On the 26th of May 2019, 35 Catechism students from Form 1 and 2, Tamil and English class went on a field trip to ‘Rimba Ilmu’, The Forest of Knowledge, to encounter Jesus in nature. This is in response to Pope Francis’s call to understand the problems in our environment and find ways to care for our common home. (You may read the appeal letter, ‘Laudato Si’, which means ‘Praise be to God’; https://laudatosi.com)
The 80-hectare botanical garden is a home to a variety of plants and insects. From palm and fern trees to small and giant bamboos, lady bugs, colorful dragonflies, chirping birds and unknown insects of shapes and patterns, welcomed the students together with 4 catechism teachers; Teacher Gloria, Teacher Monica, Teacher Jane and Teacher Terence.
The trip began with a briefing by two friendly tour guides, Benjamin and Vanessa. An ice breaking session was led by Teacher Monica and Teacher Jane, which followed by an hour and half exploration of the place to observe terrestrial, aerial and aquatic plants.
Students were amazed with the red-trunk tree, the thorny bamboo species, the scent of pandan leaves and the water-proof yam leaf, the fresh running water, filtered by sticking water plants. It was indeed an amazing experience to enjoy the beauty of God’s creatures.
The field trip concluded with a reflection of the students learning. What have we learnt? What does nature remind us of? What are our roles or responsibilities towards nature? How do we care for our common home to celebrate God’s power and might?
By Jane Buniel