Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Last Week at SBC

It's almost the end of the week, and also the end of my time working at SBC. WAIT, WHAT? Yep, it snuck up on me like the flu I caught the other day. Lately (especially this week) I've been getting so sad and nostalgic about leaving SBC, and about leaving Kuching.So much has happened to me this year, and I feel as though I've been a part of a really special and meaningful (at least for me) experience. My colleagues at work have been excellent friends, always looking out for ways to improve my experience, show me something new, take me out for a trip somewhere, etc. From a different angle of looking at this, SBC is the reason I was able to visit this part of the world, and this wondrous island in particular. Without SBC, likely I would not have had quite the adventures that I've enjoyed this year. First, all the amazing trekking I've had the opportunity to do here, getting a sense for the jungles here, the biodiversity and the wildlife. Going hand in hand with that is what I've had the chance to learn about traditional knowledge, specifically as it applies to ethnobotanical practices. This was only possible through our TK group at SBC, which is really one of the most well-set-up places for traditional knowledge documentation and research. Together with these insights I've gotten into ethnobotany in Borneo is everything else Ethno- As in, the people, their culture, way of life, religious beliefs, relationship to the rainforest,and most important, FOOD, or Makanan/Makai, which of course ties into everything else. Certainly I am thankful for the amazing lab spaces and equipment I've been trusted to work with. Also the project I was given total independence to work on, which has turned out really interesting and exciting results.

And there is Bhutan- without being at SBC at the right time, there is no way I would have gotten a chance to visit this incredible place, since that was such a unique connection I had to Chencho and the National Biodiversity Centre. There are so many more things to thank SBC and its staff for. My experience, aside from these tangible things, was totally one that they helped mold and optimize for me. But I'll touch more upon the intangible things I've gotten out of my experience later on.

Note: I know there are significant gaps in the chronology of my blog posts. I'll fill it all in once life gets a bit more stable. This week has been pure insanity, because of the many things I need to wrap up prior to saying "goodbye" to SBC, specifically all I need to do to ensure a smooth handover of my data, newly isolated strains, etc.

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