Staring at a bare wall, I recalled how I got here…
It was my first day on Pulau Tioman; a well-deserved ‘reward’ for an excellent Nature Journal submitted for the Nature Explorer’s Program, a student project organized by The Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR). The bus ride, the boat ride, the check-in, new faces, new places, on my own…This brought me back to where I was – I was on my bed, with my friends behind me, and I thought about the things I had done today. We had gone on an orientation around the resort and learnt about the adaptations of shore plants. Then there was the intertidal walk which uncovered many hidden gems such as an octopus, a pufferfish that was not inflated, some beautiful cowries, sea stars and lots of gobies. On our way back, I spotted a juvenile monitor lizard. After that, we washed up and ate dinner. That night, I went to bed, floating on cloud nine.
The second day was more exciting than the first. Breakfast was quickly followed by a change of clothes and a walk to the freshwater stream. Our investigations using two different methods turned up many interesting animals like a crab, a goby, many black shiny nerites, lots of ‘glassy’ shrimps, to name a few. Lunch was wolfed down and quickly succeeded by snorkeling practice. Swimming underwater, we saw fishes, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and an occasional flatworm with blue ‘edges’. I was so thrilled that I almost couldn’t sleep.
The third day was the best. A good hour of snorkeling revealed a few more fascinating animals such as parrot fish, anemone fish and jacks. At the end of the day, my group of five members gave our presentation about shore plants which we had been working on for the afternoon. Despite not getting a prize, we were happy with our efforts and results.
This camp was an enjoyable learning experience for me. I learned how to conduct scientific research and made new friends. I left Pulau Tioman, bringing home with me wonderful memories.