Saturday, October 22, 2005

"I'm going to Gunung Belumut in Johor for my ecology field trip."

"Gunung Belumut? That literally translates to 'Muddy Mountain'."


"Yup. Doesn't that fill you with a sense of foreboding?" *sniggers.

Well, as Abs so succinctly put it, Johor's "Muddy Mountain" was muddy indeed. In fact, muddier than expected. Not only did we have to ward off insects (which were seemingly resistant to insect repellant), trudge around in mud, we had to splosh into the streams to collect samples and measure a gazillion parameters.

Streams. Paints a picture of rocky, clear-water rapids, birds grazing nearby, some tipping their beaks over the water's edge to quench their thirst. Fish struggling in the shallow fast flowing water, the occasional hiker passing by and a family having a picnic by the banks of the stream.

Noooo.... First 2 stream samples were collected from muddy muddy excuses for streams (because they seemed more like water-logged stretches to me) running through the oil palm plantations (there was bullshit everywhere, from cows la). Second 2 stream samples were collected further in the forest, oh and what a hike it was. The forest stream was amazingly cool, clear and filled with pebbles and boulders. Closer to my fantasy stream (see above), and then making our way upstream wading in the water, I'm reminded about how humans certainly were not made to walk over uneven, unpredictable rocky streams.

So 4 hours to collect samples somewhat justifies the 8 hour bus ride there and back and having to wake up at 530am in the morning so as to get to school by 630am. I guess. *shrug. Field trips should be like this, so much more hands-on. Erh, maybe sans the mud.

No comments: