Me, ourselves and the world
I was there to learn more than anything
So we went out in the field, to live and work in the amazing Malagasy tropical rain forest. As we walked in, doing inventories and zoning, the WWF forest agents and the porters showed us lots of medicinal plants, like that beautiful little flower (which name I forgot) that was used against leukemia. From digestive diseases to headache, the forest was literally their hospital. But as we walk further more in the forest, I started to realize that every tree had a precise use, from cooking wood to making crafts and tools but also making houses. I was so impressed by the local knowledge of the forest because everything has a use and every need was filled with the forest.
During those few months of work in the forest, I came to understand a fact that is often forbidden by urban people like me. All our humans’ lives rely on a natural balance where everything we had, have or will have comes from nature. For example, in the Malagasy villages in which I worked, the water doesn’t come from the tap; it comes from the forest which captures it from the clouds that come from the Indian Ocean. They’re living on a direct relationship with their ecosystems. For most Canadians (and lots of other rich countries), this relationship is way more indirect and some people don’t even acknowledge their dependency on nature goods and ecosystems services.
From the beginning to the end, every thought, idea or mindset I had was challenged with local values, culture and knowledge