Friday, 28 December 2007

Going to Sri Lanka to see Asian Leopards

This is the third time I try to go to Sri Lanka in the past three years. Sri Lanka always fascinated me but I never made the decision to go until friends told me that one can reliably see leopards in the Yala National Park. Of course Sri Lanka then instantly became my next destination. But it is only this year that it looked like that I was finally able to make the trip.

I booked the trip and made payments. I double and triple checked that none of us needs visa to enter Sri Lanka to avoid the problems of this August when Stuart was rejected at the Brazilian boarder. But right afterwards I realized that Cathay was pregnant! Then my husband’s schedule began to look tight due to business engagement to raise funding for the South China Tigers.

I am glad that Cathay’s birth happened according to my forecast and that Junior is in good hands. I was prepared to go to Sri Lanka on my own if Stuart could not make the trip in order not to waste all the pre-payment. I know I should feel bad since we barely spent on average a week per month together this past few years, but hey, we are used to that by now and I already have the reputation of being unfit for marriage!.

Just when I was very pleased to know Stuart’s business engagement got postponed (good for our trip but bad for the project), I got bad news from the travel agent in Sri Lanka. Ajanthan, who has been enormously patient with me, informed us that the very destination I was most keen to visit-the Yala National Park, was now closed to tourists due to terrorist movements! I could not believe my bad luck! I was willing to take any risk to go inside the Park anyway, terrorists or not. However Ajanthan said that the government promised to open it after Christmas. But to give us the time needed for this park to open, he reshuffled our itinerary. And he also changed our hotel to another location to give us increased chance of seeing leopards. These days, without a big cat on my travel agenda, I feel the trip almost not worth taking.

I was also glad that the fever came during Christmas day so I am now fully recovered. With just one more day to go, fingers crossed that nothing else happens between me and my Sri Lankan Leopards!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Is the South China Tiger saving us rather??

Who is saving who? Are we saving the South China Tiger or is the South China Tiger saving us?

Isn't the South China Tiger saving us too? Saving us from indifference to their plight, saving us from ignorance of their Eco-systems, saving us from loosing our own natural heritage, saving us from forgetting our own cultural identity, and saving us from destroying the very environment that we human need for long term survival!

Whether Zhou Zhenglong's photo of the "wild South China Tiger" is real or fake, the attention it is getting is proving the power of the "King". It is a mirror. It puts our human integrity to test. It amplifies our human weaknesses. It exposes our human greed. If we humans are wise, we should see the picture the South China Tiger has painted us. We should take actions and make necessary changes. We should do something for the tiger, for the habitat, and for the environment.

But Alas, when are we going to become wise?????