The Mysterious Nexus of Treeplanting and Humanitarian Logistics

Ivan Gayton worked for 12 years in the silviculture industry, and recently made the jump to working as a Logistician with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors Without Borders).

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“I love the Canadian bush, and miss it terribly, but have found a new level of personal satisfaction working to save life, limb and dignity in some of the dark places of the Earth.”

“I find myself a rookie again, with all of the awkwardness and growing pains of the greener’s first season in the slash. The work is hard, the hours are long, and the learning curve is steep. Often there are intensely frustrating moments; stalled work, arrogant, obstructionist officials (or even people within our own organization), and we often witness injustices and crimes we are powerless to prevent. Despite all this, the work is tremendous fun.”

“I travel the world, meet amazing people from far-flung cultures, see landscapes most tourists or travellers can only dream of visiting, and enjoy some of the finest parties around.”

“There are tremendous similarities between the work and lifestyle of a humanitarian logistician and a treeplanter (especially a crewboss or supervisor). Many aspects of the work I do in the remote hospitals and refugee camps of war-torn Africa are eerily familiar.”

“An MSF logistician is usually responsible for the upkeep of a remote worksite. The elements of this will be familiar to most bushworkers.”

Web Link: http://www.msf.ca/