I have stopped updating this blog, please head to http://xiwenwendy.wixsite.com/xiwen-lunaticus ! :D

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Getting Out of the Box (not just thinking of it)

[The following piece of writing was written in a more peaceful tone by eliminating most of the aggressive emotions to avoid causing controversy. Sorry if I offended anyone in any way. This essay is to express my personal point of view towards the topic without the intention to harm any individual. It does not necessarily represent the situation everyone had but at least it is what I experienced. Feel free to agree or disagree with it.]

I grew up in a traditional Chinese family where parents were strict (for our own good of course, and I am the eldest) and studied in Chinese schools for primary and secondary studies (super strict teachers and rules) for the past 17 years until I left my hometown to study in Selangor. Before that everyone around me basically consisted of Chinese except some teachers and staffs and some acquaintances I knew during my English tuition class. At that time I had no idea what does the world look like and I don't have the will to know either. (There was a reason why I scored high marks for my Malay language essay. I was taught in 'bahasa baku' a.k.a. standard language in the very first place, causing me to speak funny bahasa when I started to mix around with Malay friends. The spoken language is quite different from the written one. So I can consider this as cultural shock? Haha) My rebellious nature came quite late, about 18 years after I was born, haha, since I lived far away from home.

The environment was a comfort zone where I lived a life the way that I thought it should be, influenced by surrounding people and culture. We were taught to study hard to excel in examinations as that was the ultimate goal as a student so that we could be 'someone who are able to contribute to the community'. We were taught to follow the rules without the right to object anything even if we did not agree because the order was given by the authorities. We were taught not to doubt about decisions made by 'adults' as they were always right because their experience in life was much more than ours. Eventually many of us developed a characteristic of accepting what others say without face-to-face objection, which means we would be giving comments at the back fearlessly despite the fact that we were afraid to confront directly with the 'offenders'. Keeping quiet became the trend as speaking out loud would invite unwanted attention from unwanted people, eventually bringing troubles to ourselves.

Ok here is something personal about myself. When I was young, I was afraid to speak out my own thoughts no matter how small the thing was unless it was something conventional and could be accepted by general people. I did everything carefully so that I did not break any rule or any expectation from others. I wanted to be looked up at, I wanted to be liked, I wanted to be someone successful in terms of others view. A little bit of blaming certainly terrified me (no hyperbole). This personality has rooted inside me and I struggled hard to break free. Part of it still remains that I get panicked easily and I always worry about things that maybe I should not worry that much. Yeah, it leads to high efficiency in completing works given but it seems out of place within this social circle that I live where people love to be 'just on time'. Although I try to display an open personality I am still very sensitive towards anything related to myself. This led to some degree of aggressiveness within myself and I am sure that most of the time I hurt others' feeling easily by being too straight. Hiding my fear when facing obstacles do not make me stronger but I just do not want to show others that I am weak. Leader should be confident so that others are willing to follow your path to work on the same target. This causes me to break down sometimes when I was alone but this emotion weakness is not going to bring me down.

Things did not change much when I entered pre-tertiary and tertiary studies. Speaking up for ourselves seems like a rare action and people will be like 'wow you are so brave, I agree with you too'. When facing something we think as injustice or not true, we do not stand up to defend ourselves or others. Discussion turns into a one way talk or domination as others will rarely have opinion especially opinions that are contradict with the original idea. Come on, we are almost a grown-up (or already is one). I am not here to encourage rebellion but to motivate you guys to speak out, to let others know what's in our mind otherwise no one knows (or no one will care since you yourself do not want to show that you care). We might feel afraid to stand up facing someone more senior or superior than us, just like I do every time I want to stand up to speak. My heart races like mad but I have to be calm so that my words can be delivered clearly. There is no courage without fear. Face it and give yourself a push. Stand up and talk. The longer you wait, the more courage being drained from your body. Thinking twice before speaking is always smart, as long as you speak, you get the chance to make a change.

As a student we have no money for now, but what we have is energy and time, and chances to get back up after falling. We might fail, but failing as a student is always a fresh start. There is less financial or career stress that we still have the time to rebuild our personality to fit in the outside world in the future. Appreciate the one in a lifetime opportunity we are having now. Dream big, speak loud and work hard. Cheers!

