Saturday, 6 March 2010

Update on Alpha Four - Sepilok Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Hi, it's Claire, the communications officer, back from my visit to Sepilok to give you an update on Alpha four's work on the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. 

The new Alpha four team left Borneo Paradise early last Sunday, after an all too quick changeover, to begin the seven hour journey to the project site. After setting up camp the team went to bed early, ready for an induction to the project the next day.

Petronella, Paul, Nigel & Mike from the Alpha 4 phase 2 team

Aisha, Jai, Francesca and Alex

On Monday the new group was introduced to the project, and went on a visit to see the animals currently being looked after by the centre. The sun bear is the smallest of the nine bear species in the world and is vulnerable to extinction. Little is known about them and scientists are keen to learn more about their ecology and biology. Raleigh groups are helping to protect the species, with work on the construction of a new conservation centre in Sepilok. This new centre will help educate the public about the sun bear and also raise funds for future research.  By the end of this expedition Raleigh groups will have built a new bridge providing visitor access to the centre.

Billy one of the project architects showing venturers work on the bridge to date

The team started day two with work on the south trench foundations of the bridge, hand mixing concrete and filling in the base for the bridge supports. Work was extremely successful and progressed further than expected with the completion of the south trench in one day. 

Dry mixing concrete

Wet mixing concrete  

The completed south trench foundation

That evening the team celebrated with a party for Mike's 19th birthday. Team members were given one day to pull together an outfit starting with the letter M, the prize being one tube of Mentos and one packet of Fruitella. Entries included a mouse, a merman, a mummy, a medic and Madonna. After deciding on Madonna as the eventual winner the team tucked into a banoffee pie of sorts, singing Happy Birthday in Malay, French, English, Greek and Arabic.
Luke as a mummy

 Banoffe pie

Mike, Fran and Alex

On day three the group started on the foundations for the north trench, putting in the supports for the bridge and starting to fill the trench with concrete.

The north trench

Sophie, Alex, Paul and Alwine

Alpha four after day three

Sadly, I had to leave early on day four. Since I left the team have carried on with building the north trench and have already filled half of it with concrete. The team have also made a visit to the Rainforest Discovery Centre and are planning to complete foundations for the bridge by the end of phase 2.

Phase Two Loop Goes on Tour

Field base is very quiet this morning, now that the loop has departed for its phase two tour.  This time the loop team is made up of Mac, our country programme manager, Tom, our accountant and James from the logs team. 

James, Tom, Mac

The loop visits all the static sites by driving around Borneo delivering letters from home, blog messages and equipment. The team have had a busy week preparing for the tour, pulling together a long list of essential supplies including:
  • tarps
  • hammers
  • jerry cans
  • water funnels
  • kitchen knives
  • gaffer tape
  • water scoops
  • glue
  • chilli sauce
  • recipes for pizza dough and bread
Once again, six alpha groups will be competing with each other in a 'Come Dine With Me' style competition.  The loop team will judge each alpha group to see which one delivers them the best evening with points awarded for welcome, food and entertainment. Results will be announced at the next changeover on the 19th March.

Off on the road

The loop visit takes place on the following dates
  • Alpha two - 5th March
  • Alpah five - 6th March
  • Alpha four - 7th March
  • Alpha one - 8th March
  • Alpha three - 9th March
  • Alpha six and back to field base - 10th March
Keep those blog messages coming, they are one of the best highlights on the loop and at changeover!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Monday, 1 March 2010

Changeover 1: DONE!

Hello all, it's Yolanda again, as Claire our communications officer is out to get the latest scoop on Alpha 4's project in Sepilok with the sun bears.

Over here at Raleigh Borneo, it is now day 1 of Phase 2 as Changeover 1 has just been completed.

As always, the arrival of the venturers and project managers of all the groups were highly anticipated after being out on their project sites for a good 19 days.

Alpha groups started arriving from their project sites to the beautiful Borneo Paradise from their project sites from about noon time, the last groups (Alpha 1 and 2) arriving the day after as their bus had very unfortunately broken down the day before. Saying that Alphas 1 and 2 received a very warm welcome from all of the other groups and were all smiles despite their unplanned delay.

Changeover is a time when we transform the tranquil Borneo Paradise into a buzzing joint, because it's all about catching up with people we haven't seen in weeks, queuing for 15 minutes on the 'net, chilling out, reading messages and letters that have been sent here from home, stocking up on fizzy drinks and chocolates,   being re-allocated into new project groups, getting a new stock of food and kit ready for deployment and getting to know new team mates.  

