14.12.10: Nature education in FRIM

My kids and I joined Shannon's outing to Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) with some other homeschool mothers. We had arranged to meet at D6. It was difficult to find the D5 signboard where we were supposed to park. After several rounds, I found the elusive parking lot.

Having their cookie and waiting patiently for everyone to arrive
Shannon had hired a guide to guide us around the area. His name was Eddy and he showed us around. Our first destination was the Galeri Penyelidikan Muzium FRIM or FRIM museum research gallery. To get there, we had to pass a murky looking pond. There were large arapaima fishes in the pond, some of which could grow up to 5 feet long.

Entering FRIM research museum gallery

I had been into this museum gallery in 1997. After 13 years, much of it still looked the same. There was the longest bamboo being displayed. 
Inside the museum gallery

This is a model of a paper mill inside FRIM. S was attracted to the tiny digger that was on this model. He also asked me how paper is made. 

After that, we walked some distance to the Ethnobotanic Garden. It is a herb garden. The weather was cloudy and I was concerned that it might rain. 

Ethnobotanic garden

'Tongkat Ali' that was grown there
As we walked back from the Ethnobotanic garden, it started raining. We took shelter under a gazebo. The kids played 'London Bridge is Falling Down'. E was ever willing to participate in the 'game', while S looked on.  

After snacking on a banana, the boys were rejuvenated and started to play. As the little drizzle didn't seem to stop, our guide decided to carry on and lead us through the Keruing Nature Trail. The kids just enjoyed themselves in the forest and didn't seem to mind the mosquitoes.

The largest bamboo tree in the world
'Jigsaw' puzzle tree. 
I think those were Kapur trees. When crushed, their leaves emitted a smell akin to that of tiger balm.

The kids saw an ant trail
After everyone said their goodbyes and parted, I brought the kids to the picnic area to have their lunch which I had prepared from home. Some kids were running and jumping into the 'pool', which looked like a large drain behind us. The pool water came from the Sg. Kroh waterfall. S insisted on going to the waterfall, but it was already 12.45 pm and I knew that he was tired and wouldn't have the energy to climb up to the waterfall area. He had brought his toy dump truck and wanted to play it in the sand at the waterfall area. I told him that we would go there the next time. In the end, the boys played near their hut. When we returned, they fell asleep in the car, tired after all that walking and discovering. 

Having their picnic lunch in a hut / shelter at the picnic area. Some kids were running and jumping into the 'pool' behind us.

When we got back, S asked me to make the replica of the paper mill machine. I had no idea how to do it, and had to refer to the photo of the paper mill. I ended up hot gluing some bamboo chopsticks together and emerged with a queer-looking thing. It satisfied him, nevertheless.


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