Thursday, 9 June 2011

Welcome to Expedition 11D!

The gate has been unlocked and the dust sheets are off at Raleigh Borneo Field Base, which can only mean one thing... Expedition 11D is about to begin!

Quivering with anticipation, the advance team of volunteer managers arrived at the beginning of this week and promptly began to make Field Base ship-shape for the arrival of the full team next week.  Field Base will be the hub of expedition operations once the venturers arrive at the end of the month and the work begins now.  Let's meet the team! 

Mac McCarthy - Country Director

Mac is in overall charge of Raleigh's operations in Borneo, working closely with our project partners to ensure that we have successful, sustainable projects for each expedition.  First involved with Raleigh in 2005 when the British Army sent him to work as a project manager for Raleigh Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Mac also spent two years as Country Programme Manager before taking over the reins as Country Director in 2010.  After 12 previous expeditions, Mac's enthusiasm remains undiminished!

An interesting fact about Mac: He has climbed the mighty Mt. Kinabalu six times.
Mac's favourite thing about Borneo:  "The people - probably the friendliest people in the world."

Programme Management Team

Our programme management duo is responsible for the day-to-day running of the expedition, ensuring that all volunteer managers are fully trained, and that everything and everyone is in the right place at the right time.  They will provide essential support to the project managers once they deploy to their project sites, and will oversee the smooth running of Field Base behind the scenes.

Sarah Hoare - Country Programme Manager

Sarah took part in her first Raleigh expedition as a venturer in Chile.  After 10 years working in the London hotel industry, she returned to Raleigh as a volunteer manager, completing two consecutive expeditions as Deputy Programme Manager.  She loved it so much that she is now employed full time in Borneo as Country Programme Manager.

An interesting fact about Sarah:  She was once chased out of a hotel room by a naked woman.
Favourite thing about Borneo:  "The sun, and seeing Mount Kinabalu from my bedroom window."

Rob Collier - Deputy Programme Manager

This is Rob's second expedition as a volunteer manager.  Taking a break from his  IT project management job in the UK, he arrived here in Borneo in January this year, and spent 10 weeks as a project manager.  Stunning mountain views, the warmth of the local community and a fantastic project all combined to lure Rob back  for another expedition, assisting Sarah with the running of the programme.

An interesting fact about Rob:   He was once evacuated from a burning plane.
Rob's favourite thing about Borneo:  "Barracuda Point in Sipadan."

Yolanda Graham - Recruitment, Support and Media Coordinator

Yolanda started her career as a teacher before moving to the Sabah tourism board.  After joining an expedition as a project manager, she was lured to Raleigh on a full-time basis, and Field Base would now be lost without her.  Yo is responsible for recruiting Malaysian venturers to join expeditions, and as a Sabahan, uses her local language skills to help maintain relations with Raleigh's project partners and to keep our work in the media spotlight.

An interesting fact about Yo:  She is a purple belt karateka.
Favourite thing about Borneo:  "Sunsets on the waterfront."

Marian Sue - Administrator

Previously working as a school administrator, Marian's arrival in Borneo in January this year marked the beginning of a year of travels.  Having completed her first expedition as a venturer, and bitten by both the Raleigh and the travel bug, it was not too hard to persuade her to join the Field Base team.  In her role as administrator, she will ensure that the office runs smoothly and that nobody overstays their visa!

An interesting fact about Marian:  She once accidentally straddled a sea turtle while it was laying eggs.
Marian's favourite thing about Borneo:  "The greenery"

Simon Munk - Medic

Simon has recently completed his senior house officer training in intensive care and anaesthetics in a London hospital.  He forms part of this expedition's medical team and has arrived at Field Base early to ensure that all medical supplies are ready for the arrival of the rest of the team next week.  Simon is looking forward to adding the Borneo jungle to list of trekking achievements once the expedition gets going.

An interesting fact about Simon:  He likes to skip down hills when no-one is looking.
Simon's favourite thing about Borneo:  "Dancing in the hot rain!"

Helen Whyman - Finance Manager

Helen is a chartered public finance accountant who has taken leave from her London accountancy job to keep this expedition's finances under control.  She relishes a challenge, and as well as broadening her finance skills in the not-for-profit sector, Helen is looking forward to getting her hands dirty on the project site and seeing how donors' money is being spent.

An interesting fact about Helen:  She wanted to be a Morris dancer when she grew up.
Helen's favourite thing about Borneo: "Loli's food!"

