Tuesday 26 March 2019

Ecology Class with a Difference - #15 Visit to Kaluveli Watershed

As a culminating class, the Ecology group went on a day long field trip to see the various components we learned about through the year - mangroves and salt pan at Marakkanam, Muttukadu sand dunes, TDEF at Kaluveli. Here is an account of the trip by a student:

We 6thers along with Mahesh Anna, Jaysudha Aunty and Aqsa Aunty, Aneesa, Rafia and Ansiya Aunties left Chennai at 6am and had a fun breakfast at Ananda Adyar Bhavan.  

We reached Marakkanam at around 9:30am. We met Lourdes Uncle, Kamala Aunty and Azhagappan Uncle and two others from PFC. We went to an estuary and we all went into the shallow water river near a lot of mangroves. We saw ghost crabs. The shell of a ghost crab was like a lot of spirals mixed together. Then we went deeper into the water and found a lot of algae and a lot more. But the time we went the tide was in, but if the tide had been out we could have reached more deeper without even touching the water.

Our next stop was the Muttukadu sand dunes. This sand dune is the second tallest in Tamil Nadu. I can never believe that we climbed a 65 feet sand dune, I don’t think you would believe it either. On the top of the sand dune we sat under the tree and we saw a herd of cute goats, but they ran away so we couldn’t touch them. Next we went down and up the sand dune again, IT WAS AMAZING!

Then our next stop was the Marakkanam salt mines. When we went there we found little mountains filled with rock salt. We went into the and got a taste of fresh salt that was just made. After we had to remove our slippers to mine some salt on our own. When we watched them make salt if felt easy, but when we tried to mine it felt like the toughest job on earth! Then we got to our next stop to eat lunch.

We had lunch at Naddukuppam. We went to a big hut. There we ate and prayed salah. Then we had a little break where we found a bunch of rocks making a circle and a big tree sticking out at the middle. We liked that space as the best resting spot.

Aunty then called us to gather back at the hut to meet the creator of the Adyar Poonga. He was Joss Brooks. He is also making the Neddakupam forest a little more green by planting about 50 saplings a day. He talked to us. He said he didn't have any degree. "Don't let school get in the way of learning. You don't need a degree. Be gardeners. The world needs gardeners." He asked how many kids wanted to become wildlife biologists and 3 raised their hands. Two of our classmates spoke about the Organic Terrace Garden and the Medicinal plants business at our school. Jos asked us to stay overnight. We all begged Aunty if we could, but the only answer she gave was "No!"

Then we because went to see the Neddakupam forest all around. We saw the rice plants. When we entered there was a little pond that was filled with what looked like mud. We asked Uncle what it was. He said it was cowdung which fertilizes the field. We saw solar panels. One panel is used for the current in the buildings. He also showed us the wind mill which is used for making electricity.

We climbed up to a nice room on top of a building. The breeze was so good that we pretended that our feet was glued to the floor. Then we went to see a house that was fully made of recycled things and it was awesome. After that Aunty said that we have to go back to school. In the bus we also had brownies.
          DID YOU KNOW

       That rock salt was in shapes of cubes and it was also hollow in the middle. Well this will be a fact every day for who ever eats SALT!

By Fareeha Rafeek

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