P/S: No photo for this post because it is plain inner thought, hehe...

The End of My Teen-age

Finally I get to relaxed my tensed nerves for the last two weeks (which really affected my health and energy, ugh) to write something personal and non-academic. I had been producing environmental related posts and drafting for the next and next next and next next next environmental related posts-to-be. That is really exhausting that blogging became some kind of works instead of casual sharing. So I decided to get back my life (just joking, hahaha).

Two days ago marked the end of my teen-age that I have officially turned 20 without any count down as I was having a headache and slept two hours before 12am. Ok, that means I had wasted the last two hours of teen-age in slumberland (boohoo). The birthday I had this year was the most special one as I received several surprises and laughters from different gangs of friends. I attended the Eco-Leadership Workshop the day before 27th for one whole day and had a small gathering with bros (lacked of one though) and my dear at Manhattan Fishmarket in Midvalley. It was the first surprise that I received when two waiters with a macha cake appeared before us after we finished our meal. See Yen had spent a tiring day arranging this thing for me. The funniest part was Ang and YZ shared the surprise with me that they were also dumb-struck on the spot XD. That was a very wonderful night although I had fever after I reached my dorm and straight away slept until the next day (I even missed my mum's call, so sad...).

Just lacked of one more person!!! We were so close to meet up!
Ah I was too happy and forgot to take a close shot of the macha cake (I wonder since when I fell in love with this flavour). Four of us devoured the whole cake, wakakakaka... XD
I did not display my birth date on facebook as I don't want excessive attention from people (thanks to the notification which is so convenient, haha) and to avoid chances of getting prank (hehe). I spent the Sunday as usual (besides the fact that I had a test that morning) meeting friends here and there. Then I received a message from my cell group leader saying that that day was Feather's birthday. I was quite surprised that there was another person sharing the same birth date with me (I have another two friends who do share the same birthday as me)! At the end Feather denied that it was not her birthday and the chat box of our cell group became chaotic. I couldn't stop laughing reading the conversation in the chat box where Ting finally realised it's my birthday and started asking others to wish me but no one believed him. That really made my day!

The day after my birthday was quite enjoyable too. Ting and Feather accompanied me for breakfast at old flat (the guy bear the cost! XD) while Coro accompanied me for lun-ner (lunch+dinner) with a cup of chrysanthemum drinks (still not sure where she got it for me, hahaha) (update: she said that she picked the flower in UPM *gasp*). She even risked herself of getting soaked through the skin just to accompany me (touched). I am quite obsessed about having meals with friends, although it is quite difficult to have the matched time.

The another surprise happened when I started writing this post. Someone was knocking at my window calling my name (I lived in ground floor). When I opened the window a sudden outburst of birthday song flooded my room. While I was still looking out the window with surprise, Erika and SoonLi sneaked up at my back with five slices of cakes. Here came the sort of ceremony thingy where I spooned fed each of my fellow college mates the cakes. It was quite awkward but sharing is caring, right? Hahaha.
Them blocking the whole window. What a surprise! I really did not expect all of you guys turned up.

My wall started to fill with wishing posts as soon as Ting started it (LOL). Thank you everyone for wishing me especially those who sms-ed me. Sorry that I can't reply you guys one by one but really thank you for your wishes. You guys had made my dayS and I am glad to have you guys as my friends. Lots of Love~

by Google.. ^^

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Conclusion for Lake Chini Fieldwork 2014

Personally I am exposed to the environmental issues more since I entered the Faculty of Environmental Studies in University Putra Malaysia. Me and my coursemates learnt and are still learning a lot of things that normally people would not know or care about. Maybe some of us were chosen to take this course without our own will but as time passed we became conscious about the environmental issues because we know what really happen around us and see what is usually unseen. This knowledge should be spreaded to the public instead of keeping them to ourselves and leaving them behind after the exams.

