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In love with nature up at Ba

Matilda Simmons
Thursday, December 07, 2017

IF there's one thing that made Sindh Kumar fall in love with the highlands of Ba, it is the many creatures and vegetation that abound there. So enamoured is he, he approached The Fiji Times office to show the many pictures of insects he's found in the area.

Sindh was appointed the assistant headteacher of Magodro District School early this year. After several jobs at companies around the country, the nature lover said it was his post at the school that finally eased his restless and adventurous spirit.

"I was a high school teacher for 15 years before I resigned," he said. "I was feeling bored in the civil service and after resigning I started working for companies like Ram Sami & Sons as operations manager, then Fiji National University, the Sheraton Fiji and Rooster Poultry.

"After all this movement in business houses, my friend suggested I should go back to teaching.

"I did primary school teacher training then got transferred up to Magodro District. I just fell in love with the place."

Sindh said he never thought he would be placed up in the rural highlands but it was the people and the pristine environment that enraptured him.

"The villagers take good care of me, they would call me to join in their feasts or for a bowl of grog," he said with a smile.

But it was the different species of insects and butterflies fluttering about in the highlands of Magodro that brought Mr Sindh to the office.

"You won't believe the number of butterfly species we saw," he said.

Sindh described an incident where he woke up in the night to see various butterflies and moths on the wall of his house. The creatures were attracted to the artificial light. He said he had never seen the beautiful colours and shapes of the wings before.

Among these creatures was a grasshopper which portrayed itself as a leaf. Known as the katydid, the insect adopts the leaf camouflage to fool predators.

Another was the camouflaged butterfly. Sindh hopes Fijians will take the initiative to protect their species, especially in highland areas, where there has not been so much development.

"What is unique about the place is the weather and the vegetation. During winter months in Fiji, the temprature can go as low as 15 degrees and the distribution of vegetation and native trees is incredible.

"I've lived in the city all my life and surrounded by so much hustle and bustle but up there, the wildlife is so beautiful and breathtaking. All you hear are the birds chirping.

"I've got all these creatures at my home and I hope they choose to stay within my compound for a long time," he said.

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