Time flies. 3 weeks seems like just 3 days ago. We were transferred to the bigger boat by Papalo, the same boat that took us diving for 3 weeks. It’s a heavy feeling to wave goodbye to Hoga and Dave, Pippa, Sarah, Andy and all the staffs and students in Oppwall. It was really a wonderful and joyful workshop.
Although it was just a short workshop, what my fellow EDGE trainees and I have taken with us is worth a year. I don’t think there’s any such workshop anywhere else. I personally felt a strong bond among us, the EDGE trainees, and the instructors – Catherine, Dave and Bert. All the inputs given will remain and definitely will be appropriately applied in conservation. I’m very sure that the 8 of us will definitely spearhead the coral reefs conservation back in our own countries. Kudos to ZSL, Cat and the EDGE staff for organizing this workshop. Special thanks to Cat as well as the funny and great instructors, Dave and Bert.
Couldn’t believe that it was really time to leave when all of us arrived in Wanci. Cat was in tears hugging and saying goodbye to everyone of us. Goodbye seems to be the hardest word. Oh dear, I think I’m going to cry – those were Cat’s final words before leaving us alone in a ship to Bau-bau while she flew… so mean, hihi!
However, while we were waiting for our flights in Bau-bau, everyone was missing her already and missing Hoga and the people there as well. Waiting to get on the plane seems to be longer than the three weeks in Hoga, making it harder to accept that we were finally going home. But something we wont forget and can kill the waiting boredom of the airport are our laughter, jokes and the best of all, the imitations – which made us a ‘figure’ in Hoga.
Now,while I’m writing this blog, some of us would have arrived home. In barely 24 hours, I had to say goodbye 4 times. In few more hours, I have to say goodbye to Ditto, my roommate for the past 3 weeks. It’s really difficult to say goodbye so many times. But for every time I say goodbye, I have built another new friendship which I’ll never forget – Bert, Dave, Cat, Astrid, Andre, Grace, Lely, Ditto, Sue and Alvin. It was the best workshop I’d ever attended. Thank you. It’s not just the knowledge that I’m taking away from this workshop, but the friendships and the future of coral reefs as well.
The first EDGE Corals Training Course took place in Operation Wallacea’s field site in Hoga, Indonesia. The course was lead by Catherine Head EDGE Coral Reefs Co-ordinator, Dave Smith from Essex University Coral Reef Unit, and Bert Hoeksema from Naturalis Center of Biodiversity, Netherlands. The Trainees were early career conservationist from the coral triangle: Astrid , Lely, and Andre from Indonesia; Sue, Alvin, and Chai Ming from Malaysia; and Grace and Ditto from the Philippines. To find out more about the course visit EDGE Coral Reefs Training Course.