Here are the 'table of content' of posts regarding this fieldwork that I have posted before:

Thank God that I finished all the posts. Sorry if the posts are not detailed enough or are confusing. Feel free to ask if you have any doubt. Paying attention to all of the sessions are really tiring as I tried hard to remember and absorb what has been taught hands-on at the site. Experience is always much more precious than knowledge within finger tips. Just like the subject 'Man and Environment' taught by Dr. Mohd Yusoff last semester, this subject is another eye-opener, it inspires and motivates us besides giving us an idea what we are going to face in the future in these various sub-fields of environmental studies. Knowing what we want to do in the future is important for us to have a direction to fight for. For me, well, there is still no fixed point for my future path. I am looking forward to Environmental Forensics and Environmental Law though, just a prediction as I find myself interested in environmental justice. But then, I found that Environmental Law is not included in our syllabus for Bachelor of Environmental Science and Technology (uh oh...).

Anyway, I place my trust in God's hands as He know what is the best for me. Now, all I have to do is study. Ok, just kidding, haha. It is impossible for me just to study without other spices in life, right? I want to enjoy my life as an independent university environmental student and share my thoughts to others. May God bless everyone of us. Amen.

Me and Erika, the siao za bo... XDD

Tasik Chini Fieldwork - Biodiversity

ARGH I MISSED OUT HER PHOTO DURING THIS TRIP!!! HOW COULD I???? It was the last session of the whole fieldwork so I kinda forgot, feeling that this series is lacked of something (boohoo). It was Assoc. Prof. Dr. Latifah (the birthday girl during the trip, hehehe) who is also the ex-head of Department of Environmental Management. It was unbelievable that she got a degree in Zoology while a master in Civil Engineering, that was really amazing!

Secretly took this photo during lecture as substitution, haha.
This was the session that I was reluctant to do. I know it is for research, for gaining knowledge, for obtaining experience by hands-on activity but still, I could not convince myself to do it without self-blaming. Maybe you will think that I overreact over this small stuff, but it actually mean a lot to me. I can produce another post about what I think on the preserving of insect specimens. So let's just focus on this fieldwork about biodiversity.

The sweeping net.
The pitfall trap.
The yellow tray.
Our main task for this fieldwork was to collect insect specimens, as many as we can. There were three methods that we used: The sweeping net, the pitfall trap and the yellow tray. The active part of the insect collecting is the sweeping net. Just like what we have seen before on TV, we carried a large white net which was made of fine materials to catch butterflies, i mean, insects, any insects would do. For the butterflies, after catching them, we crush their head with fingers then put them in paper envelope with their wings folded to protect their wings from being damaged. For other insects, they are put into a bottle with cotton wet with ethyl acetate to put them into forever sleep. On the other hand, pitfall trap and yellow tray are more passive as we just wait for careless insects to drop into the soap solution and drown. Pitfall trap consists of a container filled with some soap solution. The container is then being buries at ground level. The brightly-coloured yellow tray is placed at sunlit area to attract insects such as moths which tend to follow lights (for this fieldwork we got nothing in the yellow tray).
Looking up and down for insects.
Showing off the results of our hardwork.
To catch an insect especially those flying ones is a difficult job (even to spot one is hard). We have to be careful so that we do not harm the body of the insects as they are small and fragile. After we kill the insects, they should be pinned onto the polystyrene in a wooden specimen box using pin. The pin should pierce through the right thorax of the insect on a wooden crate first to make sure that the insect is fixed at the middle of the pin before transferring it onto the polystyrene. For insects which are too small to be pin, they are glued to a small piece of paper which is then pinned. The pinned insects are left to dry. So before that, we should adjust the poses of the insects so that they look alive instead of crooked.
Many species of grasshoppers from the order of Orthoptera.

A variety of bugs.
Bugs again. (I use the word 'bugs' because I am not sure about the species, even the common names)
Some butterflies from the order of Lepidoptera.
Surprisingly although we collected the insects at lake site, there were not many dragonflies (order of Odonata). And that indicated that the water quality was not very good. However we found quite a lot of skipper butterflies which flew low on the ground.
I was regretted for not identifying the names of the insects as soon as we collected them. We left the specimens for a few days and when I got back to the specimens I found that the colour of the butterfly wings was faded! They were brown and tattered that it was impossible to identify their species. The body of dragonflies is basically empty, maybe the flesh rotted or something else happened. The grasshoppers humped their back. All the insects were in terrible state. So terrible that I felt sorry for them that we did not really take them seriously.

