Monday, 19 July 2010

Looping Our Way Around Sabah

Hello again everyone, this is Hayley back from travelling the width and breadth of Sabah to bring you all the latest news on the venturers and the progress they are making on Raleigh's worthwhile projects.  Thanks to everyone at field base for keeping things ticking over while I've been gone, I'm sure the friends and family of all the staff here were glad to hear that they're getting on well.  After all we are all volunteers too, just like the venturers, and are eager to make the most of this fabulous experience that we are privileged enough to be a part of. 

The last week has been pretty crazy as myself, Tom, Nils and Darren endeavoured to visit each of the four static project sites that the venturers deployed to last week.  By Bravo, four-by-four, ferry, fishing trawler, motor boat and by foot, we ventured into the depths of Borneo to explore the remote locations where the venturers are beavering away.

The first stop was Alpha Two- the community workshop project on the island of Pulau Maliangin Besar.  The loop were greeted with fruit punch and shell necklaces.

We enjoyed a game of rounders with the venturers, the locals, volunteers from a near-by youth club and WWF representatives (Raleigh's project partners for this project).

After working up a sweat, we all cooled off with a dip in the sea.

We were well fed with spicy noodles and a delicious peach crumble with custard for desert (it's amazing what you can create using Raleigh rations!) all eaten whilst watching the sun set on the beach.
The evening was filled with a game of articulate, which I'm proud to say my team won!  After a spot of star-gazing by the camp fire, we retired to our tents to get some sleep before continuing our adventure the next day.

Our next stop was Alpha One- the kindergarten project in Kampung Maliau Layung.  After a very sweaty trek in, we were well received by the group who showed us around their new home. 
The kindergarten was coming along nicely, they must be working hard to have made so much progress. 
We all had a very much needed wash in a local river and, feeling clean and refreshed, enjoyed a lentil curry followed by an 'Energy Bomb' (a gooey mix of crumbled biscuits, oats, raisins, honey and chocolate spread).
We were then entertained with a quiz before bedding down for the night in the kampung's community centre.

Next up, we travelled to Sepilok where we found Alpha Four hard at work in the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. 
Excitingly, we managed to spot a few orphaned orangutans and even a pygmy elephant being well looked after by the rangers nearby the work site.  After downing tools, the group led us on a short forty five minute trek through the jungle to their campsite. 
We spent a rather sophisticated evening enjoying a candle lit supper of spaghetti bolognese followed by a game of charades.  We almost forgot we were in the middle of the Bornean jungle!

Our final destination was Alpha Three at Imbak Canyon.  Believe it or not, more people have been to Everest Base Camp than have visited this class one protected area.  It felt like we had entered the land that time forgot as we drove through this completely untouched abyss.  We found the venturers at Rangers Camp where they were staying temporarily to help out with the building of some accommodation that will be used by scientists when they visit the area for research purposes.
We spent the afternoon getting stuck in on the work site.
Until the rain came...
But not to worry, the venturers managed to amuse themselves.
Later, we were lucky enough to take part in Alpha Three's 'Come Dine With Me' competition.
We were treated to a fabulous three course dinner consisting of spicy cabbage soup to start, followed by coconut rice with a peanut satay sauce, and finally a let's say 'interesting' desert of unpopped popcorn coated in honey, Cinnamon and Milo.

For some after dinner entertainment, the venturers organised for us to go on a night trek guided by two of the rangers- Chris and 'The Commander'.  With torches at the ready we set out to explore the unknown...Sadly the wildlife was feeling a little shy but we did however spot a Civet Cat.
The next morning we bid goodbye to Alpha Three and began the long journey back to Kota Kinabalu, Field Base, a shower, Loli's cooking and our desks.

Look out for more photos from each Alpha Group over the next few days....

I just want to say a massive thank you to all of you guys at home for getting in touch via this blog. The venturers were really chuffed to receive your comments when i distributed them on the loop.  They have instructed me to send you their love!


Veena said...

Hey Manisha (Alpha 1),
Hope your ok!! The blog tells us Alpha one has made so much progress and working hard so well done!!! Keep it up!! Also you had lentil curry... not the same as home but im sure you must havegot excited when you knew you were having lentils!! Saw a pic of the community centre where you sleep.. also saw the pic of your group minus 2 ppl... you and someone else.. :o( was really looking forward to seeing your pics.. so quite sad we didnt see you with your group.. the blog tells us it will be showing us more pics of the groups in the next few days so i hope to see you on them! I see the weather aint being nice to you!! grrrr... hope your still smiling tho :o).. some the pics of the different places look amazing so i hope you make the most of it!! Anyway i hope your ok, eating well and in good spirit!! Missing you loads!!!!!!! Still counting down the days until you get reception!!!!! 8 days to gooooooooo!!!!!!!! woohooo! Take care little sis.. Veena x

Linda M said...

Message for Catherine Melis

Hi Babes!
Have just seen the photos of Alpha One's location. Get the impression of a lot of wet mud and heavy labouring! Sleeping on the hard mud floor of the hut...we should have opted for the thicker sleeping mat, shouldn't we! It looks like "Big Brother" with hard labour! Hope your work gloves are holding up!
I'm afraid I literally cried to be able to see a photo of you, now that you've been away for almost four weeks, at time of writing. Can't wait to speak to you again, Babes, and when you are home I want to hear EVERYTHING about your time there and about your fellow adventurers.
Loads of love from Mum xxx

Anonymous said...

Hello Gary Williams.

Spotteed you on some photos good to see your hair hasnt grown that much yet! and i think my tan is actually beating yours!!!

That peach crumble sounds nice thought you said the food wasnt that good! however iv just had roast duck, with pancake wraps and hussan sauce mmmmm :P
havent been up to much here really just working alot boooo.

Not long now till you get that 1 night in a hotel lol will be waiting for my phone call and WHERES MY LETTER!!!!

Speak to you soon, shell. xx

p.s Gaaaarrrrryyyyyys still hiden!.......Harley (each time he sees your car lol)

Anonymous said...

Hello charlotte
Hope all is going well for you . Seen some pictures & look good hugh

Paul williams said...

gary williams alpha2
good to see you looking well mate im sending a letter tomarrow had some news on afgan if all goes well could be going october looks like as your adventure finishes mine will start mom sends her luv proud of you see you soon lots of luv Dad

Dane said...

to Carolyn smith
hey baby, missing you loads!! looks like your having a good time over there on the beach from pics on blog. hope your having a ace time, cant wait to here from you lots and lots of love wall-E and dane xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Emily Foster

Hi Em
Good to see you on the photo's you look like you are working hard. I have written don't know when you will get it. Got your letter last week was great to hear from you you sound like you are having a great time.The accomodation looks good at the moment, will write again Love Mum Dad Tom & Amber xxxx

Dad said...

Hi Tom (Alpha 1)
Hope you are well and having a fab time. It was great to see you working hard at the Kindergarten project (well sitting on the ground smiling!) and we can see where you are sleeping. I hope you all get on well.
Its Josh's birthday today but he's away at Xcape so we won't see him until tonight. Might go to Pizza Express to celebrate.
Mum says you have to take lots of photos. You know how she will want to know everything and everyone. Anyway take care, work hard and above all have fun.

Love Dadx

Jo said...

Hi Henry

love u lots

Jo, Tom, Ned and Mils


Veena said...

Hey Manisha (ALPHA 1)
7 days to go till your back at base!! cant wait!! Then we get to hear from you!!!! Twitter has sed: " have finished their joists and chiseling and will continue work on the building today. "
So well done!!!!! Mayb'e youl be useful when we build our shed!lol!
I hope your okay! We're thinking of you!!! Jaynas room has been ppainted now but her stuff is everywher!!!!!!!!!! Shen came around to draw her a picture that she wanted on the wall... so thats going well looks really good!! Im at work getting bored!!! I hope you've been getting our comments!!! We talk about you everyday :o)
cant waitto have you backkk!! Love you.. Veena x

Anonymous said...

Helen & Tom I was getting withdraw systems but glad to see you both & looking well, can't wait for the next Skype, thanks for the letter, I hope you have received mine, see Helen I can type!!!
lots of love Mum & Dad

Bushfamily said...

