Day 14

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Today officially marks the end of Project Orion VII main trip, everyone is back in Singapore safe and sound ūüôā

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their unwavering support throughout the past 14 Days especially:

  • Kak Tah for hosting us in Malaysia and lending to us the Pink House for use
  • WWF Team namely Abang Allim, Abang Zaid, Kak Syira and Kak Najafor giving us a experience we will never forget and helping us anyhow they can
  • Kak Fais and her husband Abang Azzam who watches over the hatchery 24/7 making sure that the eggs are okay
  • The Rangers who work tirelessly to make sure poachers do not get to the eggs first and collecting it so that the turtle have a safer environment to grow in
  • Lastly not forgetting the PO VII team, without this bunch of people the trip wouldn’t be possible

Tune in closer to early October as we will talk about our post event! See you soon!

Day 13

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Sadly, today is our last day in Kampong Mangkuk and we will be flying back to Singapore the next day. We had our homemade meals at Kak Ta’s house. The team was really excited and felt the sense of accomplishment of completing the back porch and the laying of bricks around the fence area surrounding Pink House! Then, we carried on with the construction of fence around Pink House to ensure that no animals will enter the fence in the premises of Pink House. Eventually, we managed to complete all the construction areas for the Pink House and felt really contented for all of our individual hard work and team spirit. We had spent the time here well in both environmental and humanitarian aspects¬†by turtle conservation efforts and working with the villagers to improve the pink house and village respectively.

Day 10

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Around 12am, another group of orion members had their chance to go for night patrolling and got¬†a chance to spot a young mother turtle who laid a total of 124 turtle eggs! We felt really fortunate to have seen an actual turtle who was relatively large near the coastal beach that we patrolled for the first time in the past 10 days. In the morning, we headed off to Kak Ta’s house for a hearty breakfast and came back to the Pink House for the continuation of the fence. After lunch, we pick up where we left off to finish up on the fence surrounding the Pink House till evening. Then, we cycled over to Kak Ta’s house for Gotong Royong where we had the chance to interact with the kids and also sit and relax while waiting for Iftar to eat together with the PEWANIS members and their family and also some members from WWF Malaysia. It was an honor to have met the head of WWF Malaysia where we had a little chat before we head back to rest and pack for the next day.

We will be gone for the next couple of days, we will back on 25th June, Stay tune!

Day 9

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As 12am struck and half of the team was asleep, another half was out at Telaga Papan doing beach patrolling with the rangers and Kak Naja.

We were lucky to have chance upon a large female doing her nesting on our first and only night at Telaga Papan, the experience was breath taking as this was the only chance we got to not only see a Green Turtle that is all grown up but also this up close while she was laying eggs for the next generation of turtles. We each took turns to dug up all the under to supervision of the Rangers and Kak Naja and we dug out a total of 110 eggs which is quite a lot considering the size of the turtle that we saw. It was a experience that we all will never forget as this is a opportunity we will never get to see in Singapore even the beach itself was breath taking, clear skys where we can see the stars and just silence and peace and only the sound of the sea, its the little things like this we have now that we take for granted.

When we first came to Terengganu, we learnt about how to excavate a nest and how turtles work and now, we got to see the before part where we see how the Rangers collect the eggs and how do they store the eggs in the hatchery it was truly amazing.

After which we went back to the pink house to rest while the other team got up early to continue construction work around the pink house for the whole day before the patrolling team joined them later in the morning. We manage to lay the last layer of cement for the back porch to give it that smooth surface feel and look and by tomorrow it looks ready to be used! While we were laying brick we managed to see a Paradise tree snake which was a interesting sight and it also acts as our quick break as all of us went to look at it.

Well.. tomorrow we will be completing the fence area, hopefully it is going to be a fun day tomorrow!

Day 8

Viknesh's Ass 2IMG_6164 IMG_6167 IMG_6170 IMG_6152 IMG_6176After our hearty breakfast of nasi lemak, we continued our work on the back porch from yesterday by laying bricks and concreted it. The process was long and tiring as we had to keep mixing cement, gravel, sand and water to form concrete.¬†Pak Awang shared with us the concentration¬†of how the mixture should be. After completing that task, we had our lunch at Kak Ta’s house. We then started with the fencing work of the Pink House as the current one was in a bad state as cows had already pushed down parts of it. We removed a portion of the existing fence and then split into three teams, one to collect bricks, one to make concrete and the last is to lay the bricks with concrete to form the fence. While we were engrossed in that activity, we were greeted by Darryn, from Project Orion VI. He will be joining to support us for three¬†days. We were glad and excited to meet him as he not only would be able to share his experience with us but also able to speak in Bahasa Malayu and we would be able to understand as he would be able to translate for us for the next three days. We all then went for dinner and thereafter yesterday’s team for the beach night patrol went today as the patrol for yesterday was cancelled due to bad weather.

