Monday, 9 September 2013

Environmental Exposure Reflection by Ming Quan

At the very start of the EXCEL programme, we were all given 2 choices to choose from: either the environmental exposure programme or the community exposure programme. I was quite torn between both programmes as both programmes had appealed greatly to me. I wanted to learn more about the life’s of fellow Singaporeans through the Meet the People’s session offered by the community exposure programme. At the same time, I haven’t been to Chek Jawa before and wanted to learn more about the environment and Chek Jawa through the environmental exposure programme. Well, I eventually answered the call of nature (haha) and chose the environmental exposure programme because I thought it was more attractive.

During the indoor training conducted by Miss Ria Tan, we were given handouts and to keep us engaged, we were tasked to find the menacing stonefish. Although it was a simple task to do, I soon realized that it was one of the many ways that Miss Ria Tan attempted to engage and capture our attention. The presentation she made covered a lot on how the trip would be like, what we could expect from it, how the trips were conducted and tips on how to conduct such guided tours. Throughout the entire course of the presentation, Miss Ria Tan was totally enthusiastic and I can see how passionate she actually was about taking care about our environment. Her love for the environment was what drove her to join the Naked Hermit Crabs and volunteer her services and teach others more about the environment. I’ve learnt quite a bit from her just through the presentation, that there are many ways to engage the attention of people and that we should be passionate and enjoy what we do rather than moan and complain and see the downside of everything.

My first on the job training was on the 8th September. I could still remember how the day started with me and Yu Lian meeting Mr Loh to at Pasir Ris before heading to Changi Point ferry terminal to meet up with Miss Ria Tan and the others. I have never been to Chek Jawa before and I was quite pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the surroundings there. I was paired up with Mr Loh and Daniel and grouped with a group of 3 families if my memory doesn’t fail me. The trip started with some facts about the history of Chek Jawa, on how it was meant to be reclaimed before some Joseph guy came around and decided to save it from reclamation. We then headed along the boardwalk towards the Jejawi Tower. I was quite amused by how Mr Loh attempted to capture the attention of the young kids and get them to participate in finding the ever elusive mudskippers and the crabs. He was real patient with the kids, much more patient then I have ever seen him and I was quite surprised by this other side of Mr Loh that I have never seen before. His constant encouragement to the young kids made me realize that encouragement is the best way to get people to cooperate. I also learnt that different people require different methods to get their attention to be engaged and this is definitely vital in our SC journey, where we must learn how to engage the attention of our fellow peers. We spotted several interesting creatures such as the mudskippers and the fiddler crabs.

A fiddler crab climbing back into its ‘home’

For the actual guiding trip, Mr Loh was heartless confident enough to leave me with a group of grown teenagers whom I have found immense difficulties in communicating with and capturing their attention. As the guiding trip went on, I realized that it was not really that difficult to be a guide. The people would just believe anything you tell them, so long as they see something. I was able to capture the attention of the rowdy teenagers with finds such as fiddler crabs, mudskippers, bees and several plants along the way. I finally completed the guided tour and I must definitely say I have learnt quite a fair bit more. We were rewarded at the end of the day with the sight of a wild boar!

I have learnt much from these 2 trips and I want to thank the Naked Hermit Crabs for taking us in and teaching us so much about the beauty of everything that surrounds us. I’m really grateful for this memorable chance that they have presented me with.

(Moderator: Apologies for this backdated post)

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