Farewell to the Forest Defenders Camp

by Guest Blogger

November 5, 2007

The following posting is from Hayden who is at our Forest Defenders Camp. Learn more about the camp and threats to Indonesian forests.

dammed by greenpeaceI spent this morning at one of the dam construction sites as one of the standby medics.  I was the only one who got hurt this morning though.  I was climbing down the face of one of the dams when I used a piece of wood that hadn’t been nailed in as an anchor (always test your anchors!).  I came tumbling down into the water, along with my camera. My camera appears like it will recover.  And I escaped with only a small scrape.

I departed the work site with about 15 hugs (turns out Indonesians are huggers – either that or they assumed that Americans are) – I even got a hug from our stoic Finnish action coordinator, Petteri.

I’m really going to miss many people here.  I’ve made a lot of new friendships with people from all over the world.  And it’s been an awesome experience to be a part of this camp, where people converge from all over the world for the same purpose:  to save the remaining peatland forest (and all the stored carbon it contains.)

Right now Rob is stapling up all the articles that we’re featured in. There are stories in many different languages from newspapers all over the world.  There’s actually not enough room on the wall for all of them.  To see the articles is a great reminder that what we’re doing here is making a difference.

Although I’m leaving, the the work of the camp is continuing.  Many more journalists are arriving next week, and interest is continuing to pick up.  It’s almost a good thing that the dam construction is taking so long, as it gives more opportunities for the press to witness what is happening here.

I want to thank Rici, Rob, Geoff, Coang, John, Yudi, Hapsoro, David, Frode, JJ, Cedar, Yifang, Titis, Ranga, Oka, Imam, the U.S. Consulate in Medan, and everyone else who has helped make the camp work  (and that’s a lot of people, at least 200 others, not including all of our generous donors).

As I was leaving the dam site today, someone yelled "don’t forget us!" – I’m sure that I will never forget this experience.


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