It’s the 11th of January 2015, I am in Kuala Lumpur International Airport waiting for my flight that will depart at 10.30 am. I’m sitting, waiting, thinking and imagining what Sandakan looks like. How is the environment at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC)? Are there any cubs? Can I touch them? What will our house look like? Am I going to stay near town? Oh, I am so excited! I looked through the internet, browsing and searching for more information about Sandakan and BSBCC. Then I put my mobile phone into airplane mode when suddenly I heard the call for boarding. This is it. Goodbye KL. Hello Sandakan!
Touch down in Sandakan Airport! I can see that the airport is not as busy as KLIA as it is obviously more hectic and there is much more happening KLIA with hundreds or thousands of people rushing to catch their flight, but this is what I expected and for some reason, I felt so calm and relaxed since there were not that many people around. Driving on the road for the first time in Sandakan, I could see many roundabouts. The best part was that there were statues on some of the roundabouts that I could see. For example the crocodile, orang-utans, proboscis monkeys, and also the green turtle. I was told that this is a funny yet unique way of promoting its tourist spots.
Throughout the 9 days of volunteering in BSBCC, I was surrounded by lovely people who were willing to teach me, guide me, share knowledge and experiences, help me out during my panic attack, and treat me like one of their BSBCC family members. There was no pressure working in that environment. We did the job together in the bear house and we helped each other out. The Founder and CEO of BSBCC, Mr Siew Te Wong is a great leader. He dedicated his life for the love of conserving Bornean Sun bear together with the forest. He is always in his office, and sometimes I saw him go to the platform and talk to the visitors. He even came to the bear house to monitor us working. He also told my friends and I that if we had any problems or were feeling uncomfortable about doing something, we could let him know. Not only that, he also held a short meeting with all the BSBCC staff every Tuesday to discuss if there were any problems or suggestions. Together with the staff, they would think and solve the problems together. As someone who is sitting on the highest rank in BSBCC, I have to say that he is one great leader.
I had so much fun working in this happening and positive environment. I really hope that one day I can come here again, and together with this team we could make the mission of BSBCC a success! Thank you. :)