Graham Kidd - Team Coach

Taking a break from his job as a learning support assistant and behaviour mentor in a London secondary school, Graham completed his first expedition as a project manager earlier this year.  Not ready for his Raleigh experience to end just yet, he has now taken on the challenge of coordinating the soft skills training for the volunteer managers, before heading back out  as a project manager.

An interesting fact about Graham: He doesn't know how to ride a bike.
Graham's favourite thing about Borneo:  "Roti Milo."

The Logistics Team

Without the logistics team, the expedition would not survive even the initial training period.  This  trusty foursome will have their work cut out for them, not only ensuring that we have enough food to survive for 10 weeks on each project site, but also that we have the right tools for each task, the vehicles are always roadworthy, and our radio equipment - the lifeline of the expedition - is in full working order.

From left to right, the team comprises:

Rhys (a.k.a. Gypsy) Jackson

Gypsy is taking a break from his civil service career to take part in his first Raleigh expedition.  Having been an agriculture advisor within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, he will now have the chance to explore some of the most bio-diverse environment on earth.

An interesting fact about Gypsy:  He is a trained butcher - and a vegetarian.
Gypsy's favourite thing about Borneo:  "The heat!"

Alicia Kirk

Having recently completed a commercial graduate scheme for Tesco, Alicia is excited about exchanging hosiery, socks and footwear in the UK for work gloves and walking boots in Malaysia. 

An interesting fact about Alicia:  She was once on BBC television opening a wormery.
Alicia's favourite thing about Borneo:  "Loli!"

Martin Brown (on roof)

A mechanical engineer, Martin's was previously employed with Formula One.  His Raleigh experience began in January this year, when he joined the logistics team, swapping the racing cars for a more sedate Landrover.  He rejoins the team to help bring the new members up to speed, before moving across to the project management team.

An interesting fact about Martin:  He can ride a unicycle
Favourite thing about Borneo:  "The people are so helpful and friendly."

Lee Cockin

Lee is a recent history graduate from Southampton University and came out to Borneo in January this year.  Having completed his first expedition as a venturer, he is now experiencing Raleigh life from the other side of the fence.

An interesting fact about Lee:  He once drove from Basingstoke to Sweden... for a cheeseburger.
Lee's favourite thing about Borneo: "The  noodles."

The Communications Team

The communications team will be working together to keep this site updated as frequently as possible, keeping you informed of our activities throughout the expedition.  They will be documenting the expedition in numerous other ways too, providing mementos for participants and project partners and supporting the marketing department at Raleigh head office.

They are:

Sarah Kerhoat - Photographer (left)

As a keen amateur photographer Sarah is excited about broadening her range of photography skills while taking a break from her job as a chartered secretary for an offshore hedge fund.  She will be taking her camera to each project site, capturing the memories and emotions of  the challenges and fun of expedition life.

An interesting fact about Sarah:  She once sat next to Michael Portillo on a flight and slept all the way through it.
Sarah's favourite thing about Borneo:  "Loli's cooking."

Paula Barratt  - Communications Officer (right)

After more than a decade in the corporate world, Paula completed her first expedition in the Autumn of 2010 as part of the Field Base team here in Borneo.  Keen to continue her Raleigh experience, she returned as a project manager and now returns to Field Base to put words to photographer Sarah's pictures.

An interesting fact about Paula:  She once sold a bookshelf to England footballer, Graham Le Saux.
Paula's favourite thing about Borneo:  "The trees!  There is an amazing variety of them - 3000 different species!"

Loli Ylaya - Field Base Cook

Loli is responsible for the already expanding waistlines of the Field Base team.  She makes Field Base a happier place, with her delicious food and her kitchen dancing.

An interesting fact about Loli:  She regularly spends her day off singing karaoke from her bed.
Loli's favourite thing about Borneo:  "Music and dancing!"

Last but not least, we have Pedro, the Field Base cat, whose role is to boost morale with his daily acrobatics. 

Next week we'll meet the rest of the team - watch this space!


Christine Boller said...

Great to see the 1st blog. Will be keeping an eye on you while trying to adjust to the reality of the UK. Have a fantastic time. Chris

Kaaaaate said...

Hello to all the 11B guys (and to the new 11Ders...!) Great blog Paula :) Rob, now you'll have to think of a new fact for two truths and a lie! Hope you're all having a lovely time. Love Kate xx

CQS said...

Hello Sarah at Expedition 11D.

All of us at CQS are thinking of you and the amazing time you must be having. Can't wait to have you back and hear your stories and see your photos!