Project managers Alison and Laura quickly catch up with friends and family back home

The groups each performed a skit on the second night at Borneo Paradise, as they vie for a prize as the group who can best describe what has happened on project. 

As the teams perform their best to paint a picture of what's happened on phase

The judges give them a score for the best team to win a prize

And the winner is Alpha 1 with the best skit. Alpha 1 also won the 'Come Dine With Me' prize for having the food and entertainment for the Loop. GREAT work, Alpha 1! They won a mountain of sweets and baked goodies. 

Trek, dive, community or environment? Venturers find out where they will be going next and are both anxious and excited about what's to come!

We present to you Phase two Alpha groups: 

Off to Alpha 1 in Sulit Paitan to assist PMs Ali T and Laura help Sister Dorothy build a kindergarten are

Adam Shahrum Zainal Abidin
Aernout van der Goes
Becki Ingram
Benjamin G Cowley
Danielle A Gaywood
Elizabeth J Chapman
Henry (Harry) C Dewe-Mathews
Joseph Mathers
Josephine K Ayre
Katharine R Ridgway
Mark A Wardman
Oliver J Pringle
Scott Monaghan

The troopers building a gravity water feed system with an in-built filter with Serge and Emily are 

Andrew W Hattersley
Charlotte J Green
Darren Lee Tan
David Sparks
Harry R Griffiths
Harry R Tabor
James P Wood
Joost Pompe
Laura Pittaway
Louise O'Neill
Lucie G Perris
Natasha Fournel
Patrick Laidlaw

With PMs Dave, Rachel and Oonagh at Alpha 3, building a gravity water feed system for a new kampung are

Bas Pothof
Brett Anderson
Christopher J Tuson
Darren A Pugh
Edward Lewis
Eleanor Chapman
Heng Tseng Wen
Jenny Veness
Nisha Kaushal
Rachel A Sutton
Rachel L Magnus
Sarah Parumal
Simon Skelly

Building a home for the sun bears in Sepilok with PMs Donna and Sara are

Aisha Begum
Alexandra Bevir
Alwine I de Vos van Steenwijk
Conor J Gracey
Francesca Sandwell
Jawad Al-Hairi
Luke Ewer
Michael J Mason
Nigel Dakin
Paul Henry
Petronella John
Sophie Grant 
   Also with them is our comms officer Claire

The new intrepid Alpha 5, building a bridge in the pristine Imbak Canyon are PMs Eddie, Ali D, Dr. Natalie,
Andrew Fraser
Carys Duckworth
Christina F Tucker
Edward Sants
Eunice Lum
Isabel E Mattick
Joel Davie
Paul S Choat
Tiffany Harvey
Timothy J Mottram
Tom F Plant
Zak Woodhouse

Building a long-house for a reforestation, Alpha 6 now consists of the lovely PMs Eleni and Kate, joined by 

Ashley Vickers
Carynn J Tanduba
Hayley J Burnell
Helen F Ray-Jones
James L Davies
James N Reif
Joseph Francis
Mark Cavanagh
Rosalind J Davies
Solomon Akhtar
Stephen D Myers
Thijs J Veltman

Diving first before trekking with Alpha 7 PMs Ed and Eleri are

Adam J White
Ah Ching Wong
Aidan Nairn
alexander van leeuwen
Anton Hawthorne-Gonazalvez
Ashleigh Davies
Benjamin J Teuten
Emily Mutton
Felicity-Rae James
Laura Crockwell
Mark Skelton
Victoria L Clutterbuck

Trek then dive Alpha 8 with PMs Sam and Sav are

Alice Hobhouse
Gilbert Sukim
Greg O Jones
Hannah L Sprake
Josh J Stevenson-Brown
Liam Sumner
Matt Underhill
Michael J Day
Morna Spence
Polly Cocker
Rosalind Helson
Roster Lexon Solaiman
Sophie Pahud de Mortanges

And finally, with PMs Ali P and medic Kat are the trek-dive-trek team with

Alexander E Godwin
Angelina Tan
Briony J McPherson
Frederik A Vincentz
James Eyles
Kimberley Balsdon
Kirsty Simms
Kyra v Hil
Martin Brien
Ryan C Aylwin
Theodore C Gibson
William H Mitchell

All groups deployed early on Sunday morning and have arrived safely at their project/trek/dive sites this wonderful Monday. Keep up-to-date with what's happening here at Raleigh Borneo on Twitter, where we quickly update with news from the Alpha groups with a sentence or two so you'll know the latest on what's happening out there!

'Til then, jumpa lagi!