After about a one hour drive from Hanoi, we left the big noisy street, crossed a local market and drove for fifteen minutes through an idyllic hilly landscape, dominated by green rice-fields and the bizarre shapes of hills, unclearly recognizable at the dusty horizon. On the way we crossed farmers working on the rice-fields, grazing buffalos and cows. We arrived at the family’s home where we were warmly welcomed and could see at first glance, that in this place a special handicraft production has its place. The roofed yard in front of the house is home of proper tided troughs and frames, waiting for their use. Boiling Do-bark behind the yard was indicated by the smell of log fire and let us know that the paper making process is not only a fabrication of a product but also an art, which requires a lot of attention and carefulness to it.
It was the bark too, who indicated us to the raw material of Do-Paper in its natural condition and surrounding, the Do-Tree who is growing in the hills around the village. After several days participating on some steps of preparing the dark as pulp to make paper, we directed our attention and action to the Do-Tree itself.
Of course the healthiness and a mindful handling with the Do-tree Population is fundamental for the handmade paper making in a long term view. For this purpose we got some additional support from Hanoi, including a tv-camera for the documentation, to plant some young Do-Tree. We climbed up a steep hill and went to an aslope hillside to plant the little trees we brought with us. We had to pay attention not to slip away, because it was really steep and slippery from the humid soil. But nevertheless we were motivated and willing to bring the little trees into the earth, for that they will grow for future!
Thanks to all hands helping digging and planting we finished a little dirty and exhausted, but satisfied and lucky to see all the planted trees, we finished our work for this time. But for sure we’ll come back and see how “our” Do-Trees are growing and bring more young Do-trees into earth, to ensure a long future for the Do-paper handicraft as well as for the natural forest up in the hills of Hoa Binh