Murderous mosquitoes, freaky flies, mud, high humidity, searing sun: not the most ideal setting you want your weekend environment to be like. And yes this was what I had to enjoy on 2 weekends during my trip to Chek Jawa.
Nevertheless, I certainly remember the numerous tiny organisms that I certainly would have overlooked if I did not embark on this journey. I really enjoyed getting closer to the nature and its little wonders and I definitely learned much more about the environment.
I tried my best to remember all the pointers that were given to us during the indoor training but who knew that just guiding people around is not a simple task. No you must not be discouraging in your words, especially when people are trying their best to answer to your questions and be enthusiastic; no you can't exactly mention what you did not see if not you will disappoint them, and the list goes on and on and on.
Oh and be extremely patronising. Ok scrape that, I meant be extremely encouraging and nice because this is the way where we can get people to be more enthusiastic and happy during the trip. Let me give you an example.
Black pepper crab: Eh red, is that human over there called Mr Low?
Red chilli crab: good try! You're extremely close! He's called Mr Loh but MANY people always accidentally spell it wrongly because Loh and Low sound alike. But good try!
Following the indoor training, we had the guided broad-walk tour, where we are the guided! Basically other than trying to drown myself in mosquito repellent, it really was very cool to see for the first time the whole of Chek Jawa. To be frank I thought Chek Jawa was an island on its own somewhere far away. Close enough, close enough. And wow, Chek Jawa is pretty. And rich with mosquitoes. But other than that, really you see many plants that grow your attap chee (though I am not a big fan).
and oh rubber. Like seriously, you see rubber sap hardened to form something like rubber.
Then I saw so many stuff. Mudskippers ranging from XS to L. Crabs from XXXXXS to XS (I think the huge ones are avoiding us). The tiny dots on the photo are ALL FIDDLER CRABS. Now please don't think that you can just come here to take them home and keep them.
Really, what I have learned is to really appreciate the nature much more. I mean have we ever bothered trying to care more about the nature? When we are exposed to advertisements telling us to not litter, blah all the litter will destroy marine life and stuff, yeah totally effective.
But when you really see an awesome view at Chek Jawa, and suddenly your photo is ruined because you noticed the extremely annoying piece of litter that happens to appear in the foreground. I mean ok besides that you realised that it really just destroys their habitat. It's like putting a giant trash bag beside your HDB flat, SO STOP LITTERING. Go help pick litter now!
Oh and another thing that I would take my hats off to nature is that MOTHER EARTH IS SO RESILIENT. I mean really, you see barnacles growing at the side of the pillars and different creatures that you find there using every single man-made feature that was introduced by us humans and made it part of their home, their surrounding. While I dare not say they didn't whine because I really can't communicate with sea creatures (unlike Percy Jackson from my favourite book series), they definitely took it to stride as they changed to suit the environment. And we humans should stop whining about every single thing that changes in life and move on! Or well if you going home then move back or something.
And finally, we moved on to the...
Basically while I was extremely shy to guide them, I refrained from giving information that I am not 100% sure. There were only adults in my group, which is good and bad at the same time. Adults are nice and cooperative but not enthusiastic, while kids are enthusiastic but extremely agile and hyper.
One thing about guiding is that you really must know your content well and how you will actually engage the audience and capture their attention. Nope I didn't exactly do very well though, but I just hope that Chek Jawa's beauty was enough to dazzle them. Luckily with Mr Loh's help as the guide, he managed to fend off some weird questions and difficult times during the guiding.
Overall, it definitely was an extremely enriching experience for me, my eyes and my mind. Lovely experience admiring at the little wonders in our life.
(Moderator: Apologies for this backdated post)