The most rewarding part of the trip for me happened at the end when we spent a day with an organization called Ny Tanintsika, which translates to Our World. Each of their initiatives is connected to the others in a way that strengthens each one and forms a cohesive whole. It was a tangible example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.
A Kayapo woman named Tuira Kayapó, whose body was adorned with painted designs and beads, rose from the crowded room brandishing a large machete in the air.
Their makeshift sleeping bag had been sewn by other survivors using insulation salvaged from the plane wreckage. It barely worked and the two suffered hypothermia on several terrifying nights when death seemed to be tapping them on the shoulder.
At the age of just five years old, Ruby Dunstan began attending the innocuously termed "residential school" near her village. In the first few days, she was beaten by the supervisors for not obeying orders correctly — however she, like other native children at the school, only spoke an indigenous language and didn’t understand English!
Over time, thousands of people came to visit Merve and his "Wildwood" forest to learn about his alternative to the predominant "clear-cut" industrial forestry that had laid waste to forests in Canada and around the world.
Désiré Rabary used his modest earnings as a nature guide in northern Madagascar to purchase an endangered forest near his home in order to protect it.