Tree Planters' Stories
"May the Forest Be With You" main story is here.
Maya, the Manager's story is here.
"May the Forest Be With You" greeting card is here.
Photos of these amazing human beings will be featured in my "Mother Earth" picture book of the Peace Country.
”I got into tree planting through my sister and decided that it was more my thing as it was my sixth season and I plan on more. I've met plenty of people from plenty of backgrounds and I take that as my favourite experience.
"I'm semi nomadic and live all over the place; I’m currently in Ontario. I work throughout the year, mostly in kitchen work - nothing permanent but always something enjoyable. I see tree planting as a time to unwind in the summer - haha.
"My hobbies include skateboarding, snowboarding, traveling and drawing action comics.”
Jimbo has traveled throughout Canada and plans to see Europe in the near future. The place he’d most like to see is France, and he’s studying French in preparation for his visit there.
Right after graduation, he moved to Hawaii where he did sea turtle research. For something completely different, he moved to Alaska where he worked as a bear guide in a National forest. From there, he went to teach science in California. His next adventure took him to China to teach English to four to six year olds at a brand new Montessori school. It was in China that he met Imad, who told him about his tree planting stories from the previous summer. “This was at a point when I was living in a massive city, and anything in nature sounded appealing. When he told me about tree planting, he would say, 'It’s in the middle of the bush, it’s really crazy, intense, and hard work, and there are bears and other wildlife…’ That’s the reason I went, because I wanted to be in the middle of nowhere after living in a city of 14 million people.”
“One of the reasons we planted so many trees is that we are both pretty competitive. I grew up doing a lot of swimming and running competitively. I wanted to do really well because I got into this racing mindset. And Imad was there to push me competitively. We race with everything we do. If we were assigned to plant next to each other, we would end up planting so much more, because we would start at the cache together, bag up our trees, run out, plant our whole box and, not just walk back to the cache, but run back to the cache with our empty bags and bag up as fast as we could, grab a snack and run back out.”
“So I spent my first four years in Saudi Arabia. Then, in 1991, there was war in Saudi Arabia -the first Gulf War. We applied to Immigrate to Canada, and when we landed in Quebec, I was four years old, and that’s where I attended school.
“When I was 11, the situation in Lebanon had stabilized, so our family moved back to Lebanon. My parents wanted us to learn about our background and learn Arabic. I attended French high school in Lebanon and finished at age 18. I left for France, where I attended medical school for three years. I decided it wasn’t for me, so did some travelling and started working in summer camps and enjoyed working with kids.
“At age 21, I moved to Montreal. I was doing random jobs like cleaning windows, waiting tables and bar tending…making money and travelling…making money and travelling.
“Together with one of my best friends, Nader Diab, I started a travel blog/movement on social media called The Globe Jumpers. The motto is “Travel with a purpose.” Wherever we go, we try to make a positive impact on the local community. One of our projects was to take my sister, who has Down syndrome, on a backpacking trip in China and Mongolia. We wanted to show that, even with a disability, you can still do so much. You can travel and be happy. People don’t have to pity you.
“Another project was to open a summer camp school in Burundi, Africa. We worked on the project for a year and then worked in Burundi for a month and a half.
“I wanted to do something meaningful that I’m passionate about, so, at age 26, I decided to go to UQAM (L'Université du Québec à Montréal) to study Environmental Science.
“After graduating, I went tree planting.
“My sister had been working on an electric bicycle called Carbo. She said, “Come to China and teach English and help me with my business.” So I went there from August to February. That’s where I met Eddie and convinced him to come tree planting with me the summer of 2019.
“And that’s where we met you, Sharon!