Saturday, 27 November 2010

Phase 3 starts today!

It’s been a whirlwind of a changeover for the past two days, with our teams excited to have time to catch up with their friends at Borneo Paradise.  Just one problem – too many friends and too little time!

All too soon, it was time to sort out all the supplies,

and to pack up the the rucksacks and get back on the bus... but where to?  

Heading to Kg Rumantai and the Alpha 1 kindergarten project are:

PMs James, Pete and Garry and venturers Felicity Bone, Omar Tellage, Reinier Haverkamp Begemann, Khyal Fairclough, Cameron Heeley, Josh Brumby, Natalie Tunney, Millie Smith, Madeleine Gray, Georgina Peach and Choon Wei Thian.

Off to Alpha 2 to complete the gravity water feed are the following:

PMs Dave, Phili and Emma and Ian Wildsmith, Joep Claus, Arthur Campbell, Eleanor Tetlow, Leontien Roos, John Legge, Jing Wen Ong, Louise Bajada, Aaron Ong, Robyn Fitzharris, Ali Gordon and Lisa Egelers.

Kg Vunui Lokos looks forward to welcoming a new Alpha 3 team, as follows:
Gemma Hall, Jack Regan, Shawna Timmons, Olivier Uijtewaal, Oliver Conner, Albert Cheng, Guy Scott-Dalgleish, Nor Hafidzah Abin, Mun Mun Wong, Julie Peletier, Robert Nash and Emma Johnson, with PMs  Kate, Helen and Becky.

Alpha 4’s work at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre will be completed by:

Sin Mei Fong, Christopher Cheeseman, Louise Scothern, Abigail Goodburn, Shen Quang Loo, Emily Griffin, Kelly Lawless, Yannick Pelder, Maxim Terwey and Ivy Mills. The PMs will be Caroline, Nicky and CK.

Our next project involves a slight change to our environmental projects, with work at Imbak Canyon taking a break until next year.  Instead, finishing the work we started in Phase 1 at Alpha 6, a new team is heading to Maliau Basin to repair the gravity water feed.  They will be:

Ben Summers, John McFarlane, Josephine van den Brink, Christian Zazulan, Andrew Dyke, Mary Greene, Shi Han Chong, Jay Sakallioglu, Laura West, Merel van Olffen.  The PM team comprises Abby, Stacey and Paz.

Alpha 7 is a new project for this phase.  The very excited team making their way to the Pitas region to carry out an environmental survey includes:

Aaron Graham, Evinn Soo, Seema Sharma, Cathrien Sickler, Rory Batt, Neil Wellstead, Dan Clarke, Fiona Jeffery and Lucy Jellicoe.  The PMs are Leigh and Emily.

Alpha 8 are heading to the classroom today to start their dive training, and will move onto their trek next week. The new team, led by PMs Clive and Marie includes:

Joe Treacy, Mandeep Ghuman, Constantijn Crans, Pia Mathews, Steven Schrijen, Rob Grindal, Kieran Brady, Thijs Kraaijeveld van Hemert, Shu May Han and Elouise Royans.

Last but not least, our new Alpha 9 trek-divers will be PMs Andrea and Jo, accompanied by the new venturer team:
Thomas Webster-Dunstan, Eleanor Bowe, Nicolas Brouwers, Tom Rumsey, Yogesh Mistry, James Peard, Emma Bean, Claire Cottee, Stephanie Bell, Ben Fort and Su Wen Ong.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Phase 2 draws to a close

As the end of the phase approaches, it’s time for our wandering Field Base staff to head back to the office and let us know how some of our groups have been getting along.  

Administrator Emma has now returned from the Sepilok jungle camp, where she and Alpha 4 have been getting to know the wildlife in the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, and the neighbouring orang utan sanctuary.  She gave us an insight into their project.

