Shimah Kills You, I mean It.
The past 6 months has been an eye opening for me, an ordinary aquaculture student who was wondering around applying for internship vacancy. I applied few places but Tropical Research and Conservation Centre (TRACC) is on top of my chart. It’’s a non - government organization who utilize volunteers, students and tourist in restoring the destroyed coral reef. I work hard, very hard in answering all the interview questions, it was pretty intensive I would say😅 I did not put high hope- That is why the moment I received the email of their acceptance, I valiantly attempt to calm down and gather my thoughts.
HOLY CRAP- I’M GOING TO TRACC !
It is a smooth journey upon arrival since they already explain everything to the smallest detail that I need to know. But even before I’ve got accepted to be part of TRACC, I have this negative hunch in my head “What if they don’t like me because I’m a muslim?” “Because I’m we hijab (head scarf)” “or simply because I am fat and ugly and not suited in diving field” LOL! SCRATCH THAT!!!! Everyone was very friendly- I mean everyone! The staff, the local Bajau staff, the volunteers even Moonson and Joey (loveeee them!) are very friendly, warm and welcoming. During my acclimatization period the staff help me a lot. I never feel lonely for they always checking up on me-in no time I already feel home. Thank you <3
Facility and food! The island life is soooo much better than what I have expected (from all the reading and interview questions). I know I’ll be staying in tent, but I DIDN’T KNOW MY TENT COME WITH A BED AND A FAN! I was so grateful that I was crying because I am physically and mentally prepared to sleep on the ground (for six months)😂. They also have a proper shower, toilet (with water pipe!!). The dive equipment also well managed, the whole 6 months of my stay I never have safety issue regarding my diving equipment that I borrowed from TRACC. Food is always served deliciously on time. Thank you Kak Neng :) I feel loved and life is so convenient at TRACC I would say compared to what I have been prepared and expecting.
I also earned my Advance Open Water diving license to the courtesy of TRACC as it is also included in their intern sponsorship. I check out with more than 130 dive after 6 months working there. Gotta say working dives helps a lot in practicing my buoyancy. I love doing my working dives!! It feel so rewarding after you did something for the ocean :)
I also learned a lot of new knowledge while staying at TRACC such as fish id, coral form id and invertebrate id. What I like about TRACC is they don’t simply do something without knowing why- This goes to my science director, science officer and camp manager. I like how all the conservation activity is monitored and recorded -before, on going and after the restoration activity. I also learn good working ethics while working with different background of people there, not only it broaden my perspective but I also learn to to look from different view and most important thing is, I learn to live in more sustainable way. NO STRAW. REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!
It is so thoughtful of TRACC for willing to spend money on Malaysian internship program. I think this is a very good way to spread the marine conservation awareness among Malaysian. For instance me myself did not come from the marine background, so thus my friend, when I posted pictures about all the conservation project I did at TRACC it is always become the talk of my friends, they always been curious but never exposed to the marine conservation project- I explained to them and they started to understand fir instance not using plastic straws is not just a trend nowadays but also for a good course, I hope I did my part well.
Its safe to say life at TRACC is the highlighted part of my life. I wished that there were another word that held more weight than " thank you" because I would have used it for this opportunity of a lifetime