Monday, 31 March 2014

"Save the Rainforest" Walk - 29 Mar 2014

By XianJin:

The "Save the Rainforest" Walk was organized by an NGO, PEKA, to create an awareness of the importance of rainforests in Malaysia. This was their first 'in-city' forest walk at Sungai Besi forest reserve in Cheras - near to our home so all the more we should support this event. In teams of two, we had to walk about 8km (which was far for me) from Alam Damai park to the forest and back. Over 2,000 participants took part, and the place was crowded and chaotic.

Already feeling tired from the previous day, I was determined to complete the Walk. Each participant was given a goodie bag (with an energy bar, a water bottle and food vouchers). I couldn't imagine how tough 8km was at that time, thinking it's OK, not knowing what was to come.

I took part with my father and brother, along with our friends so there're 6 of us in 3 teams.

A briefing and a warm-up session. I couldn't wait to start.

After what seemed like hours, the Walk began. The crowds were pushing to get to the starting point. 

From the park, we've to walk more than 1km to the forest. I already felt hot and tired. We couldn't move any faster because of the crowds.

Finally we reached the entrance to the forest. There're checkpoints to ensure our safety so we needn't be worried. 

PEKA has arranged a tree planting activity for us. The forestry department will then follow up with the maintenance of the trees and reporting to PEKA after the Walk. So for the time being, this forest will be spared from saws and land clearing. I was surprised that there were people who love nature so much and willing to do anything they could to save rainforests. 

There were several challenges on the way which made the Walk more interesting. 

Solving a puzzle before we could move on.

Getting the soil and fertiliser for tree planting. I was enthralled by the scenery of the beautiful forest.

I was annoyed by the lack of coordination. I had to wait for a long time for the people to cross certain places, like climbing up the forest in a single file. And there were people who cut queue which was rude.

The missing plane, MH 370, was a big blow to us, not to mention the relatives of the passengers. There were people who couldn't hide their feelings for the missing plane.

The climax of the walk - each team was given a dedicated hole to plant a tree. We finally unloaded our soil and fertiliser that we had carried for half the trek. We quickly planted our sapling. Wondering about the fate of our sapling which would be a tall tree .... in years to come.

A healthy sapling was planted...

Going down was pretty tough, holding on to the rope to prevent from slipping or falling. But then I still could not help being distracted by the sounds and sights of mossies.

We finally reached the road to the finish line, but we brought back the mud and dirt from the forest.

Though I was staggering to the finish line because of my super tired legs, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and hope to do it again.

Stopping at the roadside for coconut water. It's sooooo refreshingly good. Besides, this is how a couple of coconuts can help you find things..... :)

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