Testimony Tobias Lemke

“Hey, my name is Tobi and I’m 19 years old. I am from Germany and I just spent my last three months in Portugal with the association “Plantar uma Árvore”, starting in the beginning of September. There I lived in the northern location, in the area of “Serra do Alvão”. I was lucky to experience both working seasons, maintenance and planting, because they switch in October. Both were great, but I prefer planting, since it feels more like helping nature, when you plant a tree and new life into soil, rather than killing some trees by debarking them, even though they are invasive and harmful. But both seasons in combination with the newspaper articles that we wrote, plus the research for them, taught me a lot about nature and it’s values, as well as it created more awareness how necessary it is to get active on my own. My time in Portugal definitely strengthened my relation to nature. Also the coordinator, named Gil, had a big impact on that. You can easily feel that he truly loves pure nature and he always tries to share some knowledge and fascination. That makes him perfect as a coordinator. Other than that, I really couldn’t imagine a better person for this job, because he connected a lot to all the volunteers and he has an incredible talent to include every single individual and make him/her feel more comfortable. Another great thing about this experience was the time with the other volunteers. I built deep relations with them and had an intense time day by day in our house. So you could always have a person’s company, when needed, and you could also have some time alone in your room or outdoors, because there were a lot of opportunities to hike. And with some field trips through whole Portugal and even Pico island this whole experience turnt into a great journey.”

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