Meet MantaWatch intern Anindita Rustandi

I’m proud of you Dita! She’s on the web which can be found here

I think of myself as a shy person, but I never shy away from an opportunity, a challenge, or a once in a lifetime experience. I’m always willing to try something new and to push the boundaries of my comfort zone. At university I’ve been lucky to have an opportunity to challenge myself through my studies and my recreation.

I have challenged myself by trying adventurous sports such as Capoeira, climbing and, my favourite, scuba diving. I’ve learned about photography and developed a great passion for it. It amazes me how, with imagination and practice, we can use the camera to transform something ordinary into something extraordinary. I’ve also learned about other countries and cultures, and it is my dream to visit these places around the world and meet the people who live there.

I have loved the ocean since I was much younger and always would watch the documentary films on TV, but I never thought it was possible for me to be a marine scientist. But I followed my dream, and it has turned out really great. Marine science has introduced me to diving, which I think is the greatest thing in the world. It has also brought me to many different and beautiful places in Indonesia and, one day I hope, around the world. The most important, marine science has made me realize how important the ocean is for humanity.

Indonesia is an archipelago, and many people rely on our oceans for living. The ocean provides us with livelihoods, food and resources. It is also important ecologically. Indonesia has more than 12 percent of the world’s coral reefs, which are important habitat for fish such as manta rays, help protect our coastlines, and can help to reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Indonesia’s oceans have the richest biodiversity in the world, and it is really important for me and my friends, as the future generation, to protect it so that our grandchildren can enjoy it as we do now.

This is the challenge I have set for myself, to work hard to protect our oceans. I am so happy to be selected for a Guy’s Trust MantaWatch Award, there are not many opportunities like this. An opportunity to learn more about a magnificent creature as manta ray, and to combine my passions for diving, photography and travel. But most importantly an opportunity to become a great marine scientist, so I can do my best for Indonesia’s and the world’s oceans.

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