We are back at Kuching airport saying good bye to Arthur.
Too early for photos, and it is still dark in Kuching, but we are up and on the bus. We are really going to miss our driver, Arthur, who has been a great companion for the last two weeks.
It is lovely being able to read out all your comments again this morning. Since leaving the UK we have had over 9000 visits to our website and we have all loved you joining us in our exploration of this wonderful part of the world
As you can see from the photographs, this mornings expo was a fitting climax to a wonderful, and very productive, two weeks here in Sarawak. The MRSM students presented their work under three heading;Orchids in-vitro, Orchids and laboratory science, Orchid lifecycle and conservation, and Project progress 2019. As well as their posters (below) they prsented with the aid of their seedlings in-vitro, adult orchids, microscopes and all the other equipment they have been using this week.
The students were amazing and and we are all very proud of them . Mendip and Writhlington students have of course been concentrating on delivering skills and knowledge to the MRSM students and so had no time to prepare, but did a wonderful job of explaining the project in the UK including the labs and greenhouses, shows, research and expeditions.
Towards the end of the student visits (we had around three hundred students visit the expo) the VIP visitors began to arrive including the Director of Agriculture for Kuching District (here talking to Otto), the forestry department, the previous Mayor of North Kuching, and our now good friend Sarifah Jalihah Abdullah from the Kuching Centre for Technical Excellence (CENTEXS)
It is clear that the project is having a real impact here in Kuching, and that everyone is keen to be a part of the project as it moves forward. Well done everyone.
We also had some lovely posters of all the team and their orchid biographies. The posters caused a stir amongst a large group of the MRSM girls and when asked who their favourite is this happened –
For our last evening we went back to our favourite restaurant, Ling Long Sea Food, by the river. Tempted back by crispy squid, gorgeous noodles, special satay, fantastic butter prawn, fern leaves, rice and the largest choice of fruit juices we have ever seen.
During the meal awards were given to each student recognising their special contribution to the trip (e.g. Launderette Queen – Eleanor). All of our Sarawak Orchid Society friends turned out for the evening and it ended in emotional goodbyes (below). This of course was the second set of emotional goodbyes after we tore ourselves away from our MRSM friends earlier in the afternoon.
The bus leaves the hotel at 4.30am tomorrow, so it’s back to the hotel to finish packing and get a few hours sleep.
Just in time for today’s expo the MRSN Orchid shade house became fully operational with the seedlings students deflasked hanging in baskets and some adult Sarawak orchid species donated by SARORSO members. Zoe as our professional horticulturalist lead today’s training.