Hello Abi! (Alpha2) Just seen the pictures of you and the crew on your idyllic island. You certainly know how to enjoy yourselves! But I'm sure you are working hard too!!
And all that lovely sunshine. It is now the monsoon season here. Since the hosepipe ban was announced it has rained every day!
We're beginning to get geared up to go away but there is so much to do. I still have to make Grandmum's birthday cake - I wish you were here to decorate it. You seem to be having exotic cuisine or was that special because you had guests? Simon has sorted a lot of his room - this means getting rid of most of it! And he has sorted the internet after the router box broke. Dad is very busy at work. He's looking forward to the holiday, hope he leaves the Blackberry behind. However he still has time for golf. Enjoy the rest of the time on the island. Lots of love from Mum, Dad and Simon xxxxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Rhys

It's pouring with rain but probably it's not as heavy as yours. We're all fine, you look as if you're having a fab time. Thank you so much for the letter, can't wait to see more of your photos online.

All our love
Mum, Lowri and Ffion xxxxx

MUM said...

Hi Manisha, hope all is well with you. i was so sad not to see any pics of you. hope u r in the next lot. hope the kindergarten is progessing well, like your room. we finishd painting j room yesterday. theres not much rain here at all. j going to the zoo today. hope its not raining too much there. i hope u r well. its so difficult not hearing from u and knowing u r ok. missing u loads. love MUM XXX

SteveFblog said...

Hi Emma F in Alpha 1
Hope all is well, looks like good progress on the kindergarten. Hope food is OK, and that you are having loads of fun. We're off on hols on Friday but will try to keep an eye on the website. Loads of love dad xxx

Veena said...

Hey Manisha (Alpha 1) 7 days to goo!!!!!!!!! whoooppppieee!!!! I hope your ok!!! Its wednesday here another boring beginning to the stressful work day i have (cough cough)All is well at home. Jayna is off to the Zoo today! In saying that it reminds me.. i hope you have managed to buy a camera!! xxx

Linda M said...

Message for Catherine Melis

Hi Babes!
I posted letter no 2 yesterday, but in the last 20 hours a few things that I referred to in it have been resolved.
Perhaps you should sit down before reading this, in case you keel over with disbelief...after searching for, what is it, 18 months or so, I've actually bought a new dining table! The one that we were waiting to see - they at last received it at Weybridge! It does have those little divisions in it that you don't like, but the size and the way it extends is fine - a 50cm pull out extension at each end. Wish you'd been here, to hear your opinion! Also your opinion on new curtains/blinds that I want for the living room.
Kevin dropped by and sorted out the wireless and laptop yesterday. I haven't tried the laptop downstairs yet but it should help my back, being able to type whilst lying out flat on the sofa!
Look after yourself, Babes. Don't go too veggie - you need your strength!
Loads of love from Mum xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Rhys > I continue to be hopeles at these blogs and I have just lost a long one that had me getting very emotional because I was so happy that you were doing such amazing things and looked so happy . I keep having tears in my eyes when I think of you . The girls are fine . Lowri is in Paris and then off kayacking in South of France and Ffion hasgone to work . She had her fist paypacket yesterday and needs to say blew loads on a fab pair of shoes. Its Sunday I need to paint the cupboard where the new boiler has BEEN PUT IN . Its wonderful -hotwater water and heating ready for the winter . We sound as babis as you are but fortunately have not had a long drop put in . Have a wonderful time . Its great seeing the photos and seeing what other groups are also getting up to as well . we`re waiting for a new posting on alpha 3 to be put up . Rain looks amazing . The whole place looks amazing .Its sunny here today . everyone is asking after you and Fizz and Ni send their love . all our love too . Love you to bits Mum,Lowri and Ffion

Anonymous said...

Hi Narin I don't know if u get our messages or not,but here goes, We went to Jodies wedding.She made a speech which we have never seen before, she was awsome. Sinem arrived early and came aswel . We all went. Today we went to Alyssa's christening aswel the girls looked beautiful.
We are all well, hope u r well too.
Keep up the good work.
Love mum.xxxxxxxx

Heini said...

For Naomi Jenkins, Group 10D

Hey babes!! Got your letter today - thanks so much! Only just figured out I could post to you on here (yes, I am technologically challenged). Sounds like you're having an absolutely amazing time! Not much to report from Neath, just got back from a week in Austria with Jan, and more importantly I HAVE BOOKED MY NZ TICKETS!! I'll tell all in your birthday card which i'll post this week. Also sent a card at the beginning of July so don't know if you've got that yet!

Am off to see Thews for the weekend next week as I'm still basking in unemployment. He will write if he gets some free time (you know how busy he is!!) but has been asking about you and says hello.

Hope you have an amazing time on the island paradise.

Miss and love you lots

Heini xxxxx

PS - I haven't watched an episode of OTH since you've left...