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  wild people: Yandi

Like with many other nature lovers, I first met Yandi on Chek Jawa. Yandi was a great volunteer guide. I also bumped into him now and then on my forays into the forest.

But he really only came into our lives when he joined the wildsingapore wildfilms project. It was then that we realised just how good he was with animals. He would find wild things even in a park when the film crew was chilling out.

Of course, his previous experience in the Real Nature Documentary world helped with the work.

But mostly, his wonderful sense of humour and gentle, crazy streak would keep us going when things got less easy on our field trips.

Here is more about Yandi in his own words ...

Why the love for nature?
As a kid I grew up in a HDB flat, deplete of greenery and wildlife but most fortunately, my mum was a bio teacher, I spend lots of time in her classes poring over pickled specimens, skeletons and helping in catching tadpoles for her students!

Hours spent gazing on reptiles in jars gave me a weird childhood indeed. This was further developed on my trips 'balik kampung' to malaysia during school vacation.

Free from parental and HDB flat restraints, I broke free, revelling in freedom of climbing trees, catching grasshoppers and spiders (bare hands, might i add) longkang fish, trapping and shooting birds with self made catapults (thanks to my late grand dad and those wonderful kampung boys), fishing in streams, eating stolen fruits (whoops). Nature was like a second skin, I felt a close affinity with the plants and animals I discovered while growing up.

Being a voracious reader, and still is, i devoured books about nature in order to learn and understand my growing passion. Steadily my menagerie at home grew.. Hence it became an obsession. Strangely I love being alone in the wilds, it recharges me, I feel all my anxiety and stress ebbing away the minute I'm swamped with greenery and cicada calls. Enrolling is NUS, I did a degree in Animal Biology which opened my eyes to opportunities to get involved with nature related activities.

I have brought students to our nature areas be it shore, mangrove, forests etc and shared with them my knowledge that I have gleaned throughout my life.

Hmm..what else? Oh yes.. I'm a part time research assistant with NUS, fish related, loves reptiles esp snakes! to a lesser extent, dogs and cats. Will be starting vet school next year in Australia with dreams of being a wildlife vet!

When young, always wanted to be surrounded by animals rather than people! Parents and family find me rather eccentric.

Used to host a show, Nature at Our Doorstep! Enjoyed it immensely! Felt like I helped to show others that we have something worth preserving!

Was introduced to wildthings (the film project) *heh heh* by Priscilla, and having met Ria and heard of her through various channels as well as met her personally via her book and the BioD symposium, I wanted to chip in, this time behind the scenes and help out where I can.

Okie... Can't think of anything else..

Yandi volunteers as a guide at Chek Jawa and on the wildsingapore wildfilms team.
Posted by otterman Posted on 10/08/04 11:00
Yandi is an indefatigable worker as well. One year, during the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore project at Kranji mangroves, at one point he was working tirelessly alone and without lunch, unloading and transferring bags of trash from the canoes to the disposal point. I enjoyed his enthusiastic hosting of the "Nature at Our Doorstep" series. He is also the guy who cut his foot in Mandai mangroves many moons ago!

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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