Tuesday, November 15, 2005
My Nocturnal Excursion in FRIM II
The Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) is an independent, non-religious, non-governmental organisation based in Malaysia, committed to confronting violence against women.
In 1985, the Anak Angkat Program was launched to meet the educational needs of ex-residents' children and in 1990, the WAO opened a Child Care Center, the first of its kind in Malaysia, to provide a home for ex-residents' children.
Last Saturday, through the Herpetofauna Group of MNS Selangor, trusty assistant & I, with the help of a few other (gullible) volunteers, organized an ‘introduction to frogs’ workshop in the morning and later in the evening, a frogging trip to FRIM for these children.
Seeing as I had 2 open houses in the day (involving the relatives, which meant that I couldn’t play my ‘get-out-of jail’ card, as compared to other open houses), I had to miss out the days’ activity. I was told that the kids, (13 in all, ranging between 3 to 12 years old) enjoyed our little frog origami, story-telling and drawing session. Trusty assistant did a bloody good job of it, as well as our other volunteers, considering how hyper those kids were.
Later in the evening, it was my turn to handle them. Luckily, they were pretty stoned-out then and somewhat controllable in FRIM. Having one of them running off and getting lost wouldn’t be good PR for the Society.
I led them quickly through the trail as it was already quite late in the evening, sacrificing the chance of spotting the leaf-litter frogs which are usually abundant along the trail (the kids were quite noisy which meant that any frog or any other animal for that matter, would have long since legged it).
The trail ended at FRIM’s Sungai Kroh, which is in actual fact a shallow, slow moving trickle of water. The source of which is derived from water which had somehow been diverted into a narrow channel from the main waterfall of FRIM. There (Sg. Kroh, not the waterfall), I allowed them to fool a round a bit. Again, the noise they were making was obviously scaring the shite of every animal there. Thus, they had to contend with the 4 frogs and a toad that trusty assistant and I spotted.
I wrapped up things a few minutes past 11pm, and allowed trusty assistant to lead the way back to our cars. I brought up the rear as I wanted to take my own sweet time for my own sweet self to at least spot a couple more herp life. I managed to add a lizard and 2 additional frogs to our list that night.
The mandatory leech inspection took about 15 minutes but ironically, the loudest scream came from my own volunteers. We quickly bundled the children (leech free) into the van, which in itself took about 10 minutes of cajoling. Before leaving, I doffed my hat off at the driver, clearly thankful of not being in her shoes. Imagine having 13 hyperactive kids, stoned-out they may be jumping and screaming at the back.
I congratulated trusty assistant and volunteers on a job well done. I still remain apprehensive of taking out too many children frogging, especially to places such as FRIM but this lot looked liked they enjoyed themselves.