Success Stories From Thailand
You Reap What You Sow
As you already know, we love talking about the trees you’ve helped us plant. But we wouldn’t have any trees to talk about if it wasn’t for some of the talented tree-planters that we work with around the world. And that includes Thailand.
Enter Anchala. Why does she care about trees so dearly? What caused this healthy addiction? How do a few clicks on your screen tie in with her work? And more importantly, where can you find the tastiest papaya in the world?
We’ll spill all – but only if you keep on reading.
A Beautiful Kitchen, Birds, And A Busy Anchala
The open kitchen provides a spectacular view of Northern Thailand at its very best. Lush green hills, buzzing insects, sticky air, and a squabble breaking out among the ducks just below. What could they be bickering about in a paradise like this?
Meanwhile, like a magician with their props, Anchala is furiously busy in the kitchen putting a meal together. She’s doing her best to make lunch with all of the leftover vegetables in the fridge.
Her sharp knife chatters against the chopping board. Boiling water bubbles in the pot.
Suddenly, Anchala disappears. But she returns moments later, proudly holding a perfect papaya in her hands.
“I brought it from the tree next to my house” Anchala beams. She laughs as she explains how, for weeks now, she’s been keeping a close eye on this particular papaya. “I kept on having to chase away the birds! They know a good fruit when they see one…”
Anchala had a feeling that today would be the perfect day to finally pick the perfect papaya from the tree. After tasting it, it’s impossible to disagree – it’s the most delicious papaya I’ve ever had.
But Anchala didn’t battle birds just to satisfy taste buds. Instead, she’s more interested in what lies within the fruit itself: seeds. She wastes no time in carefully scooping the seeds out onto a plate so that they can be dried and prepared for planting.
Some of them will make their way into her garden where she’ll plant another papaya tree or two. As for the rest, they’ll join the thousands of other trees planted by Click A Tree with the aim of creating diverse ecosystems and forests. Or, in other words, a perfect habitat for animals.
Anchala smiles as she admits that even she could never have foreseen this new obsession with seeds, and the trees that grow from them. Not so long ago, she wouldn’t have given them a second thought.
The City Girl Moves To Pai
Anchala grew up in a small town near Bangkok. One day, she decided to pack her bags and, along with her family, move to her mother’s hometown of Pai.
She had various jobs, to begin with, including working on reception at a hotel. It wasn’t very fulfilling, but it helped her provide for her family. She was doing her best, and that was all that mattered at the time.
Within the hotel, Anchala noticed that her manager had an excessive number of plants around his office, and that he spent a great deal of time nurturing them. While in his office one day, Anchala was asked whether or not she had a favorite plant.
Having never thought about it, she had no answer. She didn’t really care about plants, or about the environment at all.
“How naïve I was!” Anchala giggles as she recalls that day.
The truth was that Anchala just wanted to get back to her work. But as she was leaving his office, her manager thought of a different strategy, and asked Anchala if she liked fruit.
Anchala thought this was a strange question – doesn’t everybody like at least one type of fruit?
She answered that she regularly visits the fresh food market – of course she likes fruit!
“But wouldn’t it be better if you just had some fruit trees at home?” he asked.
And although there was no ‘eureka’, no sudden transformation for Anchala, that question planted a seed in her mind. Like a papaya tree slowly growing the perfect fruits, new ideas would grow in Anchala’s mind over time.
Anchala Begins Planting Trees in Northern Thailand
Somewhere deep in her subconscious, Anchala never let go of that thought. Not until the day she discovered an opportunity to make a living planting trees. After all, she wasn’t getting any younger, and it was time for a change.
And what a change it was. Starting her new job, she quickly realized that she didn’t have any experience planting trees. She’d barely even looked after a house plant! This meant that she had to learn on the job, sometimes through trial and error.
But with occasional frustration, there was also a lot of fun. Anchala began experimenting wherever she could. She found herself preparing seeds, planting seeds, and even cloning trees!
Anchala spent a great deal of time listening to the locals around her as well – they would become her most valuable source of information.
Of course she still used scientific methods and technologies, but the people in the surrounding villages had lived there for many years. Many of them still depend on the forest, and they’ve observed and learned an awful lot about it.
