Thursday, 30 September 2010

Phew! We survived our first night in the jungle!

After 3 days’ training, it’s a relief all round to discover that the project managers can survive the jungle.  With the help of local guides and Raleigh staff, we have learned a range of skills that some of us never thought we would need, but were delighted to discover we could master.
We started gently, with an introduction to some of the tools we will be working with on the project sites, and how to use them safely. 
 Saws and drills were familiar to some, but the machete (known as a parang here in Borneo) was a less familiar sight, and we were glad of Floyd’s expertise.
As our primary means of communicating with Field Base, each project site will be using the radio daily and needs to become proficient.  So far so good!
 After all that sitting around in the sunshine, it was time for a refreshing dip in the river.  Oh wait... it’s more training!  How to cross a river without a bridge!
Next came the turn of the medics to impart some of their expertise.  Although the Field Base medic will be on call at all times, all project managers receive first aid training and a useful overview of the typical ailments that might occur during the course of the expedition.
To ensure that the medical training stays fresh in our minds throughout the expedition, we were treated to a live casualty simulation on our way out of the jungle.  Another excuse to put our radio training into practice, and an opportunity to burn a few more calories carrying a stretcher.  Thank goodness our casualty made a miraculous recovery after a few hundred metres!
Now the part we’d all been worried about:  how to build a basher.  This jungle bed, comprising a hammock strung between two trees and covered with a tarpaulin shelter, was constructed skilfully by Floyd in a matter of minutes.  We had a feeling it might take us a little longer when our turn came along that night.  More importantly, would our own first attempt manage to hold our weight for the entire night?

 Training completed, we trekked off into the jungle where we would find the answer to that very question.  Despite the torrential rain, we managed to build a pretty good looking set of bashers – even if we did have to do most of them twice!
 We all nervously made our way to bed, fearing a sleepless night for the fortunate ones, and a plethora of injuries caused by collapsing hammocks for the less fortunate.  The reality?  A pretty good night’s sleep was had by all, and not a bruise in sight!


clare said...

To Marie Thomas, Hello lovely. Hope you are having an amazing time. The pictures look great and I am sure you have met loads of fab people. Everything in Oz is great. Moved into my new house on the beach! Can't wait to show you it at xmas. We will have such fun!ED is going well. On nights, stitching up the drunks! Guess you wont have to do that in Borneo. I will keep an eye on your progress and look forward to the stories. Love Clare xxx

Pat and Robin Banks said...

Hi Caroline,
Thank you for the e-mails and pictures on Flickr. We are looking after Tom (and Rose when she gets home from school) as Lisa has gone away to Lanzarote for the weekend. Tom enjoyed looking at your photos, especially the ones of the tigers. It sounds like you are having a great time down in the jungle.
Pat and Robin

Anonymous said...

Hi James Mclean, how are you? how was your first night in the Jungle? Your hammocks look comfortable, how is it to sleep in them? We came to Rita's and she got on the comment part straight away. We don't know if there's something wrong with our computer, will try again when we get home. Saw Grandad yesterday' he's knees are painful. have suggested he try caster oil, might help to oil his jpoints as he won't take painrelief. Sue's continues to look better all the time,It's the hike tomorrow, its poring with rain, were hoping it will be dryer tomorrow. look after yourself lots of love Mum and Philxx

Anonymous said...

To James Mclean
Hi Hows it going Lovely English weather here 15 degrees and rain all day it;s been so bad that they had to delay the start of the Ryder cup. Were getting ready for the Longmynd Hike All night stuck on top of a hill.
Hope all goes well and good luck.
Phil and Mum

Herman Gorter said...

He Max,
Altijd haantje de voorste en nu sluit je de groep als heavy weight champion..De laatse man is altijd het belangrijkst, die moet het team coachen en motiveren. Ik hoop dat je dat je veel gaat zien en verkennen in de jungle, heel veel succes ! GO TARZAN !!

pascale said...

Hi Nicolas
Bon maintenant je continue en français, pour que tu ne oublies pas
ta langue maternelle
Quelle taille les araignées ?
Tu fais la cuisine ? Avec quoi ?
Rêves-tu déjà d'une bonne douche bien chaude ?
Je pense beaucoup à toi

Sarah Dad and Matty said...

Hi Gemma
In a very hot Lanzarote. We have seen your pic on the blog. Sending lots of love and good luck for your adventure. I think you are amazing.(Sarah) Matty and Dad say hi and lol. We are doing a lot of swimming and are very chilled. Take care and enjoy!!!!
Sarah Dad and Matthew xxxxx

Personal Training Expert said...

Hey Ele,

Thinking of you everyday. Enjoy your first trek!

Love Megan xx

Anonymous said...

Hey Shauna
Photo's of you on the blog are great its nice to see you looking good. Hope you got to your first adventure ok. Have a letter in the mail to you. Take care of yourself love you lots.
Mam, Dad, Daire xxx

Anonymous said...

Hoi Yannick,
Vanuit een herfstig Nederland een heel goede tijd in Borneo toegewenst. Geniet, met alles erop en eraan. Maak er wat moois van!
We zien je Eerste Kerstdag weer terug. Post is onderweg!
Hou je haaks en heel veel liefs,
Pap, Mam en Cahrin.

Odette said...

Hé lieve Maxim,
Hoe is het met je in da jungle? Ik zie je af en toe op een foto voorbij komen, leuk!! Hier is de herfst lekker bezig :-( wil ook naar de tropen toe. Post is naar je onderweg!
Heel veel plezier en suc6 daar, dikke kus, ook van Anton en van Nana, die Wunderhond a.k.a. het worstenhondje :-) xxx Odette

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I'm actually writing on the right wall , or page for that matter :/ But here goes.
I got your letter :D Sounds super exciting and adventurous. By the way , your handwriting sucks. haha But its nice to hear from you again so that didn't matter so much.
Anyway , stay safe and have fun!
Love , Farah Idayu :)