Account of her time with us:
“An overnight bus ride through dark roads to Terengganu, an early morning cab ride to Merang Jetty and a speedy boat ride to what seemed like, and is, paradise in Malaysia. A true getaway from the bustling and ever moving city of Kuala Lumpur. Being a non-Malaysian and having experienced such contrasting landscapes, it was definitely an eye-opening trip!
Lang Tengah island really took my breath away. Carpet waters do not do it justice without the help of constantly crashing waves, dancing trees and nature’s music from geckos, birds and hermit crabs – just to name a few of what I saw on the island.
I got into a diving coma from pristine blue waters of snorkel sites like Turtle Bay, Batu Kuching and Blue Coral. Visibilities throughout my 4 days stay were incredible! I was incredibly lucky enough to have witnessed a beautiful Black Tip Reef Shark at Batu Kuching. Triggerfishes, Cuttlefishes and Clownfishes were among some of the other marine lives I saw. Absolutely amazing!
Though, I didn’t get to see any sea turtles. I was not in any way disappointed because blinking fluorescent planktons and the bright starry sky kept me company on my nightly patrols. To patrol and sit in the dark with only the starry sky illuminating my way was definitely a sight I will never forget! To see that many stars in a night is not something you will ever get to see in a city as well!
As this is a volunteer program, expect to live minimally and naturally. Being stripped off from my comfort zone, the program has taught me to live with only the bare necessities. Frankly speaking, I couldn’t have asked for it to be in any other way! I enjoyed every single experience I had on the island, from drawing water from a well to using the jungle as my toilet to having erratic sleeping patterns due to the nightly patrols. You don’t get these kind of experiences when living in the city! To have that change over the course of my 4 days was truly amazing!
At the end of the day, this program serves as a groundbreaking start for Malaysia to start protecting and conserving sea turtles. Today, the population of sea turtles in our waters are not as impressive as it used to be, so with this program’s passion and commitment, it is of importance that we spread the word of sea turtle conservation and walk away with it an experience of a lifetime! A warm thank you to Hayati, Raphe and Gus! Without them, none of this is possible.”