Guiding Light of The Month

O LORD, Thou art my refuge and my blessing, my strength, my health, my hope, and my courage. Thou art supreme Peace, unalloyed Joy, perfect Serenity. My whole being prostrates before Thee in a gratitude beyond measure and a ceaseless worship; and that worship goes up from my heart and my mind towards Thee like the pure smoke of incense of the perfumes of India. - The Mother

From the IEP newsdesk: reflections on the walk to Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin is nothing new to me, having been there during many camps and activities organised by the school. So, when I was informed of the upcoming trip to Pulau Ubin, I wasn’t really very interested, but decided to go since I was free.

We started off with a bumboat ride to Pulau Ubin which took about 10-15 mins. After reaching Pulau Ubin, some of us (the younger ones) rented bicycles and we did some basic stretching before we set off. However, during all the times that I’ve been to Pulau Ubin, since it was during camps, I’ve never had the opportunity to cycle and so it was exciting to cycle through Pulau Ubin for the very first time.

The trails in Pulau Ubin are far from what we have here in Singapore. The roads are not even with many uphill and downhill slopes. While it is very exhilarating to cycle down the slopes albeit with some caution, it is just as tiring to push the cycle up the uphill slopes. The bicycle ride also gave us the opportunity to see Mother Nature untouched. We got to see chameleons, geckos and even huge spiders bigger than your palm.

After reaching our destination, Chek Jawa, we waited for the other group who were walking there. We also got a glimpse of Naveen’s amazing never-before-seen dancing and singing talent. Finally, after the other group came to the entrance of Chek Jawa, we set-off into Chek Jawa itself. Chek Jawa is right next to the sea and thus, when we set foot into Chek Jawa, we immediately felt the cooling sea breeze which was a welcome change from the hot and humid forest.

We went for the boardwalk route and climbed the 5 storey high viewing tower which was right at the start of the route. The view from the viewing tower was absolutely amazing. We could even see the mainland from the viewing tower. It was a breathtaking view and after taking a few memorable pictures, we climbed down and continued the walk.

After that, we saw a lot of different types of mangroves and even the nipah plant which I’m sure many of you had studied in Primary School. Even though I had heard of it before, it was the first time I’d actually seen it before me. We saw other wondrous aspects of Nature that we’d never seen before. We even got to see a small snake and tons of tiny crabs that had probably just hatched then.

After the walk around Chek Jawa, we cycled back to the jetty while the adults took the van. After reaching the jetty, we ate some well deserved food and sat around to reflect on the walk so far.

Each of us shared our views about the importance of communing with Nature by being near it and how privileged we were to still be able to experience Nature untouched by Man. Nature is truly a wondrous gift that we should try to preserve as it allows us to discover ourselves once again. When the walk finally ended, on the way back home, I couldn’t but help think how lucky I was to shed my earlier inhibitions and go for the walk.

- K. Ragavendra

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