Text and Photos by Zalifah Husna Ali
Zalifah Husna Ali – Vet To Be UPMKB
"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience" - Eleanor Roosevelt
I never thought that I would be here, doing my internship. It happened too fast. 29th of April was the day that I nearly dropped my internship. But I knew, that would be the most stupid decision I would ever make in my life. I arrived late at the airport and I was alone. But thank God everything went well.
When we first came here, we were told not to touch the bears. Seriously, that broke my heart. I thought that I could hold them. But let’s not hate what we don’t understand. I refrained myself from touching them even if I wanted to. I eventually realised that love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation. They are meant to be in the wild and someday soon they will be released into their natural home.
I don’t know where I should I start. I wanted to tell every single thing that happened from the first day I stepped into this centre. But I know it will take forever and I want the future volunteers to feel the love themselves when they come here. I bet none of you could explain how it felt to be here. It honestly had never crossed my mind, being able to be close to the bears. Among the 35 bears, Fulung and Linggam have won my heart.
I always thought that 70 days are more than enough time to do the internship. But believe me, if I could stay here for another countless months, I would. Having you guys as a part of my life will always be the best thing that ever happened to me. I will surely miss each and every one of you.
“I’m going to make her well known” – Wong Siew Te
I can still vividly remember the first day that I walked into BSBCC. 500 metres from the entrance, there was a signboard on the history of BSBCC, picturing Mr Wong and his favourite bear, Mary. By only looking at the sign, I could feel the shivers running down my spine. I stuttered when I first talked to him. He has my full respect. His dedication and devotion on rehabilitating animals and bringing them back into their own habitat has opened my eyes and taught me that sometimes, happiness is not gained by spending a lot of money to go for an expensive vacation. Sometimes, happiness can be gained by just looking at these beloved animals going back into their natural habitat.
We were informed that they had never accepted diploma students before. Thanks a million to our supervisor, Mr Thye Lim. I learned a lot from him. He shared everything that he knew and he never said no to our opinion. Even though he is a guy, he is so thorough with his work.
Undoubtedly, along with hardship there is ease. I was so thankful to have Nick as my housemate. He spent his time helping me with my termites breeding project and supported me whenever I felt like giving up. I don’t know how should I repay his kindness towards me.
Mizuno, David, Azzry and Tommy – these are the people that I will miss the most. They never failed to make me laugh. They gave me the best experience. Working with them never made me feel tired. Mizuno who always made funny whenever he spoke to me. David who never stopped talking about his army life and taught us a lot about bears. Azzry, the guy who was born to smile. Reckly, the guy that has funny laugh. Not to forget, Ong Kim who could always make me laugh just by looking at his face. Lastly, Salffazryean who could never be separated from Pepsi Cola. They treated me like their own sister. That’s what made me comfortable and thus love them even more.
“A day without laughter is a day wasted” this signifies those visitor centre staffs. Fairo, Rahim, Becca, and Lester. Putting them at the reception counter was one of the best decisions. Their smile and warm greetings could make visitors pay double for the ticket. And those lovely office workers, Mr Rizan, Miss Ina, Miss Erni, Miss Gloria, Kate and Daniella who were never mad at me, thank you.
They are a bunch of happy people. They know how to deal with every situation.David told us that we need to be strong as those are the things that we need to deal with when working with these animals. You know, time moves so fast when you love some people. Thank you for those countless memories. I will keep them safely in the deepest dungeon of my heart. Thank you :)