Hope that I will not have to do it anymore. I prefer to use the capture and release technique. Insects are beautiful, with life inside their body.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Tasik Chini Fieldwork - Hydrology (part two)

Our Dr. Nor Rohaizah whom I have never met before. She seemed fearless when crossing the 'river' (feeling ashamed, could we even call that river?).
Many of us made a mistake during this fieldwork. As we thought that we were going to get our feet wet, we wore slippers which gave poor protection (that almost equivalent to no protection) to our feet as we walked into the forest to reach the river. I got some minor wounds on my feet scratched by branches or thorns (that's why I bought myself a pair of hiking shoes now, which is good for hiking and also getting into the river, yay) and the mud was the most annoying part of the river. It makes you slip or traps your foot, ugh. The downstream part of the river was chosen as our fieldwork site as this was the shallowest river where we would not disturb the life of orang asli living there (there was another river with the depth of 3m, so...hmm...).

The very shallow water of the river. At the middle of the river it was mainly sand but at the river bank it was full of mud, annoying mud.
So yeah, it was the downstream part of the river.
This was more about the quantity measurement of the river. Firstly we need to set up a safety rope across the river (during this fieldtrip we used nylon string which was unsafe at all, haha. After all the depth of the water did not even reach half of my calf) for us to hold on to in case we lose balance. The height of the safety rope indicates also the maximum height of the river water during rainy season. Then the meter tape is set up too along the safety rope.We have to decide whether we measure the physical parameters of the river from the left or the right bank. The direction is decided by which we face the direction the water flow of river. After that, the width of the river is 'cut' into several section with 1m per section. The current river depth and the maximum depth of the river are recorded at each of the point. The velocity of the current is measured at those points as well by inserting the propellent at half of the depth of the river.

The 'safety rope' and meter tape. They were tied across the original width of the river. The size of the river shrunk due to the previous drought. The effect was really big towards the river.
The staff gauge which can be extended to measure the depth of the river.
Again, the GPS which is placed on the ground to measure the elevation of the site, according to the sea level.
The non-waterproof current meter. It is another expensive device that we cannot afford to drop it into the water.
The propellent which is the detector for the current meter. It should be pointed at the direction of the river flow without any obstacle at front. Due to wind or other factors, the water at surface will flow at a faster rate, so we should take the measurement at the half of the depth. But if the depth is more than 1m, we take the reading at 0.2m and 0.8m then get the average reading. That should represent the velocity of river flow.
I did not write down notes at all during this session as we were rushing to finish the fieldwork. So many of the details I have forgotten (ugh). Measuring the river could be dangerous and yet we have to do it as these physical conditions of the river will definitely affect the water quality. I believe there would be much more river adventures we will go through one day.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Earth Day Celebration Ceremony 2014 in UPM

Earth Day Celebration Ceremony 2014
launched by
YB Dato' Sri Dr. James Dawos Mamit
Deputy Minister of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
22nd April 2014 (Tuesday)
Banquet Hall, University Putra Malaysia (UPM)
My fellow sporty batchmates and university-mates who cycled all the way from residential colleges to Banquet Hall through a quite tough route to physically show their supports towards this event.
Honestly speaking, this was the first Earth Day Celebration Ceremony I attended for the past 20 years although I claimed that I am an environmental person. I got to know about this ceremony quite last minute so it's too bad that I could not write a trailer about it but still I am glad that I got the chance to attend this ceremony organised by the Department of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. What a pleasure to have YB Dato' Sri Dr. James Dawos Mamit to join us here in UPM! Each year, Earth Day celebration is held to instil the environmental awareness to the public in conservation and preservation of the environment. This year, the theme for this Earth Day celebration ceremony was 'Green Cities'.