Day 7

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Today we started off the day by completely filling the back porch with sand so that it can become a strong base, leading to the final step of laying the cement to finish the repair on the porch and so that we can start using it too. We had lots of laughter while we were shifting the sand and we got to see some interesting stuff like the moon in broad day light.

After lunch, we headed down to the hatchery where we helped to excavate another 3 nest with a total of 250+ eggs which we got more proficient in excavating and this time we manage to save 1 late bloomer :)), also the hatchery that we helped to expand 2 days ago has been completed so hooray! More space for more turtles to be saved.

We then move on to our next task which was to do marking for the painted terrapin, it was a brand new experience for all of us as we had to grab the terrapin and use carving tools to mark the terrapins, we had to be extremely careful as we had to keep in mind that there were major capillaries running underneath the shell, we then went on to collect river water from the river so that the terrapins can slowly adapt to the water PH level before it is integrated back into the habitat. We were laughing throughout the time when we collected the water as we kept splashing water on each other due to the waves we created in the container. It was nice to see the painted terrapins as we never seen one live before neither did we get the opportunity to see it during our night patrolling.

Finally we ended off the day with Kak Ta’s dinner and we also got to see a mass break-fast at the mosque which was opposite of us.

Day 6

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We started off the day with a good breakfast at Kak Ta’s house. There, we noticed wheelbarrows at Pak Awang’s house, and managed to borrow them. Thereafter, we transferred gravel and sand¬†the Pink House for our use repairing the Pink House staircase. After awhile, we were pleasantly surprised when a lorry brought sand to the pink house, saving us the trouble of transferring the sand from further away ourselves. We learnt a little about how concrete is made, and how to lay bricks.

Later that evening, we took a tour of the Setiu river on a firefly tour. After boarding a small motorboat at an unlit jetty, we sped off along the calm river waters. It felt like a real adventure. Soon, we saw flecks of light twinkling in the trees! Fireflies! The boatman slowed the boat down and brought us towards the fireflies, and we managed to take a look at them up close. This continued at a few stops along the river. Syria told us that the fireflies emerge after rain, and that we were lucky it had drizzled earlier.

What a fruitful day.

Day 5

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Firstly, we woke up at 6.30 am to help Kak Fazinur and Abang Azzam with the extension of the turtle hatchery. We communicated efficiently and managed to complete the frame of hatchery and headed for breakfast at Kak Ta’s house. Secondly, we came back to the Pink House to start on Wau Making with Cikgu Ikuang and Cikgu Fendi. Thirdly, we made our way back to Kak Ta’s house for her homemade lunch. Next, we headed back to Pink House for the making of the traditional perepek pisang together with the PEWANIS. Following that, we flew our wau outside but unfortunately none of them flew due to bad weather. Lastly, we went to the bazaar at the next town to get our hands on their local delicacies before heading back to Kak Ta’s house for dinner. At the end of the day, we played with firecrackers to enjoy and wind down for the day. (:

Day 4

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We split our team into 3 teams.¬†The first team is the painting team who went to complete painting Kak Dah’s stall.
Kak Dah was pleased with our work done and offered us refreshments to reward us for the hard work.
The second team is the labour team who had to transfer bricks to the Pink House for the construction of fence
around Pink House.

In the beginning of the day, it seemed like an impossible task to transfer a huge amount of over 600 bricks in the day as the amount of bricks were never-ending even as we were constantly moving the bricks. The labour team was assisted by the third team, the beach patrolling team after they slept in for breakfast because they were out patrolling till 3am the previous night.

Following that, we had our lunch at Kak Ta’s house. After which, everyone joined forces to work on transferring the remaining bricks to Pink House until dinner at Kak Ta’s house. Night patrolling was carried out again.

Day 3

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Today was a interesting day where we went to help paint Kak Dah’s stall, its was an interesting experience as many of us never painted before let alone painting our own house walls. It was nice to see how a plain wall can suddenly be brighten up and look more appealing in just 6 hours. Soon after we were done, we headed to the hatchery where the WWF team was waiting for us. Kak Naja explained to us the importance of digging up all the shells from the nest and what we needed to look out for when we are doing the excavation before we get down and dirty! Kak Fais was in charge of looking after the hatchery and she showed us how to excavate the site, she did it with ease and did it in no time! When we went to try it, it felt like forever… By the time Kak Fais excavated a full nest, all of us barely gotten some eggs out. But it was really an eye opening experience to see live turtles still inside their shells and we were happy we manage to save 7 today! Hopefully as the days goes by, we would get better at it!