That was my thought when I received the email from WWF Indonesia last month. I missed last year's gathering because I just gave birth to my daughter. I didn't want to miss this year's gathering!
I knew straight away who I would like to ask to come with me to the gathering.. Mother and Mita (my husband's cousin who also loves nature and works in a conservation institution). As anyone can guess, they said 'YES' to my invitation without thinking twice.
To cut the long story short.. we left home at 5.30 in the morning, on that Sunday (13th of November 2011) to Ancol, the beach to the North of Jakarta. In normal time, it would take us 2 hours at the least to reach the place from where we live, which is in Depok (a city, further south from the Southern part of Jakarta).
We arrived at the Eco Park, Ancol, at 6.30, which we were very happy with. My husband and Aza came with us, although they didn't register for the gathering. They just wanted to spend the morning at the beach (and of course, help us taking pictures!)
Mother had warned us, "I love going to nature conservation events, but I don't think I can last to the end of the event. I'm not that young anymore, you know.."
I said to Mother, "Don't worry, Mother.. I'm sure the main part of it, which is the walk, will finish at around 8.30 and then, we can decide what we want to do after that."
Mother was relieved, but she made sure of one thing, "We have to make sure that we take great pictures, though!"
I looked at Mother with wide-opened eyes.. Mother and pictures.. and blogs.. .. then I burst into laughter, "Of course, Mother.. The pictures are first priority.."
As soon as we found the starting point of the walk, there were two hosts who were interviewing participants. The hosts quickly caught us while taking pictures near the Panda Mobile (the WWF educational minivan).
The hosts approached Mother to ask her what she liked the most about the event. Mita and I quickly stepped aside.. We perfectly knew what would happen next..
Mother, in a completely professional manner, answered the question, sincerely expressing her concerns about our environment and the nature world.
Then... she continued with introduction to her elderly group, 'Dahlia Senja' which is very active in promoting elderly care and clean-and-healthy environment..
After the welcoming speeches, the walk started. We had to go to four posts; Eco Art, Eco Energy, Eco Nature and Farm Learning. We had to complete challenges at each post to be awarded stamps, so that we can have our prize at the end of the walk.
We read the map to see where we were going. Another participant, a girl named Rahma, who came alone, joined us so that she would have friends with her during the walk.
Mita also met some friends of hers. As she works for a nature conservation institution, she knew people in WWF.
It is really nice that events like WWF Supporter Gathering, can bring people to know each other..
Our first destination was the Eco-Art post. We had to do challenges to receive six stamps at this post. There are WWF paper art and plastic recycle stands.
At the WWF paper art stand, we learned to make paper bracelet which we could take with us.
At the WWF plastic recycle stand, we had the bracelet throwing challenge. We had three chances. If we managed to throw one bracelet to hang on the photo hanger (a tree-looking one, without any photo frames on it), we would receive one plastic recycle bag..
Mita successfully won the challenge and received a bag.. Yay!
The rest of the stands were the guests participants invited by WWF; a recycle paper workshop, a tin art workshop and a recycle wood workshop.
Mother took her chance in painting a recycled tin, and she did a great job at it..
From the Eco-Art post, we continued to the Eco-Energy post. At this post, we were reminded about the importance of energy saving at home. We also learned about the Geo-Thermal energy in Indonesia, which we didn't know much about before.
Then, we had our special picture taken. This picture is special, because we were supposed to use it for the purpose of wide-spreading the idea of energy and nature conservation and clean environment. We were asked to upload this picture to tweeter or facebook with a note about WWF and environment.
From the Eco-Energy post, we kept walking to the Eco-Nature post. At this post, we visited the mini-gallery of pictures of Sentarum Natural Park, Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia. There were pictures and posters about the natural environment of the park and WWF programs undertaken there.
The following are the posters of the two WWF programs; the endangered species protection and the elephant flying squad and a picture of the Sentarum National Park, where the water is like a perfect mirror, when it projects the image of the environment on top of it.
At the Eco-Nature post, we had to do three challenges; the tiger walk (camera trap), the whisper and the tiger tail game.
The tiger tail game was no difference with the game we usually play at a child's birthday, it was mostly fun, because, we don't get to play it much once we are no longer a child..
I had lots of fun, trying to put the tiger tail on the right spot..
The whisper was also a game that we often play. The difference was, in this particular game, we learned that there are two types of orangutan in Indonesia; The Sumatran and The Bornean orangutans. Rahma, Mita and I played in this game, while Mother took pictures of us..
The unique game at this post, was the tiger walk game. In this game, the participant had to walk on two knees and two hands, like a tiger. The participant also wore a tiger hat. When the participant reached the point across the particular tree where a hidden camera is placed, he/she must look at the camera. This game gave us knowledge and an experience of working with a hidden camera for wild animals. This was so cool! (So cool that I kept forgetting that I wasn't supposed to be walking around the camera shooting range! Silly me!)
This time, Mita played as a tiger..
During the walk, I managed to take a picture of the pelicans inhabiting the lake at the Eco Park. They are just beautiful.
We also managed to take a picture with a giant Komodo statue. The komodo looked like a very smart elderly one. So, we thought, he should be admitted as a newest member of 'Dahlia Senja', and I think Mother approved..
The last post was the Farm Learning, which we honestly missed..
I didn't see the stamp spot on the map, and I didn't recognise the post when we walked past it. Our attention was distracted by the stage across from the post, which was going to be the final attraction of the event. The stage was still empty then, but it still caught our sights.
Mother was tired, so was Aza, who was back from his walk with his dad around the beach. We headed straight to the Panda Mobile. The WWF staff there didn't realise that we missed one stamp either. Therefore, we received our prizes, a foldable shopping bag for each of us..
Then, Mita offered to get our lunch (our tickets included lunches and we were allowed to have them, although it was only 9 a.m.)
I finally realised the missing stamp once we were already in the car going home. However, it was much too late to do anything about it.. I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to cheat..
We had our lunch in the car, on our way home. After that, we all felt really tired. Aza soon fell asleep. The rest of us, went straight to our beds as soon as we arrived home..
WWF Indonesia Supporter Gathering was a great event. We are definitely joining again next year..
See you next time..