The ceremony started by the flagging off the Envirocycle programme by our Deputy Minister of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vice Chancellor of UPM, Prof. Dato' Dr. Mohd Fauzi Hj. Ramlan and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students' Affairs & Alumni) of UPM, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Shatar Sabran. Envirocycle is the cycling culture of students and staffs in the university. This morning, participants began their cycling journey from the Banquet Hall to The Faculty of Agriculture, a distance of 2km. UPM students are given a rebate of RM300 for bicycle that we purchased. Despite the physical work of cycling, it is actually comfortable to cycle within the campus as we have nice bicycle lane and people who really concern about the safety of cyclists (drivers often give way for us, feeling loved, haha).

The launching of programme Rakan Alam Sekitar (RAS) (translated as Environment Buddies) at university level was the spotlight of the ceremony. Captains of RAS of various universities including University Malaya (UM), University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), University Science Malaysia (USM) and so on were appointed to lead all RAS of respective universities in promoting environmental awareness among the public. Besides, the website of Enviro Knowledge Management Centre was introduced during the ceremony where we can get the information regarding the environmental issues and reports in the form of e-book. We just have to registered at the website for free to enjoy the knowledges provided.

Apart from the ceremony, there were also exhibitions on the environmental issues and green technologies. The person-in-charged of each of the exhibitions was very amiable and helpful. Here are some of the exhibitors:
The portable exhibition unit of  the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Cool, huh?
The Department of Environment, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.  
The Department of Marine Park Malaysia, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. There are a total of  40 marine parks in Malaysia excluding the one in Sabah which is not under the Federal government (and I have not visited any one of them!!!). To be gazetted as a marine park, the State government has to apply to this department for that particular area (mostly islands).
Paya Indah Wetlands under the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) Peninsular Malaysia,  the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. It is free of charge to visit unless you want to stay in the chalet or use other facilities there. The most important part is, it is not far from UPM!
The Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (JUPEM),  the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Through the name we know that it is responsible in the physical measurement of the environment.
The Department of Biosafety, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. It is a rather new department established in 2010 with the Biosafety Act 2007. Now I just realised that we already have genetically modified products approved by this department in Malaysia. As of June 2013, there are 14 approved events and release activities of genetically modified products.
Asian Centre for Research on Druh Abuse by the University Science Islam Malaysia. There was a mini exhibition on drugs to create awareness in public towards the illegal use of drugs.

This ceremony was formal and serious (which was somehow out of my expectation as I wished it was a lively and fun one). Too bad that I did not have much time to look into each exhibition there, so I focused mainly on the departments under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. There are actually quite a number of departments under that ministry but yet we do not know about them. So this was the chance for some exposures. There are much more to explore!

Energetic young generations!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Tasik Chini Fieldwork - Hydrology (part one)

Dr. Khairul, my academic advisor and also the coordinator for this subject.
We were warned that we had to use a lot of physical energy for this fieldwork. And it was undeniable. This was the only fieldwork that we would have the opportunity to do it on the speedboat, how exciting (although it could be better if we got the chance to dive, hehe)! I had been on speedboat before when going to Pulau Tuba near Langkawi and when watching fireflies in my home town, so this was not very new to me but it was still fun to be on a speedboat, wearing the brightly-coloured life jacket.

I had to sit far back so that the boat would not topple as everyone gathered at one side.
Sampling water on a boat which would sway left and right, up and down was quite difficult. We even had to balance the number of people occupying each side of the boat so that it did not over-turn and everyone ended up in the water. Besides, the sampling devices are very very heavy as weight has to be added to the device so that it can reach the depth we want. After collecting the sample, we had to pull the device up again with extra weight adding to it. Moreover, if we fail to collect the sample during the first try, we have to repeat the same procedure again and again with decreasing body strength each time we redo (skills are important and we need lots of practices). Furthermore, the situation can be worse if you have seasick (gonna leave this for your imagination, haha).

Meter tape with weight. This is used to measure the depth of the pond.
Handheld multiparameter meter which is very convenient as we had 
The Global Positioning System. We need it to mark our location where we do the sampling.
The turbidimeter which we use to measure how clear the water is.
In-situ measurement will be carried out whenever possible during fieldwork as the quality of sample collected might change without proper management. Parameters such as temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen should be measured in-situ as they change their quality pretty fast. Thanks for the invention of portable measurement devices that we do not have to do all the measurements in the laboratory, which means we just have to collect samples for the parameters that we don't have the equipment to measure them on the site. On site measurement is more accurate too!

