Saturday, 13 February 2010

The 'LOOP'

Hello and welcome back to Raleigh Borneo!

Here at field base we are very busy preparing for 'The Loop'. On 'The Loop' members of the fieldbase team go on a road trip in one of our Bravos (Landrovers) around all of the static project sites to see how everyone is getting along.

The LOGS team, aka Nicky, James and Aydan have been working their socks off to get everything ready, so that we can take out vital supplies to teams who have broken their microphones, lost their cooking pots or run out of travel wash!

Plus, we take out all of the mail that you guys have sent out here and deliver the fantastic messages you have left on the blog for them, so if you want to pass on any further messages get them to us ASAP!

This year's 'Loop' competion is 'Come Dine With Me'. Each group will have to prepare an evening of culinary delights and entertainment, to feed and amuse the fieldbase team. This is not an easy feat given the Raleigh Rations and budget, but we never cease to be amazed by what teams can come up with a little ingenuity and elbow grease!

This Loop team will consist of  The Boss - Jim, our Country Director, Aydan one of our ever ready LOGS team, Yo our Recruitment, Support and Media Coordinator/master of all trades and Claire the comunications officer whom they will pick up on route. Field base will be very quiet without them.

The Loop will visit the following Alpha groups:

14th February - Chinese New Year and Valentines Day - Alpha 2
15th February - Alpha 5
16th February - Pancake Day - Alpha 4
17th February - Alpha 1
18th February - Alpha 3
19th February - Alpha 6
20th February - HOME (Hurrah!)

And finally... Martin's Mum - Martin Brien is in Alpha 3, sorry that he was left off the original list, I have updated the previous blog. For anonymous looking for Kirsty Simms, she is in Alpha 2!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Field Base News

So, I know that you are all desperate to know what else has been going on at Field Base!

Here is a quick run down of the latest news...

Mac our Country Programme Manager is lucky enough to be getting some time away from expedition, so he left us today bound for Australia. We hope he has a safe trip and we are all going to miss him loads whilst he is away.

Loli our amazing cook has excelled herself in the past few days. We have had cornflake cookies, flapjacks and enough South African Milktert (milk tart) to feed an army. Loli we love you x x x

Pablo the cat has been poorly recently. We are not sure whether or not this is due to his evil twin cat that keeps trying to eat his food, or the fact that he may have eaten some gone-off fish. The good news is that he is now back to his naughty normal self and is causing chaos as usual...

Tune in soon for some more news...

Good Hair Day

A couple of weeks ago, before deployment and before the venturers arrived, Raleigh Borneo’s Country Director Extraordinaire Jim Clements put his curly locks up for auction to raise funds for Host Country Venturers.

For those of you who know and love the quality of Jim’s hair, fret not, he didn’t offer to snip his luscious golden (some say ginger) mane. Even better, he fearlessly agreed to have them straightened for a whole night on the staff’s karaoke night before the venturers arrived.

Inspired by Jim’s noble deed, Tom the accountant too agreed to join the fashion-risky fundraising act, so he willingly traded in his masculine alice band for a quick job with the straighteners for a side-swept fringe do a lá Katie Holmes.

 Tom the Accountant

Katie Holmes

The results of the fundraising mission were fantastic! Jim and Tom managed to raise over RM500 from volunteer staff, which will afford one Host Country Venturer a place on Expedition 10A.

We didn't get a photo of Jim with his straight hair because we were rushing for our taxis, but thanks to technology, we can re-create his look from the night: 



I'm sure you, like us, applaud this sporting effort by both Tom and Jim. If you would like to help Host Country Venturers join our expeditions and make a better future for themselves, their families and their communities, you too can donate at JustGiving

*photo of Katie Holmes taken from Google Images

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Someone missing from the photographs?

Just reading through the blog and noticed that a few of you were unable to find your friends and loved ones...

The group photographs were of the tango groups that everyone had spent the last week in and as it turns out, the first two groups that set off into the jungle were missing.

So...Especially for Helen's Dad, here she is! Stood up on the back row, second from the right. Hopefully anonymous mum searching for her child will also find them below!

Just a quick tip as well, if you double click on the photographs they should open up much bigger, which makes it a bit easier to spot people too.

Keep your comments coming, I know everyone here loves hearing from you all.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Raleigh Borneo meets the World Cup Trophy

Our Country Director, Jim, and I were extremely thrilled to be invited to meet the iconic FIFA World Cup trophy in Kuala Lumpur recently. Thanks to The Coca-Cola Company, who are one of our main sponsors, Raleigh Borneo was invited to the exclusive unveiling of the trophy on its second ever FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola on the 28th January. 

