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  wild people: Priscilla

I first got to know Priscilla when she joined as Chek Jawa guide. I didn't realise that we had met before when she was among the visitors that I guided on Chek Jawa.

An exuberant young lady full of joy for nature, a guided tour with Priscilla is always an exciting learning experience. She shares her name with Chek Jawa's famous wild boar; a fact that never failed to cause delightful confusion.

Priscilla always injects a freshness to all our trips; in ideas, approaches and general good fun. She was thus a much welcomed addition to the volunteer team for the wildsingapore wildfilms project to document Singapore's intertidal shores.

A strong woman in mind and body, Priscilla dispenses powerful opinions on nature and life and can carry more than her fair share of video equipment. It should have thus been no surprise when I later found out that she had a stint in the SAF as an officer cadet.

Here is more about Priscilla in her own words ...

How did you first get involved in working for nature in Singapore?
Since young, I've always been the mangrove-girl, the one who follows dad out on trips to the kranji mangroves or the beach, either just combing for critters and shells or taking with us our hand nets or casting nets. Our weekends were always highlighted by exploration walks in the forests around reservoirs such as Peirce, fishing trips, digging for "la-las" (yummy bivalves), or catching the portunus for dinner.

Dad grew older, work got busier and these trips came to a halt in my teens. However, I still enjoyed walks out there and realised that something had to be done to preserve these places in land-scarce Singapore. I sought information about what I can do, and tried hooking up with the people already involved. After a school field trip to Chek Jawa, I signed up as a guide there, inspired by Ria, who was my guide then! I never looked back, and am now involved in filming Singapore's intertidal areas.

What do you get out of working for nature?
I can write an essay on this, but the most important thing about Nature is that we are part of it, so we need it around us, to heal us, to soothe us. (But the sad thing is, many city-slickers in Singapore have forgotten this, and even regard it as something unfamiliar and foreign, sometimes even as something inferior and a hindrance to development.)

Nature rejuvenates me and takes loads off my mind, calms me and of course, reminds me of my childhood.

What is your approach/personal motto in your work?
Simple. Have fun, do what I can, the best I can. Sometimes situations can be beyond us, but at least we've tried and pushed to the very end.

What are some of your other interests?
I like working with kids a lot, and I work as a free-lance camp instructor with trekkers. As mentioned, I guide at Chek Jawa too, and plan to guide at other areas once more time is freed up. Other activities I enjoy are trekking, bouldering, basically... being OUT THERE.

Priscilla is 22 and is a Chemistry undergraduate at the National University of Singapore. She currently volunteers as a guide at Chek Jawa and on the wildsingapore wildfilms team.

Posted by HostPhilip Posted on 13/07/04 21:35
Hey Ria, thought you mentioned once that the piggy on chek jawa is named "priscilla"? Lol ... btw, heard it had since died. wonder if it is true.

Posted by Ria Posted on 15/07/04 12:23
Dear Philip, yes, the piggy on CJ is also named Priscilla (although her real name is Wei-Wei). Yes, sadly, she passed on about a month ago. Nothing lasts forever, and we must appreciate what we have while we have it. Wild boars, family, Chek Jawa, our Southern Shores :-)

Posted by otterman Posted on 10/08/04 12:04
Chek Jawa has been a great place for bringing people to nature to meet other like minded indivviduals. To people who ask how to get involved, look to how Priscilla has done it!

More on how YOU can make a difference too...

these blog entries were first uploaded on MoBlog Singapore! Celebrate Singapore NDP 04
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