Event Kiehl's

Kiehl’s Save Our Rare Earth ECO-CAMP

Last month I was invited by Kiehl’s Malaysia to participate in their yearly Save Our Rare Earth Eco-Camp which took place on 5th November 2012. This would be their 4th year in a row. Destination this year is to Sungai Panjang in Sabak Bernam. The theme this year is ‘Green Care for Our Communities’ and backed by the Ministry of Forestry. Kiehl’s is determined to create sustainable revenue generation opportunities for the local villagers over at Sabak Bernam through the development of Sungai Panjang as a National Firefly Observation site.

Agenda this year is to plant Berembang trees (natural habitat of fireflies), construct natural river-cleansing mud balls & erect a new jetty for the village. This year eco-camp is more meaningful as 80 young eco explorers (aged 10 to 17) and 2 eco-conscious charity partners on board – Khoon Hooi and Amir Luqman would be a part of this camp.

I drove to Sri Petaling at 11.30am to pick up my plus one friend that I registered her to tag along so that I have a friend to rely on. We are to be at the meeting point which is L’Oreal office by 1pm but we reached at 12noon so we went to have a quick bite at Lammeeya as I was a bit hungry. We walked back to L’Oreal by 1pm and waited for the rest to arrive.

The total attendees are just nice. Almost everyone reached by 1.15pm. After registration with Kiehl’s staff I adjourned to Subway while waiting for two VIP; Khoon Hooi and Amir Luqman.

Our bus parked at the main road side and it started raining. We were provided with raincoat but I chose not to wear any because I thought it’s near. Boy I was wrong lol. All of us walked to the bus in rain. Some with raincoat and some without. The journey to Sungai Panjang took 2 hours without any bathroom stops.

We reached around 3.30pm slightly later than planned. There wasn’t any rain when we were on the way but it rained when we reached Sungai Panjang. The washroom is at one of the kampung house. My friend had already stormed out of the bus when the bus pulled over to go to the washroom without me so I walked alone to the kampung house.

Our young eco explorers is already there when we arrived. All of them are soaking wet under the rain but yet none of them sigh a bit. They have my full respect.

Huge white canopies had already setup for the event. There’s kuda kepang dancers greeting us at the front of the canopy. My first time seeing kuda kepang! Well my first time being at kampung too.

Everyone settle down under the canopy while waiting for some who went to the washroom inside the house.

Then we were briefed on the agenda for the day and those that are ready to go will need to follow him to the jetty.

And so we followed. We walked to the end of the village, cross a bridge and continue walking to the jetty. The whole journey to the jetty is about 1km or more? I don’t know. We walked on mud road from the kampung house to the jetty. Things got worse when we reached the bridge and worsen from the bridge onwards. My shoe is stucked in mud most of the time. I need to concentrate on my walking so that I don’t slip and fall. It’s very slippery. The non-stop rain doesn’t help a bit. As you can see at below picture my friend left me behind.

We reached another canopy near the jetty for “mud ball” making. Mud ball purpose is to clean the river. It is a natural river-cleansing method that the villager practices all this while.

First pour some sand to a huge tray and make a hole in the middle. Pour in diluted brown sugar. The brown sugar smell is so over-whelming! Imagine being squashed in a canopy full with people and add in strong brown sugar smell.

The last ingredient to add is Enzyme solution and start mixing with your hands.

Y.B. Elizabeth Wong is present that day too and participated in mud ball making.

Y.B. Elizabeth Wong with our VIP; Khoon Hooi and Amir Luqman making mud balls.

Even with all the commotion in the canopy I still managed to pose for a picture lol.

Or two 😛

The crowd eased up a bit as some kids are mingling outside canopy while some villagers and kids went back to the kampung.

While some kids decided to finish up with the mud balls. Good job!

Photo op of Kiehl’s staffs, VIPs and some of the kids.

We were told to make our way to the jetty which was at the back of the canopy. The jetty is not fully operational yet as it’s still under construction. Members of the Fire Department is also present to help around.

Everyone took turn to go up to the jetty with the help of a few members of the Fire Department. It rained more heavier so the muddy floor is extremely slippery. The wooden steps are not that thick so we need to step on the ladder on top. Anyhow it’s still wobbly. Pretty scary if you’re afraid of falling down on your butt!

I stayed back to check with Kiehl’s staff on the agenda as we’re suppose to plant trees and this doesn’t look anything close to tree planting. I was told there’s a mistake with earlier communication as we’re not planting trees literally. We’re suppose to speed boating for 10 minutes down the river to Berembang trees habitat and “sarong” (means wrap) the fruit / seed. When the fruit / seed ripes and fell into the sarong, villagers will pick it up and plant elsewhere.

After a few people went down to the boat, the temporary wooden stair collapsed when a member of the media was making her way down. First the jetty, then seeing the river and boat is already making me dizzy. I’m Aquaphobia by the way. Then the stair collapsed. I’ve decided not to go through.

Can you spot the stairs that collapsed and tilted to one side?

Immediately members of the Fire Department setup another route down to the speed boat. This new route is even more dangerous looking and slippery. To me anyway.

The rest of the media that had the safety jacket on made their way down to the two speed boats that are already waiting. Me on the other hand decided to stay on land :). It rained heavier again and we took shelter under a big umbrella before me and two other beauty writer walked back to the kampung house for dinner.

Group #1 reached the kampung house not long after I reached. One of the girl put this fruit down on the table. This is Berembang tree’s fruit that they wrapped earlier.

Everyone sat down under the canopy while waiting for dinner as Tok Sidang gave his thank you speech and prize presentation.

That night we had Nasi Ambeng. It is a local delicacies of the Jawa people. Most of the villagers are from Jawa actually. Nasi Ambeng is about sharing and eating together with your hand. The rice, noodle, chicken, vegetable are all in a big tray. Our tray had 4 portions separated. At first I thought everyone will eat from the same portion on the same tray hehe. That would really be awkward. I actually like Nasi Ambeng! It’s really delicious especially the coconut flesh sprinkle and the chicken.

I bought a new shoe just for this camp. I don’t wear sports shoe so I needed to buy something for the camp. I didn’t buy a proper sports shoe knowing I won’t wear them anymore after the camp and it’ll be a waste. So I chose a more feminine version of sports shoe by Adidas which cost me RM179. The name of the design is Piona lol!! Fiona wearing Piona 🙂

This is the aftermath from mud walking half of the day. Luckily my shoe exterior is all made from PVC. No washing is needed according to mum. Just wipe will do.

Although I didn’t went through the speed boat to Berembang tree habitat down the river, I’m glad to be invited and attend this meaningful event. I never knew Kiehl’s initiative for the past 3 years and I’m happy to learn all that this year. Hope I still get to go next year!


Thank you Kiehl’s Malaysia team for having me on board this year. Keep up with the eco initiative!


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