Among the VIPs at the exclusive event included the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Datuk Seri Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad, FIFA spokesperson Lingling Liu, South Africa High Commissioner Extraordinaire Sisa Ngombane, Coca-Cola General Manager for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, Antonio del Rosario.

That's Jim and me in red together with representatives from the Malaysian Nature Society, another organization in partnership with Coca-Cola

The Trophy Tour, which began its journey from the FIFA Headquarters on September 21, 2009, is traveling around the world before arriving in the host country of South Africa on May 4, 2010.  The total distance the tour will travel is 134,017 kilometers (83,274 miles) or more than three times the circumference of Earth!  The Tour was developed through an exclusive partnership between FIFA and Coca-Cola, a FIFA Partner and one of the organization's longest-standing corporate partners.The trophy is set to visit 89 cities in 86 countries in total during its nine-month journey around the world. 

On the 29th January, while Raleigh Borneo and our support group, Raleigh International Kuala Lumpur, manned an exhibition booth to promote Raleigh expeditions, the trophy stood on a pedestal for the viewing pleasure of the public. 

Needless to say people, including Malaysian celebrities and sports personalities, came in throngs to come and take a picture next to the actual World Cup trophy at the Mid Valley Mega Mall in Kuala Lumpur. Raleigh's booth registered over 50 young Malaysians from the Peninsula interested in Raleigh expeditions just from the 12 hour event. 

Besides our very exciting booth, the event was also made colourful with a face painting station, virtual football games, a 3-D show and many other fun game stations. We'd like to thank Coca-Cola for inviting us to the event and Raleigh International Kuala Lumpur for helping us out with the booth!

Project Allocations and Deployment

Hello and welcome back to the Raleigh Blog!

Gosh we have had a really hectic and exciting few days since you last heard from us...

On the last day at TAC all of the venturers found out which project they would be working on for the next few weeks. It was an exciting and tense time as everyone found out just where they would be going and who they would be working with.

All of the teams then moved to Likas hostel for the busiest day of the expedition, where they sorted, collected and lugged around everything from coffee to wheelbarrows, medical kits to washing up bowels and pick-axes, to the infamous Raleigh ration crackers... Everything they needed for the first project had to be packed up ready to go. I do feel a bit sorry for the alpha group that left their toilet rolls behind...unlucky!

Deployment day was an early start, with bleary eyed staff up before 5.00am to get breakfast ready and the first coaches arriving at 6.00am! Everyone got smoothly onto the coaches and we know that all of the groups arrived safely at their destinations. Read on to find out just where your loved ones are at this moment...

Community Projects

Alpha 1 set off to live in Kampung Sulit Paitan and build a Kindergarten. Project managers Ali T and Laura are looking forward to getting the land cleared and the project started. Sister Dorothy is sure to be keeping a close eye on them all to make sure their work is up to scratch! The venturers who went with them are: Vineeta Tan, Roster Lexon Solaiman, Thijs Veltman, Alexander Bevir, Jawad Al-Hairi, Christina Tucker, Ashleigh Davies, Carys Duckworth, Morna Spence, Edward Sants, Alexander Godwin and Nigel Dakin. When completed, this kindergarten will allow children to gain the basic literacy skills that are required to access the education system, so it really will change people’s lives!

Alpha 2 departed to build a ground-breaking new water filter system in Kampung Kopuron. If all goes to plan, clean filtered water with be delivered straight into the homes of this village. This has never been achieved before in Borneo, or anywhere in Malaysia and hence is incredibly exciting for everyone involved. The lucky guys involved in this project are: Aidan Nairn, Petronella John, Gilbert Sukim, Zak Woodhouse, Rosalind Davies, Adam White, Helen Ray Jones, Conor Gracey, Kirsty Simms, Joseph Francis, and Michael Day, with project managers Emily and Serge. Claire, our communications officer has also deployed with this team, hopefully she won’t be too disappointed with what we have done with this blog whilst she is away...

Alpha 3 made an early start to Kampung Lingka Bugan 2 where they are repairing a water system which has fallen into disrepair. Project managers Rachel, Dave and Kim plan to complete this project during this phase, so they should be leaving the Kampung (village) with an efficient water supply, which will be amazing! The folks chosen for this project are: Sophie Grant, Kiren Kaur, Angelina Tan, Joel Davie, Michael Mason, Alexander van Leeuwen, Aisha Begum, Laura Crockwell, Andrew Fraser, Liam Sumner, Greg Jones and last but not least, Martin Brien!

