Monday, June 21, 2010

Little Iman

This day was Vanessa's first time to Kuala Teriang to help plant those seedlings.  I spotted Little Iman standing outside of Warung Pais looking curiously at us carrying a bucket as we were about to walk towards the mudlflat. 

I called out to him and invited him to join us ... Jom...mari... He looked at us with a shy, unresponsive and  doubtful look. Probably a Mat Salleh was around. We didn't stand around to wait for him to follow us.

The tide level on this day; 24th May 2010 was about 1.90 meter. The bamboo sticks indeed did play their role pretty well. Loads of debris were caught by these little sticks.
Can these little bamboo sticks withstand the big surfs that will be coming in the next two months or so? Well... we shall see...

Twenty minutes later, Little Iman and his three friends came to the site carrying a bucket and as if they were scavenging for something.

I knew they were curious and then I called them over. Another call of invitation from me returned with four faces of shy, unresponsive and doubtful look from them. This time, I went babbling away on why we are planting these seedlings and a very short note on the importance of mangroves. Another unresponsive respond. I felt like an idiot for awhile and Vanessa added some salt into the wound by commenting I was too speaking too fast in my slacking Malay language. I guess I was speaking proper Malay and not the Kedah dialect.

If challenge by choice didn't work, autocratic way would do the trick. I walked up to Little Iman, showed him a seedling, demonstrated how to plant it in and passed another seed to him. He took it and started planting without saying much. Yay!
Little Iman was the first to do the planting and while his three other friends helped to watch. I passed more seedlings to the three friends and asked if they can help. They just shook their heads and were quite reluctant. Thank goodness that it didn't take a long time before two of them decided to join in the "labour".

Vanessa attempting with her best Malay talking to the boys. Huh? Whatcha' sayin' there, Ness?

I didn't time on how long we took to plant about fifty seedlings but the whole process was quick. 

Vanessa wanted to reward them and so we invited them for a drink at Warung Pais. The three boys left and Little Iman came to pack his icy cold syrup drink. They all had to attend afternoon school.
Vanessa and her "kids"

Little Iman is a shy serious looking kid and doesn't speak much. At least I got to know his name.  What I liked about this kid was that he demonstrated well of this quote "Action Speaks Louder than Words". 

Later after, I went over to Vanessa's Backyard and played stomping in the mud. What a huge difference of mudflat condition between this two different areas in the same neighbourhood! We did some maintenance work on this site by erecting some of the collapsed young Rhizophoras. 

The weather changed very quickly in the late afternoon and it was time to leave.

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