Tuesday, 14 December 2010

In The End (Day 16 - 17/07/2010)

The Sungai Ingei Faunal Expedition came to a near end as Day 16 approached. Time did passed by really quick throughout the last two weeks and the expedition has been a successful one with a zero-percent occurrence of any injury.

All research works were halted and the respective research teams went to their sites in the morning to collect their traps/nets; small mammal team to shut and collect traps, bat team to collapse and collect their harp traps and the tarsier team to close their mist nets.

The frog team had switch off and collected their light traps the night before too. In addition to that, the camera trap team also didn't need to collect any camera traps from their respective sites as those camera traps are meant to stay in the field for months.

After a good lunch, everyone in the base camp helped out in packing up all the necessary items that were to be brought back to UBD. The tarps that were used as our 'curtains' were all taken down. In addition to that, extra canned food and other kitchen utensils were also packed up.

Nothing is supposed to be left behind at the base camp after the expedition so you can imagine the load of luggage that needed to be packed on that day. After most of the things were packed, the participants proceeded to pack their own personal belongings.

The afternoon of Day 16 was considered as one of the most relaxed period of the expedition. Since most of the logistics items and equipments were packed, there was nothing much to do except for cleaning up the base camp and its surroundings.

The weather was hot and dry and the water level for that day was at its lowest during the course of the expedition. With free time to spare and a cool river just right next to the base camp, the temptation to jump into the river was just too strong! After all, it was the last time the participants could enjoy the river and its beautiful, white beach.

No wrong in drying some clothes under the hot sun
although the expedition was coming to a very near end

Dr. Yustian writing his page
in the expedition's log book

The men went wild in the river!

Human choo-choo train in the river?

The girls relaxing at the beach
while dipping their legs in the water

The time was 4pm and most of the participants were resting in the base camp. Our expedition leader, Dr. Charles, was discussing some matters with Samhan (field coordinator) in the kitchen when suddenly, they heard some repetitive shouting from the river. Some of the participants that were lying on their beds also jumped to their feet to check out where the shouting was from.

Not far from the foot of the base camp, a few half-naked men were seen in the river and it seemed that they were lifting some logs that were found in the river. Those men were composed of Angus (field guide) and our Iban boatmen and they were trying to lift and move some of the smaller yet heavy logs that were blocking the river.

Since the water level was very low, it would be wise to clear the stretch of river to enable a smoother path for the boats to pass through on Day 17. On the other hand, the younger men in the base camp all ran towards the river after realizing that the elder men were hard at work in removing the logs. Apart from showing off their biceps and triceps, removing the logs was fun and challenging and hence, become that afternoon's main activity.

Old but still strong
Picture shows the elder men lifting the log that was stuck in the river

Soon after, the younger men all helped to lift this particular log

It wasn't easy as some of the logs were big and heavy

SPLASH! The log was removed and there were more to lift!

Male hormone levels were high!

The last dinner of the expedition was one of the best dinners that was prepared by our main chef Haji Ramlee and everyone was happy and thankful. After dinner, while some went to finalize their packing of personal belongings, a Sembahyang Hajat was also conducted and lead by Haji Roslan to acknowledge the smooth-running of the expedition.

Last dinner of the expedition

Haji Roslan led the Sembahyang Hajat

Prayers being conducted by the participants

The night of Day 16 ended with the participants feeling happy and excited, as everyone had longed to go back to their homes the next day to their beloved families. Every participant was away from their homes and also away from the real, bustling world for two weeks. It was time to go back!

Check out the next blog post as the Sungai Ingei Faunal Expedition reached a happy end.

To be continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment