Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Fri 21 Jul 2006

Reminiscing Chek Jawa

Category : Singapore Naturalist


Volunteer guides with the Raffles Museum in a huddle before what veteran naturalist Subaraj Rajathurai would later describe as "the biggest nature outing in the history of Singapore." At its peak, an estimated 2,000 people visited Chek Jawa in three days of October 2001.

Earlier this evening, before a Year of the Turtle meeting, I was looking through Ria's powerpoint for a seminar we will be presenting together. This was to ensure there was no overlap of content.

Sitting back while she took me through the slides, I had the rare opportunity to listen to another person review our efforts during that period that lasted well over a year and still continues. Ria had taken many shots of us during various phases and I had not looked at many of the photos, perhaps ever! So I was tickled to notice many details in scenes from five years ago.

During that time, we went from discovery, study, specimen collection and analysis, report submission, phone consultations, photography and webpage construction, public walks, documentation, articles, feedback, coping with overwhelming crowds, pubic talks, exhibitions, reprieve, consultation and management of visitors.

It didn't end there. There was further feedback, workshops to four cohorts of guides, putting together a guidebook, school talks and exhibitions that go on even today, technical workshops for OJT guides, a symposium to pull everyone together, recognising the efforts of individuals, encouraging research, a working group and public screening of documentaries.

There was never a time to look back. At the we were holding out against hope and expecting the place to become just another graveyard like Seringat or Sentosa. I was pretty much clinical then as I usually am in such times, as there was urgent work to do. So when I looked at the photos, I was surprised at the stirrrings I felt in my heart. Obviously, I had been struck by buried emotions.

I told Ria I'd like to look through the old photos, and then realised I had them all tucked away in my hardisks. While I pulled out specific photos for presentations over the years, I never casually looked through the many digital albums.

I wonder if anyone from that time does.

I suppose its the drawback digital photos. Well-labelled and set aside with multiple backups, I've never looked at those again. Well, maybe I could, and blog about it from time to time.

Yeah, right.

Still, I've arranged for four of us to talk about Chek Jawa at a seminar for youth on Saturday 26th August 2006. I figured we should provide an opportunity for them to be clued in before they discuss the topic at theirr forum on 2nd September 2006.

And that's probably as close as I will get to reminiscing. Another analytical presentation.

Posted at 3:17PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .