Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Road Trippin' With the Loop - Part 1

Hello all, it's me Yolanda, this time bringing you the first part of news about our three community and three environment phase groups which the Loop has managed to visit in the past week. 

Alpha 1 - Kindergarten project in Sulit Paitan

On the Loop this time were Aydan, one of our three volunteer logistics managers, and me. We first set off to Kampung Sulit Paitan in the district of Sandakan, which is about 270km (or 4 and a half hours) from Fieldbase in Kota Kinabalu. Alpha 1 is building a kindergarten for the remote community there which will provide pre-school education for about 20 children in and around the village of Sulit Paitan.

A happy Alpha 1 met us at their humble abode, which is a kindergarten by day and a communal area for the group by night. After a quick welcome, Aydan and I whipped out the comments from the blog which they pounced on like cats on mice. 

Alpha 1 did a fantastic job that day keeping us fed and entertained. To put us in a romantic mood, PM Laura presented everyone with a rose made out of a stick and some plastic. Then for starters we had tapioca chips (absolutely amazing), meatballs and pasta and stir-fried cabbage for the mains (superb) and because it was Valentine's Day, the scones we had for dessert were heart-shaped (genius). Alpha 1 made the evening even more special by presenting everyone with secret Valentine's messages, even the loop received their own love-ly messages!

For entertainment, the group first had a boys vs girls performance.

The night progressed into a most amusing game of Speed Dating, followed by fantastic performance by Carys and TJ, who sang 'Something Stupid' in impressive harmony. 

We had an amazing time in Alpha 1 but had to leave early the next day for a long journey to Alpha 4, about another 240 km away (about 4 hours on the road). Charlie the photographer joined us this time and we picked Claire the communications officer, up from Telupid to make a team of four for Alpha 4. 

Alpha 4 - The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre project in Sepilok, Sandakan

We arrived in sunny Alpha 4 and were welcomed by PM Donna who brought us to the rest of the team were working hard on the foundations for the bridge and walkway that will connect the orang utan sanctuary to the sun bear sanctuary. 

As you can see, they had a clear system going on to fill the foundations that day. The first team mixed the cement, which was then passed on to the chain who brought the cement to Billy, (the architect helping out with the sun bear sanctuary project) who will then put the cement in to form the first layer of cement. 

We headed back to Alpha 4's jungle camp after their day of work and soon it was dinner time. Alpha 4 presented their simple but delicious dinner of coconut rice, fresh veg and curry sauce on banana leaves which we polished off in no time at all! 

Alpha 4's entertainment scored top points with the loop team, with their Sepilok's Got Talent show.

Another amazing night came to an end after games like Mafia and Who's the Man were brought to the table. Sadly, the loop, together with Claire had to head off to Alpha 5 early the next morning. 

Alpha 5 - Infrastructure Construction, Imbak Canyon 

3 and a half hours later, we arrive at the river where rangers from Imbak Canyon would pick us up in their trusty 4x4 to take us into rangers' camp. We climbed out of the 4x4 to be met with all of Alpha 5! After lunch we trekked into BBC Camp and made a beeline to the Imbak River for a quick wash under the waterfalls. 

Look at us all looking so glamorous after an hours trek! We're sitting on a viewing platform built during a previous Raleigh expedition.

The viewing platform overlooks the stunning Imbak Waterfalls

The pile of rocks Alpha 5 has had to carry to fill in the foundations for a second bridge. 5 tons done, 5 more to go. For the first hole. 

For dinner the team made a us rice and beans and amazed us with a very yummy mock chicken jerk recipe. For dessert we had scrumptious chocolate cookies, all of which were gobbled up within a minute. 

The dessert chefs

For entrainment, Alpha 5 first serenaded us with a group singing performance.

Next in the programme was a show demonstrating how some of the venturers' bodies could do amazing (and WRONG) things, like Kim here, who can twist her arm around at a full 360 degrees. 

We then had a limbo competition which Adam and Ching won with their super flexibility and balancing capabilities.

The group then played Mafia well into the night and then it was bedtime again.

 The loop had Alphas 2, 3 and 6 left to visit, but that's a whole other blog post! Watch this space!


leighanderson said...

Hi our darling Brett
got the pic of you at camp they are great it's fantastic to see you having such a good time we saw one of the spiders uhh Teri said no way!!!! We like the look of your bath looks good Teri will put them on your face book asap. Well into your forth week it's going quick hope you have lots of photo's to show us wish I was there just my kind of place. The beaches look amazing hope you all get a chance to swim in the sea. Well mate will be in touch again soon love and miss you
Mum and Dad xxxxxxx

the Pittaways said...

Hi Beanie
Great to see you looking happy after the trek. Bet you had something to do with chocolate cookies?? Scenery is stunning. Been TV coverage of Borneo this week re orangutans and palm nut oil production - sad how they could disappear. We all miss you and look forward to a message from you. Dad off to see Nan today I'm off to shop(Lakeside) Love you to bits Mum and Keg

opa en oma said...

Lieve Alwine,( alpha 7)
Via de webside van Raleigh hebben wij een indruk gekregen van wat je allemaal in Borneo beleeft. Spannend, indrukwekkend en wel héél bijzonder, maar vooral de tocht in de jungle lijkt ons erg zwaar. We hopen toch dat je erg van genieten kunt.
Met Opa gaat het steeds beter. Helaas wilde de zware sneeuwval steeds niet wijken,wat de loopjes buiten wel erg beperkte,n.l. tot op en neer lopen op een bijna dagelijks te vegen tuin-
pad en van dat sneeuwvegen baalde ik flink. “t Was ook op de fiets geen pretje.
Sinds een paar dagen is het gras weer groen, nu is het wachten op droog weer zodat we weer blokjes om kunnen lopen.
Namens ons beiden de hartelijke groeten en heel veel liefs, Opa en Oma.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah (Alpha 5)
Great to see you looking so relaxed and obviously enjoying all that Raleigh has to throw at you. It all looks amazing and is certainly a world away from the miserable slush and biting cold of the latest dump of snow. Good thing I have kept my promise to take Clio for a run: have been digging her out and scraping her out of the layers of ice/snow/ice. The cats have 'cabin fever' and are shredding every shoe in sight (Dad's, basically) because they refuse to spend any tree-climbing time outside. And don't worry, you're not missing Narnia here: it's really very unattractive and so,so cold. Bring home some sunshine please. Love you muchly, Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

to james eyles/wee man!!!

hey buddy hows it all going in borneo? hope that u are having an epic time and that it is comparable to the fun we had in india!!! no one been eaten by caterpillars or any of that kind of thing i hope! anyways as i said i thought id drop u a line and see how u are coping this time round. although u will be missing out on ur trecking partners!! ie bill and myself. also make sure u mess with a few other peoples heads over a game of green glass door/ how many ciggies are there now??? anyways mate take care of ur bad self and look forward to hearing all ur news as to what u been up to and what the projects are like? drop me a blog message back and i will try and read it although this blog thing is really confusing so may take a while. all the best toby

Anonymous said...

Hello Em in Alpha 6,
How goes it matey? Still living it up on the beach? Are you working hard? Saw Kati yesterday. She is missing you and is fed up with all work and no play. Still, not long till her big adventure. Jess is coming home at the weekend for the twins' birthday celebration. It is still freezing here.
Love you loads,

Emily Arthur said...

Paul Choat!
I'm super excited that you will soon be in a group where there will be pictures of you in this blog! Stop hiding in the jungle so i can see how ridiculous your ever growing beard is!! 7 weeks today until you're home- woopeeee!!! Hope the jungle way is super duper fun :D Snow expected for tomorrow here...tropical as ever!..
LuNuMuWu!! (i'll be a little impressed if you remember what they all stand for!!:). smooches n cuddles. Emmy, xxxx

Elizabeth Tucker said...

Hello Christina (alpha 1)

Hope all is going well in Kampung Sulit Paitan: we know the name from the blog and saw you on a picture taken by the Loop crew. I was thinking of you clearing that jungle when I was feeling defeated by a small overgrown patch in our garden on Sunday.

Thursday-Sunday evening Dad and I are going to be in South of France at a conference of Dad's (not a 12 New Square one). So by the time we come back you will be on your next project. Looking forward to finding out what it is!

Have a good break in KK this weekend,
much love, Mammy

yiota said...

yia sou agapoula mou (Alexandra B alpha 1)Charika toso pou ida photagraphies sou sta blogs. Fenese maurismeni .Den vlepo tin ora nasakouso tin paraskevi.Elpizo nase kala.Anarotieme ti na ine to epomeno project;OTheos nane panta mazi sou

Jan Akhtar said...

Hi Solly,(Alpha 9)
It seems a long time since we heard from you. When are the Raleigh troopers going to do some info and pictures of Alpha 9? We're desperate to see what your group have been up to!Saw one group eating sago grubs. Made us think of 'I'm a celebrity get me out of here!' Hope you're still having a ball. The scenery looks fantastic out there.Had Jackie's 40th at Great Danes at weekend. All missed you but I know where I would rather have been!! Look after yourself and we send you heaps of love.
Mum, Dad, Josh, Adam, Ben and Sophie xxxxxx

tanja said...

Lieve Alwine ( alpha 7)

Had net papa en Reinalt aan de lijn, Reinalt vroeg of ik je veel groeten kon sturen vanaf de Blauspitze. Ze zijn daar met 20 man en komen steeds meer bekenden tegen. Reinalt heeft goed leren kaarten. Ik vind het nog steeds raar dat de familie verspreid is tussen sneeuw en tropen.
Als het goed is ben je nu bijna weer op basekamp, hoop dat je het heerlijk hebt gehad en geniet van een echte douche en bed!
heel veel liefs Tanja

Jenn said...

Nigel Dakin performing in front of an audience?! I would pay good money to see that happen again! Hope ur well dude! Love you lots xoxo ps. really hope you are receiving my letters!!! xoxo

leighanderson said...

hi brett (alpha 5)
dad here all the posties at gatwick send there best to you and hope you are having a brill time like the pictures thought the shower was great dont like the spiders now me i miss your noise it is very quiet but nice and peaceful miss you but keep having a great time and wheres our postcard ?looking forward to hearing all your stories when you come home but just you keep having a great time love dad x

Anonymous said...

Hi Ellie (Chapman)
We are really missing you and cant wait to hear your news! I'm sure you've had an amazing few weeks and we look forward to seeing more photos on the blog. Hope you really enjoy your next phase and we'll keep sending the letters! Loads of love Mum,Dad and Cath xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Ryan A, was great to get a surprise e-mail from you last week, how lucky are you having a day off on your birthday to lounge around the pool! Hope you had a good day. Looking forward to getting mail from you soon. Saw you in another photo and then maybe caught a grimpse of you in the background on the talent night! Would love to see the orang utans, sun bears and pigmy elephants, you are lucky. Leo is now known as the Sun dog! Love Mum, Dad and all xx

Sally said...

Hello Rosie Posie Helson with Alpha4
Wow amazing achievemnts with your trenches for the bridge,
yummy looking meal(are you eating mainly vegetarian food?), and what looked to be a great talent night....do I recognised that broom trick? What were you singing and doing with fingers?! You all look healthy and well and presumably have got fitter for the next part of your adventure.Thinking of you
Lots of Love Mum xoxox

Fraser family said...

Hi Andy Fraser (Alpha 3) Sorry we have not been able to write on the blog but internet access has been very difficult. We are ok, and on our way homeward. Back to MCO on Sunday. We have been thinking about you such a lot - it seems so long since we heard from you. Hope you are ok. Please text if you get the chance. Lots of love from Mum and Dad xxxxx PS Posted letter today from St T.

huz said...

Hey Anton, looks like you have been working hard and having fun-glad to see you are enjoying yourself out there. I saw a programme about the Orangutans in Borneo last night and thought of you as I watched and looked at the jungle and peat bogs ( not that the orangutans reminded me of you!)
Faithless have a new song out and are doing a European tour so I am very happy and looking forward to listening to it with you. It's called 'not going home' and Maxi says it is about staying out as long as possible to enjoy yourself-that's my song! It also goes for you out there too-tho' I am looking forward to you coming home soon. Well, better post this and get to work-it's raining loads :( Lots and lots of love to you

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex.

I miss you! Pos ise? You definitely look good! How's that possible in the jungle I am not sure yet!! Send me a sign! Epethimisa se apistefta ke arxisa na trelenome. Pare me sintoma otherwise I might have to start bothering tin K. Yiota ke ton James! Ego edo ta idia. Exo polli douleia. Leaving to India in 2 weeks. And can't wait for you to come back! I love you sooooo much. So proud of you agapiiiiii. Take care

Anonymous said...

Lieve Kyra /alpha 4
Wat zie ik nou heb jij nieuwe armbanden gekregen maar dan om je benen, zeg wat is dat misschien een gekke Borneose gewoonte, vertel het me gauw.
het is misschien van lullig mar na een maand wil ik toch nu graag wat van je horen, het is in ider geval zeker dat je er ontzettend gelukkig uitziet dus dat is voor mij een geweldige geruststelling.
Lieverd ik weet inmiddels dat je dit weekend terug komt naar KK.
Dus als je kunt laat dan wat van je horen.
Met mij en de Woppert gaat alle uitstekend. Vette pakkerd Mamamia

Pere de Skwig said...

Nigel (Alpha 1) Nice to get the email from you. Good to hear you are enjoying a bit of civilisation - Toilets & showers etc! We are really enjoying the winter olympics now they are just about finished - love the ski & Snowboard cross what a revelation! Still slaving away on the boat, done with Bostic wood work now which is far preferable. Christopher finished basic Army training. We went to the presentation yesterday Feb 26th. We didn't realise you were going to work on more than one project. We expected you were going to be stuck in one place until it was finished. Good job I'm not running it! It will good for you to have the variety and the treat at the end. All typed on a new keyboard as the one supplied was a bit dead and flat. Take care and enjoy the rest of the holiday!

Cheers Dad Gill & Max

Anonymous said...

From Fiona in Cornwall to Kim Balsdon:
Kimbo!!! How lovely to see you in these pics. Have been missing you loads, hope you are having a great time. xxxx

Anonymous said...

Sarah Parumal

Hi Babe, nice to see a picture of you up. Hope your enjoying building the water gravity thing, sounds exciting. Currently marking a huge stack of year 9s work on the rainforest so you are not missing much. Trying to balance looking for jobs next year with essay marking and lesson planning. So as you can imagine it's pretty stressful. Been out planning fieldwork today, guess what it rained! Absolutely p****d it down. Hope you enjoy your letter when you get it.
Missing you at home, Leo wonders where you are, he's nearly crawling now! My mum and Dad say hello they're looking forward to hearing all your stories.
Very proud of you babe. See you soon.

Lots of love,

Tom xxxxxxxxxx

Tom Mitchell said...

Hey Will Mitchell!!!
Hope all is well and that you are enjoying yourself. Nothing very exciting going on in England. I was in a play called 'Look Back in Anger' for a drama piece towards my exam which was really fun and was a shame you couldn't see it. I'm now driving everywhere I go and really want to pass my test at the end of easter! Still have to pass my theory first! Have a great time and skype me when your out of the forest!

Andrew said...

High Will (Treck/Dive/Treck
Have had a good weekend here with Tom. Excellent roast Pork at Kings Head Bledington - envious? Well I'm envious of your jungle trecks and stories of gibbons - whoop Whoop! Two cards arrived this week. Thanks. Grandma also loved hers. Mum is in Kenya at Shale's place - lucky thing. Lottie nearly injured on 3 G swing at RAF airbase when it collapsed. Cut foot only thank god. Safer where you are methinks! Purdy sends a woof. XX Dad

henrydorling said...

To Francesca

Hello my love :) What a very lovely way to start the day, really wasn't expecting to hear anything from you at all! That was a very beautiful message, thank you so much. And yes I hope youre having a happy day on our anniversary - it does sound like you're having an amazing time. I feel very privileged to have shared this time with you and really look forward to our future with a smile on my face :) Your love means so much to me. Getting really excited about travelling with you now, not long till we'll be exploring the world together! You should be getting a letter from me soon, I have been meaning to write for a while now so should be with you soon. and yeah it'd be lovely to get something from you, would love to know more of what you're up to. new photos went up of you recently - you look very happy, which is really good to see. oh and i'm going to post this on the blog as well as in this email as i'm not sure which you'll get sooner, so sorry for the repetition. Love you so much, keep on enjoying everything. can't wait to see you. henry x x x x