Botany survey with Singapore Botanic Garden and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh at Ng Bloh (LEWS) from 20th February until 8th March 2017
This time i was assigned to lead a team of 14 people and i am the only female in this group. Being the only flower among the thorns, i have quite a mixture of feelings. Will i survive? Will i be able to manage this group as a team leader? Will we be able to work as a team? Will i be able to cope with all sorts of challenges which we will possibly face? Will i be able to handle the local communities? To summary it all, actually i am anxious about this trip. Furthermore, i never explore trails, rivers or forests in this site. Although, I did visit the research station last year, (see this post The LEWS Headquarters) but i didn’t do much during that trip.
When i am worried too much, i usually went to a priest asking for blessings of protection and peaceful heart. On that Sunday, 19th Feb, i asked for a blessings from Fr William after the Eucharistic Mass. He told me this, “Don’t worry, you will be fine. God is with you“. When i mention to him that i am going to Ulu Katibas, he recalled in his early days he did visit longhouses in that area. God knows how to console my heart.
Actually, i have a strong instincts that this trip will be a very tough one for me and it turn out to be true. I start my journey to Sibu town using an early flight on 20th Feb and my flight was delayed for 30 minutes. Then, it continues on with a few other problems in relations with this fieldwork which makes me start to worried again. Only God knows how i feel deep inside my heart, should i continue or just give up and pack my bag. Go home and leave my team mates behind. Thank God that i am not an irresponsible person. My past experiences taught me well to endure the hardships and never giving up easily.
Finally, it is worth to stay until the end of this fieldwork. We face our shortcomings and challenges together even though at some point i become grumpy especially when i was unable to cope with the stress. I am thankful to God for protecting us from all dangers especially with the unpredictable weather when we were at our camping site. We all safe in one piece. It is much appreciated for cooperation and hardwork of all my team members during this fieldwork. It was a previleged for me to be able to work with botanists from SBG (Paul & Michele) and RBGE (Peter) too. They are awesome people. Not forgetting support from our office. Thanks to Ms Julia for her never ending support. Actually i am blessed! Thank you Lord.