Ending a Splendid 2013 with 3 teeth yanked out and a revelation!

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Got a revelation when I had my wisdom teeth extracted before X’mas this year. It wasn’t about the process of the extraction. It’s the trepidation that you will be getting 3 of your biggest teeth yanked out by a person whom you had only met briefly prior to the surgery. The last thing I was told before I entered the clinic was, ‘Dear, remember this. You are always scared but you always do it.’ The words of my fiancé.

He is right. Even in 2006, I decided to walk into JFF knowing full well that this is going to an extremely slimy business. And I have to admit. It’s ain’t easy. Many challenges I have faced then, I’m still trying to grapple with them now.

Even up till last week, I was telling my customers I’m not the boss la. I’m working for my father. Simply put, all I wanted to do when I decided to join this company was to help my father and make things better and perhaps easier for him!

I realized that my aspirations then have been clouded by the challenges in this second generation business. The short land leases, old school employees, working methods and processes, even the very location of this farm which made it hard for hiring. Day to day activities became fire fighting!

What are my aspirations?
I wanted JFF to be part of every child’s learning journey; not only to learn about the magical world of American bullfrogs but also to know of this part of Singapore’s agriculture history that JFF has grew in the name of progress and prosperity in Singapore. In another words, I wanted JFF to be well known. I wanted my father’s hard work into building Singapore’s only frog farm to be known to all Singaporeans through their children.

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Now growing up with frogs, it was generally assumed that I must be a good swimmer. But I’m not. I only know basic strokes and to stay afloat by lying on my back. Yet, I have rafted 40 km down Zambezi River, floated along with crocodiles basking in the sun. In this picture, the raft has turned turtle and i’ve already been thrown into the meciless choppy water.

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Plunged into the Devils Pool on top of Victoria Falls.

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For land adventures, I have also trekked up fox glacier in New Zealand,

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climbed up Table Mountain (3563 ft) through the Skeleton Gorge (a amazing albeit gruelling 5.5 hrs of trotting, rock climbing, hiking, trudging!)

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I have also trekked up Mount Ophir this year; Walk barefooted in rivers to hunt for caves and dive down sand dunes in Vietnam. Who would say no to a good adventure!!

Each of these activities, i have walked in with trepidation, yet walking out feeling victorious. In short, now with 3 teeth lesser, I’m going to face 2014 with even greater courage and now taking more ownership to reach out to more people about the existence of this farm and its heritage.

The next time you see me in JFF, I’m going to tell you I’m heading the department of Frogologists. (:

Enjoy the remaining hours of 2013 and lets’ all face 2014 with grit and make next year truly an adventure of a lifetime!!

p.s. obviously there is a hint of Mitty in this post! Watch the movie and be as inspired!;)

Best,
Chelsea Wan
Frogologist of JFF ( Head)

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