Here is the reason why we need so much labour work when collecting samples of a pond. After measuring the depth of the pond, we had to take the water sample at the middle of the depth by using the similar Van Dorn water sampler we used before. It was very heavy. Besides collecting water sample, we collected the sediment of the pond using sediment core sampler too!

The Van Dorn water sampler. We had a really hard time trying to send the messenger to hit the switch (the black colour thingy on top) but failed. As we were the last group of the day and the sun was setting, the boatman who had watched some previous groups doing it lent us a helping hand. He did it only once and it was a success catch! (erm, catching pond water, haha)
The sediment core sampler with 20kg of weight added on top to make sure that it penetrates the sediment deep until the whole core is inserted into the bottom sediment. So basically we dropped something heavy into the water and pulled up something even heavier. 
The sediment core which is 1 m long. For the first upper 50cm of the sediment, it will be spliced 3cm each into 'slices' of sediment. For 50cm onwards, we splice it 5cm each. After that carry the whole thing to the laboratory we use radioactive plumbum-210 to measure the sedimentation rate of the pond. (for the case above, we will remove some of the water from the sediment core, leaving behind 2-3cm as medium)

This was the most challenging and chaotic fieldwork of this trip. I could not take much photos on the boat as I did not want to risk losing my phone among the brown brown water (ok it is actually because we did not have enough hands on the boat for all the works). How nice if we had more time to do this without the need to rush back on time. Taking the boat is fun, but kayaking can be even great but too bad we did not have extra time to do so (boohoo).

Sunday, 20 April 2014

AVEDA Walk for Water 2014 - Trailer

April is the Earth Month when we have plenty of green events going around here and there to create awareness among the public towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Even though we are having water rationing for this month in Selangor, but we are still fortunate enough to have cheap and convenient tap water supply at home. The minor water 'crisis' we have now has given us some effects on daily life that we really have to carefully plan the usage of water. Imagine the situation that we do not have clean water supply at home at all and the nearest water supply is a few kilometers away. On 27th April 2014 there is another exciting water-related environmental awareness event named AVEDA Walk for Water 2014 which is an international charity campaign supporting EcoKnight's H2O Project (Help to Offer Safe Drinking Water to Mantanani), an effort of Blue Life.

AVEDA Walk for Water 2014 is going to be held from 7.30am to 10am at the Fountain area of Pavilion Mall, Bukit Bintang. Participants will walk for 3km which symbolises the distance some people in the world without clean water supply have to walk to get fresh water. Fund raised in this event will be used for the delivering of safe and clean drinking water to some 1200 villagers on Mantanani island, Sabah. As we know, island is surrounded by the sea where the salt water is not suitable to be consumed. Usually the fresh water supply of an island comes from the groundwater which is pumped  from deep underground. The restoration of groundwater supply by rain water is slow compared to the rate of harvesting the precious water stored in the water table (which is ground saturated by water), resulting in the depletion of groundwater supply. If that happens, saline water from the sea might be sucked into the underground of the island, making the land saline and not suitable for plant growth besides contaminating the already limited groundwater. The worse thing that can happen after the depletion of groundwater supply is the formation of sinkhole where the land collapses as the once saturated water table is empty and land subsides, compressing the ground that the water table can no longer store water again. Buildings built on the land might be destructed as well due to the collapsing of land underneath.
The organiser.
Now we see how precious fresh water can be on islands where rural communities live. We should appreciate water more by keep reminding ourselves how difficult it is for them to get safe drinking water. Join the walk to contribute to the movement for the improvement of livelihoods for the islanders! So if you are 13 years old and above, feel free to register here with entry fee of RM40 in exchange of a goodie bag consists of AVEDA travel size shampoo and conditioner (50ml each) worth RM60 and a cash voucher of RM30. The registration will be closed upon reaching 1,000 participants by 23rd April 2014. (oh you are below 13 years old? The admission is free but you are not eligible to receive the goodie bag, sorry!)

Celebrate Earth Month, clean water is pure happiness!

