8 Sep 2015

Volunteering with MNS Green Living-

We saw an ad on MNS Green Living looking for volunteers to help clean up turtle tanks, the hatchery and the beach at the Melaka Turtle Conservation. I asked my children if they were keen, and very eagerly they said Yes.

It was quite a wait before the briefing began, because we had to wait for late comers. During briefing children were asked to be very careful, because the tank would be VERY slippery! Their job for the day would involve scrubbing the tanks, as well as gently scrubbing turtle shells too.

 The Melaka Turtle Conservation is mainly home to Hawksbill Turtle...and we spotted only one Green Turtle.
"The Critically Endangered hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) has been exploited for thousands of years as the sole source of commercial tortoiseshell. The beautiful carapace is generally streaked and marbled with amber, yellow or brown and often has a strongly serrated edge (5). The strongly hooked beak on the narrow head gives rise to the hawksbill turtle's common name (6). Unlike other marine turtles, the scales (scutes) of the hawksbill turtle’s carapace are imbricate, or overlapping, hence the scientific name 'imbricata(7)."(Arkive.org) 

Children gently scrubbing the top of a turtle's shell. They were told to only scrub in one direction, downwards, away from the head.

Scrubbing done, we headed to the hatchery.

From the outside of the hatchery, we took a peek and saw these babies that were newly hatched and ready to be released! How eager they were to get out of the bucket. :) According to Arkive.org, "probably less than one out of 1,000 eggs will survive and reach adulthood (9)."  :(

~We were not to go near the nests, but clean areas away from the nests. Children were given rakes and bags to clear the area of leaves and whatever trash they found.

Final job for the day was to clean up the beach by the sanctuary. This was a dirty job that required gloves.

Somebody lent Jo this gadget which really came in handy. We found all sorts of garbage, like diapers, lots of styrofoam, old batteries, plastic containers, underwear and just gross items.

Nel carrying her full bag of garbage back to the meeting point.


Finally to celebrate the hard work done, volunteers were asked to make a V on the beach to celebrate the release of turtle hatchlings. Nobody was to touch any hatchlings. The bucket of hatchlings was tipped over gently and we stood and watched as the little ones began their journey to the ocean. Some struggled even on sand...and we wondered if they'd survive. We know, the rate of survival is low...we could only pray for them and hope.

Back home, Jo drew these pictures in her travel journal. I asked my children if they thought the trip worth it, they said Yes. They never expected to find so much trash on the beach and they do realize how trash will pollute the ocean when the tide rises, harming sea creatures and the environment. I think they learnt a lot from volunteering.

So yeah, Let's keep our environment CLEAN...and teach our children to protect the environment  through volunteering in such programs, and perhaps even starting little projects in our neighbourhoods to educate others about the importance of keeping mother earth clean.

Next Post: Apa Kaba Homestay where we stayed the night after a long working day.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2015



gail said...

Living out what you preach...good for you, Mama!

Martha said...

Thanks G. It's helping them learn through doing. :)

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