Friday, 18 December 2009

Goodbye Expedition Borneo 09K !

Goodbye 09K! Your time here is up, the expedition is over  - and what an expedition it has been! A kindergarten has been completed, A community hall has been demolished and reconstructed using all the same materials. The foundations of a suspension bridge have been dug. A village has fresh running water piped into it. The sunbears are one step closer to having a safe haven in Sepilok. A new reforestation scheme has been set into motion. Over 80 people are now qualified open water divers. Teams have completed 12 day treks all over Long Pasia and a new Raleigh record has been broken with a group reaching the Indonesian border.

Games have been played, we've seen skits, filmed music videos and learnt how to entertain ourselves without television. We've lived in the rainforest, slept in hammocks and community halls and learnt about other cultures - their food, traditions, dress, language, dances and folklore. We've swam in seas, washed in rivers, seen Borneo's animals and been eaten by its insect life. We've been welcomed into the homes of the villages we have worked in, educated by rangers and attended opening ceremonies. We've worked on construction sites and survived in the jungle and learnt all the skills needed to do both.We've had good times, bad times and amazing times. We've made new and friends new memories. Most of all, in the words of 09K's venturers .........We smashed it!

Here are some final photos of endex, the goodbyes, the skits, the beach party and BBQ.


 To all of 09K - A big well done you were amazing and we hope
you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Opening ceremonies mark the completion of three projects - 13.12.09

Hello! Just a quick one from Nicki Logs and myself about our last few days on the road. We were privileged enough to be invited to the opening ceremonies of alpha 1's kindergarten project and alpha 7's community Hall project.

First alpha 7 in Kg. Nibang in the Pitas District to the community hall rebuild which has taken two phases. The project aim was to replace the old community hall which had fallen into disrepair, salvage what material could be used again and build a brand new community hall. I have to tell you the results are impressive. With the paint barely dry on the building (and the team!) the community hall keys were officially handed over by venturer Rick Shuttleworth.

Alexia and Rick gave an official welcome speech to the JKKK (the political head of the village) and the assembled community all in Malay. The JKKK then thanked the team and the dancing began. A big thankyou also goes to the Asian Forestry Company team who helped throughout this project. big thanks especially Drew who has been a great support to the team. It was a great day and we left the team feeling rightly proud of themselves after a great job.

Alpha 1 was next with the official opening of the kindergarten project in Kg. Minosuh in the Tongod region, which is in central Sabah. We got there nice and early to have a good look around the brand new bright yellow kindergarten. Again, what the teams have constructed over the past 10 weeks is very, very impressive.

After some photos at the kindergarten, the team was invited to the community hall for speeches of thanks from the community. I also got to show Raleigh’s appreciation for the community and the way they welcomed and worked with our teams. It was then time for prize giving and then a big spread of food to celebrate everyone’s hard work.

This is the best part of my job, seeing the result of everyone’s hard work makes me very proud - and it has been hard work. All the teams over the phases have had to work extremely hard to make it all come together. They have looked after each other, put up with nights on hard floors, heat, 90% humidity, driving rain, bumpy 4x4 rides, heavy loads, daily porridge breakfasts and more besides. So it’s a big well done for 09K, all our project aims have been achieved! Kg Tampasak now has fresh water for the first time in the village, Kg. Minosuh has a brand new kindergarten and Kg. Nibang now has a brand new community hall. 09K may have only been here for 10 weeks but their impact will be felt for years in those communities.