Hayati, the farm guide

“Equipping myself with knowledge gives me confidence”

When Norhayati Rabu joined Desaru Fruit Farm in 2004, she had two distinct advantages; one was her natural aptitude to learn and the other was Henry Goh, a pioneer with the farm when it opened as a tourist destination.  She shadowed Goh as he led groups of tourists on farm tours and Norhayati, better known as Hayati, learnt from the master himself.

By careful observation and staying tuned to Goh’s eloquence as he injected humour into facts about fruit trees and plants, she picked up speaking skills and a vast volume of knowledge and juicy anecdotes about the variety of fruits on the farm.

Hayati, a mother of three who hails from nearby Air Tawar 4, admits that she is a kampung girl with inherent knowledge about plants and animals.  So she found it quite easy to pick up a great deal of knowledge about plant life in the course of her work with the farm.

Armed with the English that she learnt in school, Hayati boldly stepped up to conduct farm tours and by interacting with English-speaking people regularly, she gained more confidence in the language.

One of her greatest challenges is to face various groups of visitors, particularly those whom she suspects, may be experts in plant science or botany.  She can never forget leading a farm tour with a group that included professors in horticulture – who kept very quiet throughout the tour – which made her anxious if she was saying the right things.

All her anxiety was for nothing because at the end of the tour, she was reassured by the professors that what she said was spot on!  Visit: www.desarufruitfarm.com

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