I’m right but I’m guessing these beings could become our guardians. And I hope they will come back here when they need some inspiration and strength, because I know not all humans are like them. I hope they know and always remember they have a refuge here and all we want is to live in peace with them and other species.

Ok, that’s it for today. I promise I’ll try to write more often.

Forever yours,
TREEt me with respect 🙂

“A human measuring our waists from a distance” [MSc Sustainable Development academic year 2020-2021 © SUSDEV]

“A human measuring our waists from a distance” – MSc Sustainable Development academic year 2020-2021 © SUSDEV

“Human beings acting friendly with me” – MSc Sustainable Development academic year 2020-2021 © SUSDEV

A human measuring our waists from a distance” – [MSc Sustainable Development academic year 2020-2021 © SUSDEV]


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