During this phase, members of Alpha 4 have been building a boardwalk around the perimeter fence of the sun bear enclosure. The boardwalk will be used by rangers to check on the bears and also to watch and maintain the fence. Construction of the boardwalk involves many different stages, from cementing in the upright posts, to attaching and clamping the cross beams and bracing the centre planks to minimise bounce.

Week one of this phase involved a lot of drilling and clamp-makingThe team worked hard to drill all of the holes required along one length of walkway to bolt the pieces together, as well as completing braces on a length around the corner.  This was all done manually – no mean feat through thick pieces of belian (iron) wood!  At the end of the week, however, not only did the whole group feel their muscles had grown, but one entire length had been completed, as well as some cementing-in of posts around the next corner, ready for week two.

During week two, the team finally got their hands on a power cable long enough to enable power-drilling of the holes on-site - a happy moment indeed!  This meant that the majority of drilling now could be done very quickly, with only a few holes having to be finished off by hand.  Within just 3 days, the team managed to complete 5 bays of walkway – great progress!  There was still plenty to do, however, with lots of wood-sourcing and more cementing ready for more posts.
But for most, the highlight of the week was not the progress on the work site.  The group were treated to a surprise visit from and orang utan, which decided to try and lend a hand, drinking from the group’s water bottles, and trying on some work gloves.  The team also had the opportunity to visit the "nursery" in  Sepilok's orang utan sanctuary, and get a great insight into the rehabilitation work taking place there.
Photographer Adam has also returned from the jungle, where he has been spending time with some of our adventure groups.  Having successfully completed their dive phase, Alpha 8 headed off to the south west corner of Sabah to begin their 12 day trek.  Off into the jungle our intrepid team went, with their trusty guides. 
 Uphill ...

 and down dale,

they too had close encounters with some furry friends, if a little smaller than those at Sepilok.

Finally it was time for Adam and Alpha 8 to say their farewells and go their separate ways.

For his next task, Adam found himself on beautiful Dive Island – not too much of a hardship.

After an arduous (and wet!) trek, Alpha 9 did not seem too disappointed with the choice of location for the final days of the phase.
After a day in the classroom, the group were keen to put their new knowledge into practice.

That’s it from phase 2 – we’ll be back in a couple of days to tell you who is going where for the final phase of Expedition 10J.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Voucher Up for Bids!

Hello everyone! 

I'm sure everyone is curious about what the groups are up to and the progress we've made so far. We've got some updates on Twitter, so don't forget to check out our Twitter page!

We've got more news about our fundraising effort for the Raleigh Borneo's Host Country Venturer programme.  In addition to the mountain climb by 10 staff in December, we have a juicy voucher up for auction. 

The Deluxe Sea View Room

The voucher is for a 3day/2night stay in a Deluxe Sea View Room inclusive of buffet breakfast at the Coffee Terrace in the award-winning Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort in Tuaran, Sabah, Malaysia. 

The Coffee Terrace

With an engaging range of outdoor activities, including a Nature Reserve, Orang Utan education centre and an ecologically friendly championship golf course, Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort is the premier luxury resort in Kota Kinabalu that offers the best of Sabah in a lush, 400-acre tropical setting beside exquisite Pantai Dalit Beach.

The spacious, Malaysian-inspired Garden Wing Deluxe Sea View Rooms face the beach and the South China Sea across landscaped gardens.The room offers a split-level layout with a daybed, creating an ensuite feel. The room features dual-line telephones, complimentary broadband Internet access and a television with international channels. Bathrooms feature extra towels and exclusive Shangri-La toiletries.

The Beachfront Gazebo

Perfect for a romantic getaway or even a luscious retreat if you're looking to pamper yourself in a stunning location on the island of Borneo. Find out more about the 5-star hotel on their website

The voucher is valid from the 21st December 2010 until the 20th December 2011 and is worth £330 or RM1656.

Leave your enquiries or bids in the comments. Highest bidder wins, and the bidding ends on the 19th December 2010.

 *all images are from the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts website.