I am home, after a decade
So, I have finally officially moved back to Melaka, after spending slightly more than 10 years in Kuala Terengganu. When I left for Kuala Terengganu a decade ago, I went with a pretty reluctant heart, but God indeed had better plans for me!
I have not only graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology, I have also discovered my passion for turtles, which led me to completing a Master’s degree in Biodiversity and Conservation. And because I have been doing so much research and conservation work on the critically-endangered turtles in Terengganu, when an opportunity arose for me to establish a non-governmental organization that focuses on the turtles, I jumped at it. That was how Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCS) was formed.
This is also the first time, in many years, that I am officially unemployed. After my graduation in 2004, I have always had one job or another, whether it was as a Research Assistant on a turtle project, or as a part-time reporter for a local English daily, The Star. But now, I am a full-time Ph.D. student, on a scholarship from CIMB Foundation (thank you!), as well as a full-time volunteer at TCS, the NGO I co-founded. I am currently working on our first newsletter (among other things), which will be online (hopefully) by the end of June!
My Ph.D. research is seasonal, and I had spent close to 100 days in the field, on two separate occasions after Chinese New Year. The first 1.5 months was spent collecting data and terrapin eggs from the river bank for incubation, and the second 1.5 months was spent processing all the terrapin hatchlings that successfully emerged. The villagers will be raising the terrapin hatchlings for a few months before they are eventually released into the river. The hatchlings, not the villagers. LOL.
So, now that I am back at my Mum’s in Melaka, I intend to spend my time very wisely. I have plans to write at least one journal article from my research this year, as well as to work on my Literature Review chapter of the thesis. I will also be taking yoga classes as well as participating in photo walks and nature-related activities, to hone my photography skills as well as to meet people with similar interests.
Life is good :D