In Otter Disbelief

They come in a shout, a brief cry of astonishment – something emerging from the water, sleek and brown and running across a small island before slipping back in with barely a ripple to form gravestone to their presence. We blink and it is over. The one picture I manage to snap is ridiculously over-exposed; not even one body is visible. A field of white.

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I sigh. I have waited to see otters for years, it feels. The Bishan 10 did not abandon my Facebook feed for several weeks. Articles of residents complaining at Sentosa perplex me: what does one care for a few fish with the pleasure of having otters in your backyard? (The thousand-dollar price tags of said fish, of course, are of little consequence.) Even in Valparai, someone studying otters kept pointing out places to me: oh, I saw them here once. Oh, I saw them there.

I am a little frustrated. And now I have seen them, and it is hardly enough.

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Why the Internet is Both Nature’s New Blessing and Curse (Or, a Thank You)

So before the summer I gave a TED talk. It was about a lot of things. I mentioned this blog, and also Project Noah, and a lot of things that had been bothering me for some time, and some things that had been giving me hope, too.

But there’s no point repeating my speech here, because now you can just watch it. If you want.

It was, I think, one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, or at least the past year – to talk to people, and maybe have them listen, which is kind of what I’ve been trying to do with this blog as well. And it showed me that I can care about these kind of things – a rainforest in my school, a really, really cool black rhinoceros, ladybugs half-way across the world, that my passion, to some extent, was justified – that maybe, just maybe, I can go somewhere with this, even if that place might just be buried in the depths of the Costa Rican jungle. (Actually, please, bury me in the depths of the Costa Rican jungle. THERE IS NO ‘JUST’ ABOUT HUMMINGBIRDS.)

So thank you, all of you readers, and browsers, and people who stop by just for a second before going past again, because you are what brought me up there, on that stage, allowed me to talk, and maybe have some people listen.

I’m going to keep doing this for sometime yet. 🙂