Rainforest Appreciation Walk, Botanical Gardens

This is my second volunteer event in Intel and this time it was to bring school children around the Botanical Gardens in Penang and teach them about the nature and impart values such as appreciating the beauty of Mother Nature, keeping our surroundings clean and free of trash and protecting the environment from harm in them. We were to tell them how important it is to take care of the environment so that the Earth will be a pleasant place to live in. This was how Intel Malaysia celebrated Earth Day.

I had an active role to play as I was assigned to collect names of volunteers from Penang Design Center (PDC). Euwing was in India so I was the one who answered all the questions, all the emails, all the IMs from PDCers, liaised with the organisers and arranged all the logistics for PDC volunteers including telling them where and what time to meet for the free shuttle and distributing T-shirts. My, PDCers are a bunch of enthusiastic crowd. What a week that was, I was juggling between this, my work and something personal. I am glad I made it through, I even comtemplated whether to go for the Walk as I was really tired, physically, mentally and emotionally. I was actually assigned to be a leader of one of the groups during the Walk but I just could not do it; I rejected the “offer”. I just wanted to be a participant and not worry about anything during the Walk and just enjoy the whole event. Luckily, the organisers got another person to replace me so then I was happy to be just participating.

Each group was given a set of questions, a trash bag and a map. We were to take the route shown on our maps, stop by certain stations, answer the questions and pick up rubbish along the way. I made new friends, fellow PDCers – Heng Yin, Jonie, Wai Min and Kean Foong – and school children – Geetha, Gayathri, Maha, Kuhan, among others (I forgot their names) –  ya, you would have guessed it, I was with a group of children from a Tamil school. =)

Picking up trash and answering questions

Most of them were Standard 6 kids and I think they are pretty smart. To a question, “Why is water important to us?”, one of them answered, “To regulate our body temperature.” Wow! Do I know this body-temperature-regulation thingy when I was in Standard 6? Maybe not yet. Haha. One girl by the name of Maha (if I remember correctly) walked beside me for practically the whole Walk. And she told me stories, about how often she comes for picnics in Botanical Gardens, how bad her school teachers for making them stay till 4pm everyday, how happy she was to be able to join this event, how she loves trees (nature), etc. One story stood out. She told me that some Indians, including her family, would worship the “cannon ball” from the cannon ball tree. If you have been to the Botanical Gardens, you would have seen the cannon ball trees lining the pathway just as you enter. The fruit does look like a cannon ball. Let me show you.

Cannon ball tree

According to her, they worship the cannon ball as they believe that one of the transformations of Lord Siva Lingam is inside this cannon ball. So they would pray and let the ball grow and erupt by itself. When the cannon ball erupts, its insides resembles Lord Siva Lingam. They would then be able pray to Lord Siva Lingam through that. See how important nature is to human beings? Protecting the nature does not only mean protecting our ecosystem, it also means protecting religious beliefs and cultures. Thanks to my new-found friend, I realised this.

The walk continued and I found myself pointing left and right, showing the kids different plants and trees and even a water treatment plant, going, “Look, that’s a staghorn!”, “Look, those are cactuses, you know?” or “Hey, there’s a water treatment plant here. You know what it’s for? It’s to give us clean water to drink and wash our stuffs”. One girl was looking for bamboo trees and we found it. “Look, your bamboo trees are here!”

Here are some plant pictures I took during the Walk.

Cactuses

Morning glories

I don’t know the name of this plant.

By the lily pond

Birds of paradise

 Candle tree

 I don’t know the name of this plant.

I don’t know the name of this plant too. I just know they come in two colours. =p 

Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place, I especially love the lily pond; very serene, very peaceful – good for your soul. =)

To wrap up the whole event, Euwing had another task for me; to take a group picture with the Friend Zy Nity banner.

Intel Boleh! PDC Boleh!

I went back home feeling happier after a week of distress. I think it was mainly because of the greeneries and the school children. They made my day. =)

To everyone, PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT, protect ourselves. =)

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One Response to “Rainforest Appreciation Walk, Botanical Gardens”

  1. ongco Says:

    Wow..
    i am one of the member in the last pic, one with white cap on left of flag.
    Thanks for posting these many beautiful flower and plant out.
    Hope everybody start protect our environment by doing small things like reduce, reuse and recycle.

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