After breakfast on our second day of our trip into the Borneo jungle, we had a little time to ourselves to relax and also make sure our bags were packed. We were staying one night in each of two jungle lodges.
At 10:30am, we met back with the group to head out for our tree planting activity. The Abai village which is located across the river from the Abai Jungle Lodge grows little seedlings.
These trees are then sold to people to replant elsewhere. We went across the river by boat to pick up six trees and then headed a ways downstream to plant them.
There was a large grassy area where the tree planting took place, the former site of a village – they are trying to recreate growth in the area. However, in the open grasses it is hard for reforestation to happen without help.
As we got off the boat and on to land, we were all delighted to find many large piles of elephant dung. We then decided we should all grab some of the (dried) elephant dung to help fertilize our trees!
One of the local boys helped to dig holes, and we were left with sticking a sapling in a hole and filling the hole with dirt (more like clay in Sabah) and elephant dung. We then watered our saplings and made sure to note their numbers.
All the trees are tagged and numbered, and records are kept of them and who planted them. In case we ever want to visit our trees in the future. The species name was told to us in the local language – but the translation is umbrella tree.
We hopped backed into the boat and headed back to Abai village. We were given a little tour of the village and learned more about their history and way of life.
They have a population of about 170 people, a school with about 40 students (I believe just through elementary school) and a mosque. There is also a very small store, and a machine which they use to process rice.
Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: More Beautiful Borneo.