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Last Updated: Thursday May 21 2009 05:44 GMT

I went to stay with a rainforest tribe

Aaron dancing with the Baka people

Press Packer Aaron, 13, won a trip to the Cameroon rainforest to find out about the people who live there and why we need to protect the forest.

Here is Aaron's rainforest diary:


"My school charity team won a trip through the Citizenship Foundation's Giving Nation Awards to travel with the Rainforest Foundation UK and find out what they are doing to protect the rights of the Baka people who have lived in the forest for thousands of years and why it is so important to protect the rainforest

Wednesday: On the flight

The plane is about to take off and I can't wait to get to Cameroon. I don't really know what to expect but I think it will be a big wake up call to the destruction of the rainforest.

Thursday: In the rainforest

The people of the village had organised an amazing welcoming ceremony and we spent the night learning to dance from the Baka and eating traditional forest food.

Aaron eating kasava
Aaron tucks into rainforest food

The village chief asked me to dance with him, a real honour.

Friday: Learning about forest life

The village chief taught us how the Baka use forest trees to make medicine. They use trees for lots of things like making medicine and building huts.

The Baka use every single part of the tree, unlike the loggers who cut the trees down and throw large amounts of the tree away.

Saturday: Going fishing!

I learned how the Baka people catch fish. Fishing is a job only for women in the tribe but a special exception was made for me.

The women build a damn in the river that slows the water flow down so they can catch the fish. The Baka people fish just the amount of fish they need, no more.

Sunday: My birthday!

monkey
Aaron saw a lot of wildlife, like this monkey

We visited the River Daisa and learned that iron has been found in the river and a company has just been given permission to mine it. The environmental organisations here have been working really hard to stop this.

It makes me feel very upset and angry that the work of the Centre for Environment Development and other organisations are going to waste and this beautiful landscape is going to be destroyed.

I felt better later on when I met this Baka boy called Dirka.

He speaks fluent English and he has received a scholarship to go to school and is doing really well. It is great to see his education moving on

After there was birthday cake for me, it was awesome!

Monday: On the way home

I am on my way back to England I feel very upset and I will definitely go back one day but I am excited about getting the message to people about saving the rainforest. This has been the most amazing experience of my life.

Aaron, 13, Nottingham, England


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