Thursday, 9 December 2010

View from the Loop

With the final phase of Expedition 10J well under way, it was time for Field Base to pay a visit to our static project sites (sorry trekkers!).  The Phase 3 Loop was manned by Ed, Tom and Emma, all excitedly looking forward to a whistle-stop tour of Sabah.

They were prepared to do whatever it took to bring chocolate and post to our venturers, clambering over enormous obstacles, crossing mighty rivers,

and if absolutely necessary, having naps in the back of the bravo.

The first stop was Alpha 6 at Maliau Basin, where the group were just completing the last few days’ work repairing the gravity water feed system.  The new dam is in place, and pipes have been installed to prevent future build-up of silt and debris and allow water to flow freely.

After a warm reception, a tasty dinner and a night in a hammock, the loop headed off bright and early to the next group.

Many hours of driving later, they arrived at Sepilok jungle camp to spend some time with Alpha 4.  Next day, still full from the previous evening’s hearty feast, our loopers visited the work site and were able to see for themselves how the team’s carpentry skills – and their muscles – have been developing over the course of the phase.

There was also just enough time to pass on an early birthday greeting for Abi's mum.

Next stop was Alpha 1 at Kampung Rumantai, where work on the kindergarten is showing fantastic results,
A helping hand from the Loop team was nevertheless much appreciated.

But demand for the Loop is very high, so there’s no time to linger!  Onwards to Alpha 2 at Kampung Pakagaya, to see what progress is being made on the gravity water feed there.  Thehardy Alpha 2 team showed the Loop that a little bit of rain is not enough to stand in the way of a good day’s work:

For now, the Loop is almost complete, with just one more visit to be made.  This time it’s Alpha 3, hard at work on the new community hall in Kampung Vunui Lokos.  

As the Loop arrived, work on the construction site was going well,

and there was a festive mood in the camp.  The visitors were treated to a fine feast, complete with home- made Christmas crackers and decorations.  There was even some carol singing.

What nicer way to round off a Raleigh road trip?