Diary of a tree planter – Part II

The last few days were probably the best I had so far since I joined the treeplanters. It is winter in Tasmania, but the sun was shining every day this week, so bright and hot it felt like summer.

The work was great too. We had excellent working conditions on Monday and I managed to improve my personal record by planting about 2,500 trees on one day. Sounds quite a lot, but Sebastian and Izaac still planted about twice as many. On Tuesday Craig allowed me to drive the Gator, it’s a lot of fun driving that small vehicle through the mud, almost like driving a Go-Kart. So we had nice weather and almost every day we were working on different locations. Scottsdale, Georgetown, Riverside – visiting a lot of different spots in Tasmania makes this job even more interesting. Not to forget the abundance of wildlife, the funny birds I mentioned in the previous post are always present. Last week a kangaroo suddenly crossed our plantation, it must have hidden somewhere in the middle of the field and then it disappeared in the bush. When we were driving home on that day, a wombat crossed the road in front of our car, there is always something new.

On Friday night, Izaac and Craig invited us to Izaac’s place for pizza and beer. There is a popular pizza franchise in Australia where you can order three pizzas for 15 dollars if you have a voucher (which you can easily get). So we had six pizzas for five people and afterwards I still felt like I could eat another one. It was a nice evening with lots of Australian music and comedy on TV. It feels good when your colleagues are actually your friends and not just colleagues.

View from tree plantation
View from tree plantation

Last week we were working with some colleagues from Scottsdale. One of them told me he was ordered by the court to do this sort of work, because he assaulted another guy. Then he continued to list his entire criminal record and I was shocked. It’s strange standing next to someone who tells you he was sentenced for assaulting other people.

He looked a bit run-down to me and his working speed was noticeably slow as well, he explained it was due to problems with his arm. When I asked him what sort of problems he had he showed me his arm and I realised he was a drug addict.

This kept me thinking almost the whole day. In the end I appreciate moments like that, because even though a lot of bad things happened to me in the last months, there is always someone who lives in an even worse situation. So this reminded me that I shouldn’t complain that much. Compared to him, I am living a life of luxury and I should be grateful for what I have. From time to time I tend to forget that.