Happy Easter Day

Have a blessed day, guys! =D

P/S: It's not about eggs and bunnies! It's more than that that we should rejoice!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Tasik Chini Fieldwork - Solid Waste Management

Our Assoc. Prof. Dr. Puziah who is also the head of Department of Environmental Science in our faculty. Rarely met her before and I was fortunate enough to capture her 'another side' of her serious expression. We have another lecturer named Dr. Faradiella who was absent in this trip.

When we were still young, we often heard typical standardised threatening sentences such as, ''If you don't study well now, later you will be sweeping the rubbish at roadside.'' It sounds bad, very bad, and this is still the thing we are often being teased about because environmental studies are about rubbish, as what general public thinks (but at least they know that our environment is related to rubbish).

Braving towards our destination without fear of rubbish! (Hahahahahahaha... We were actually kinda worried as we rarely or had never been to landfill before)

WARNING! Disturbing photos embedded below...

We visited two sites away from the resort by taking our faculty's van: The town area (which was less rural than the place around the lake) and the landfill (which sounds smelly before we set our foot there, thanks to the horrible description by the previous groups). For the first part of this fieldwork, we did surveys on the residents opinion on solid waste management. The residents there were really amiable that they were willing to share and even treat us with can drinks. We also had to draw the map of the area of the town where we did the surveys and pointed out which were the sources of the solid wastes. After the site visit there I could conclude that it was just like many parts of our country. Photos are the best explanation for such situation.

Mainly food waste and containers.
More food wastes and containers and paper boxes.
Constuction waste: abandoned bricks.
Construction waste again: abandoned wooden racks and metal strips.
More and more food waste and containers and paper boxes...
Forsaken stalls? Maybe... The whole thing was just left there for quite a long time I believe. Look at the rusts.
Heaps of paper boxes and plastic bags coming from grocery stores.
Ashes... Leaf ashes...
Over-turned unwanted rubbish bin, which was just let it be.
Nicely packed up rubbish, but......
A little close up shot. These were MAGGOTS. Wriggling MAGGOTS. This photo could had been taken a lot more closer so that you can see how do maggots look like but I did not want to risk my Nokia Lumia from dropping into herds of those creatures and being munched on. (Credit goes to Hakim who took the photo full of courage, hahaha)
More and more and more food waste and containers and paper boxes.
Unwanted car parts.
We can see how much plastics we actually use daily.
Paper boxes which were actually recycable.
Metal frames used during construction but now they were dumped, at road side.
Almost overflowed rubbish bin. Ok this is the last photo of rubbish bin. I know you guys must have fed up of seeing these.
Solid waste can actually been divided into two types: rubbish and garbage. Garbage is food waste while rubbish is non-food waste (but I refer all the solid waste as rubbish to avoid confusion in this post). We have a word for food waste, can you think about how significant this waste is in our daily 'waste-production'? Waste no more food!

Here comes the landfill. Unlike sanitary landfill, this was an open landfill, which is legal in the sense of law as that piece of land was assigned to be the dumping area for all solid waste generated. I had never been so close to a landfill before that I even walked in the landfill. Instead of burying all the rubbish, the rubbish was burnt despite the danger of explosion or what's so ever. Basically what I smelled there was the smokes of combustion instead of the pungent odour of rubbish (should I be grateful?). Explosion could really be heard happening somewhere among the rubbish heaps. I felt sorry to people working there, having to deal with all the toxic gases and risks. This is happening although we are not willing to see it. Out of sight, out of mind. Imagine if the landfill locates just beside our residential area.

Honestly it is a nasty job that no one will ever want to do that. But still, there are people willing to do it for us when no one else looks up on them. Those who are doing it should not be seen as people from the bottom of the society. Of course this job can be better, if and only if the public is civilised enough to learn how to manage the solid waste well. Sorry for being slightly aggressive here, please pay some respects to our solid waste collectors.

To ease our churning stomach after seeing those cannot-be-unseened images, here are some nice scenes of the town:

See the contrast? We often see the good side of a situation and tend to turn a blind eye towards the easily-overlooked side. Notice it, change it.

First time wearing this kind of mask, looked more professional, hahaha...