Environmental Projects

Alpha 4, lead by (very excited!) project managers Donna and Sara set off on the long journey to Sepilok on the east coast of Borneo. The venturers are helping to build The Sun Bear Conservation Centre on the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve area. The centre aims to allow the smallest bears in the world to live in a natural environment and aims to stop the endangered Sun Bear from becoming extinct. Venturers: Heng Tseng Wen, Natasha Fournel, Harry Dewe-Mathews, Kyra v Hil, Anton Hawthorne-Gonazalvez, Ryan Aylwin, Rosalind Helson, Felicity-Rae James, Rachel Sutton, Andrew Hattersley, Mark Wardman and Simon Skelly, will be joining this project. If they are really lucky the Orang-utans from the sanctuary next door may even lend a hand... Failing that we have sent Tom our ever ready accountant over there to get involved in some manual labour...

Alpha 5 are venturing to pristine rainforest at Imbak Canyon right in the heart of Sabah. More people have been to Everest Base Camp than have ever set foot here! The intrepid venturers who will be accompanying project managers Eddie, Oonagh and Eleri here are: Ah Ching Wong, Brett Anderson, William Mitchell, Adam Shahrum Zainal Abidin, Katharine Ridgway, Bas Pothof, Victoria Clutterbuck, Mark Skelton, Kimberly Balsdon, Laura Pittaway, Josh Stevenson-Brown and Hannah Sprake. There are many projects that the team are involved in here, the biggest are the construction of second suspension bridge over the Imbak river and the improvement of the infrastructure at the BBC and Rangers camp.

Alpha 6 travelled north to Kamung Bawang Jamal in the Kudat district. As well as getting to live on an awesome beach, these guys are helping with a brand new conservation project known as the Metre Of RainForest project (MORF). Borneo has been badly affected by deforestation and this project aims to replant rainforest by helping people to buy a ‘metre of rainforest’ which they then give to the charity to replant. Still in the very early stages, the team here will be constructing a longhouse, improving the nursery and helping to collect saplings. The venturers trying to keep project managers Kate and Eleni off the beach are: Briony McPherson, Darren Lee Tan, Rachel Magnus, Sophie Pahud de Mortanges, James Eyles, Emily Mutton, Josephine Ayre, Edward Lewis, Benjamin Teuten, Frederik Vincentz, Harry Griffiths and Alice Hobhouse. And, just to make sure they are putting their backs into it, we have sent our photographer Cheese (Charlie) to see what’s going on up there too! He will be travelling around many of the projects in the coming weeks and we are all really excited about seeing his work when he gets back.

Adventure Projects

Alpha 7 started their day by heading over to a classroom to learn diving theory, before getting a boat over to the beautiful Mamutik (“Dive”) Island, where they will live, dive and help with a conservation project for five days before starting their trek in Long Pasia. The ventures that will be getting used to island life with project managers Ed, Ali D and Sav are: Scott Monaghan, Eunice Lum, Oliver Pringle, Christopher Tuson, Alwine de Vos van Steenwik, Luke Ewer, Eleanor Chapman, Becki Ingram, Jenny Veness, Stephen Myers, James Wood and Mark Cavanagh. Good luck on getting your PADI qualifications!

Alpha 8 will no doubt be dreaming of Dive Island as I write! These guys have started their incredible jungle trek in Long Pasia, which is just north of the Sabah/Sarawak border. Carrying everything they will need for twelve days on their backs and learning how to survive in the jungle, with just a little help from their local guides and project mangers Nat and Sam are: Paddy Laidlaw, Paul Henry, James Davies, Ashley Vickers, Darren Pugh, Elizabeth Chapman, Danielle Gaywood, Isabel Mattick, Nisha Kaushal, David Sparks, Aernout van der Goes and Paul Choat.

Alpha 9, last, but definitely not least, are trekking new ground for Raleigh, with their adventure which will take in the foothills of Mount Kinabalu, before going diving and then finishing up with a breath-taking trek along Crocker Ridge’s ‘Hunter’s Trail’. This route has previously only been used by local hunters and the potential for spotting wildlife like gibbons has everyone at field base incredibly excited. Keeping their eyes peeled will be: project managers Emma, Ally and Tiffany Harvey, Carynn Tanduba, Benjamin Cowley, Joost Pompe, James Reif, Tom Plant, Solomon Akhtar, Sara Paramal, Francesca Sanwell, Louise O’Neill, Harry Tabor and Joseph Mathers.

Well, I did say that we have been busy!

Everyone at fieldbase is completely exhausted, but have enjoyed every minute of the preparation. Just look at James’ feet to get an idea of how hard we have been working:

The adventure really has begun now and the amazing thing about Raleigh is that no matter where people end up, they will have a most awesome time! Every project is unique and exciting and every venturer is special to us and their team. The most important message we have for all of our teams is to make the absolute most of every opportunity that comes their way and look after each other, because they have probably already met friends that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

10A might just be the best expedition of all time...