The more knowledge Anchala absorbed, the more excited she became about trees. The girl from Bangkok, worried only about providing for her family, was instead becoming one that fell in love with trees and fell in love with her work.
You Reap What You Sow
Anchala kept on trying her best, and those seeds kept on growing. They grew so much that today, Anchala is a Regional Manager and looks after a team of 15 enthusiastic workers dedicated to planting trees in Northern Thailand.
And none of them are more enthusiastic about their work than she is.
The variation is important to her. One day, Anchala organizes a planting day; the next, she teaches seeding methods to her staff. She’s glad that she still gets to work in the field as well – literally! She’s not afraid to get down and dirty if it means that another tree is planted.
Wherever Anchala goes, you’ll find her collecting seeds of various kinds in the hope of one day being able to plant them alongside many others and eventually building a forest.
Anchala has come to love trees and the forest restoration projects that she works on.
“I’m incredibly grateful for this work” she says. “Of course, it’s changed my life. Many people still depend on me to provide for them, but now, I provide for them by doing what I love. And the trees I help to plant will provide a future for so many other people and animals too.”
But this didn’t happen overnight – Anchala worked hard to get to where she is today. And she wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t remembered to plant trees with Click A Tree.
Future Endeavours And Hope For Northern Thailand
Back in the busy kitchen, Anchala collects some seeds from the “Money Tree” she keeps nearby. She doesn’t like to dream too big but she hopes that, one day soon, she and her team could be planting trees all over Northern Thailand.
“It’s funny that I talk about the future now,” she says. “This Money Tree is also called the Good Luck Tree, and it’s believed to bring good luck and good fortune. I always keep it nearby.”
But thinking more locally for a moment, Anchala tells me about a new initiative called “Litter Free Fridays.” Every Friday morning, she and the other workers take time out of their mornings to pick up litter alongside the road. They recycle what they can and throw away the rest.
Passers-by honk, wave, and even hand out drinks to them, thanking them for cleaning the environment. People seem to be understanding the concept of planting trees and having a healthy environment, but Anchala admits there is still a long way to go before change truly occurs.
She experienced the loss of forest first-hand when she was a young girl, visiting Pai on holiday.
“There used to be trees all around, but since living here it has changed a lot,” she says.
She thinks about the children growing up now and how different their childhood will be to hers. It makes her even more determined to reforest the area.
With seeds in her hands, she gets ready to leave. She pulls a plastic container from her recycling bin to put the seeds inside.
Laughing, she says her goodbyes and prepares to return to her work where her new seeds will be planted. “I guess my former manager would be proud!”
Arranging her helmet and hopping on her scooter, Anchala rides into the distance. There can’t be many people here prouder than she is.
Why Do Click A Tree Plant Trees in Thailand?
This is all possible because you remember Click A Tree. And like you, we’re determined to continue reforesting the world.
In the 20th century, Thailandhas lost over 70% of its forests due to logging and land-use change, including urban development and agriculture.
Our work – and your dedication to planting trees with us – helps to reforest these special places in the North of Thailand. Not only that, it helps to preserve and enrich the existing landscape as well.
Asian elephants are an endangered species in Thailand, and they depend on trees to survive. We depend on trees to survive too, remember?! They provide us with the oxygen we need to breathe!
Let’s keep on planting trees and making sure that Anchala and her team’s hard work truly makes a difference for the long-term.
What Can You Do To Keep The Success Stories Coming?
Anchala wants future generations to live in a healthy environment. We know that you do too.
Doing something as simple as planting a tree hasn’t always been easy. But now, with Click A Tree, it is.
Head to our shop where you can plant a tree in Thailand right now. It only takes a few clicks of your mouse – it’s that simple. Or how about planting one of our Trees for Tuskers instead?
But what if some of your favorite companies haven’t committed to planting trees yet? Tell them to get in touch with us! We can tailor tree-planting solutions for anybody.
And when we plant even more trees, think of the people, animals, and landscapes that will benefit.
We’ve already given you the Miracle of Mahabana and the Success Stories from Nepal. Where will you help us to bring success stories from next time?
The work you’ve done so far has been amazing.
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Thanks for everything you’ve done so far – you’re awesome!
From Anchala, her tree-planting team, from mother nature herself and from us, thank you.