Charlie said...

Ahh. Brings it all back! My heart bleeds for Simon - I know exactly what you're going through!
Have a great expedition!
Charlie Huins

sad ex raleigh people said...

us ex raleigh people without a life have been watching old videos of 11b and drinking gin to make ourselves feel better that we aren't joining you all for 11d!!! enjoy guys and Lee stop sleeping on the street!!!!

the griswolds said...

Just a message for Rhiannon...what a great place to spend your from all the grizwolds hope to be able to skype with you soon xx

Sarah wareham said...

A birthday message for Rhiannon! Hope you have had a lovely day, def one to remember!! Miss you already! Love the warehams xxx

Si Nelson said...

Hi Rhiannon. Good luck with the 5 mile trek with all that kit. I will hopefully get to speak to you soon. I love and miss you loads. Si xxxxxx

karol said...

Hi Lee NOODLE boy!!how are you ?Your parcel is all ready to send but shall i send it recorded or not it is shoe box size!just worried it might not get there like your driving licence!!Photos are good you look very healthy must be all the noodles ha ha Have a great time love you miss you loads mum jez xxxxxxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Hey this is a quick message for Rujina Khandakar in 11D:)hope you had a safe journey... your soooooo far away.. GOOD LUCK WITH EXPEDITION:):)
AND KEEP ME POSTED.. love Nadia xxxxx

Mattt said...

Hello Eve How are you after your long journey?! I bet you can not wait to get your teeth stuck into your projects! Looking at the photo's on here it all looks amazing! Wishing you all the best! Good Luck! Have an amazing adventure! Will keep an eye on out to see what awesome things you are doing!! xXx

Emily Bradshaw 11D said...

Hi to Emily Bradshaw 11D

Hope your journey there was good and you are having a great time. Looking forward to keeping up with 11D news via this blog. Hope you liked your book. We have had lots of phone calls to check on how you are and nanny has said she can get some sleep now she knows you arrived safely!! I made the mistake of phoning Grampy when I was walking down Amersham High street on my mobile so now the whole of Amersham know where you are and what you are up to!!!

Lots of Love to you. Mum x

sally said...

Hello Susie Sek..How are you doing and what are you up to over there? Hope you're having fun with your group..We are keen to know what your project is and how its going..Keep us posted ..Love and miss you.Sally and Dave xxxx

Anonymous said...

Hello Jenny,
This is my second attempt to use the know I'm blog illiterate. I hope you are happy and learning a lot. Miss your voice and would love to hear how you're doing! Athens is in chaos but I'm fine. I love you my dear!!! Stay safe and happy!

Mom said...

Hi Jenny!
Miss hearing your voice! This is my third attempt to blog but don't think anything has been published. Hope you are happy and having fun. Athens is in chaos but I am fine. Can't wait to catch up and hear your tales!

Mom said...

Hi Jenny!
I hope you're getting my blogs....are you ok? Love to know that you're happy, healthy and safe.
Miss hearing your voice!

Jo ratcliffe said...

Hi Alex Ratcliffe I hope by now that your rucksack has been located and you are settling into base camp life! We look forward to hearing from you as it seems so strange not to be able to txt you, have a great time.
Lots of love Mum & Dad x

Mom said...

Hey Jen! Lots of fun ahead for me if I can get out of Athens and to the islands. Closing ceremonies are July so ready for this to be over. Aunt Liz is coming to the States in mid July so that'll be a fun visit. Her house got shelled but luckily she had already been moved to a safe house. Stay safe and have fun!

Anonymous said...

Hello Amy Burn - glad to hear you (& your bag) arrived safely. Hope you have settled in well and having a great time. How's the hammock? Seems strange at home without you - but very tidy! Missing you especially because you cannot text. Let us know how you are getting on when you can. Have an absolutely fantastic time. Lot of Love Mum & Dad and the crew! xxx

joe said...

Hi Marian. It's your long lost brother and Len here. Just to say it's great seeing your Photos and witness the fun and excitement your experiencing. Take care and we will get in contact soon. Miss you loads. Joey and Len xxx

Anonymous said...

Heyyyaaaa, Rujinaa 11d!! We recived your letter!! Glad ur having a good time! Youu are misssedd! Sundays are not the same without you!!!:(:( hahaha was suprised to find out u made food for everyone u can make me some when your back! Seen your pics looks like ur having loadss of fun! Hope your makin loads of friends!!!! How are the phases in the expedition??? Cant believe u have been eaten porrige every mornin!! Eww lol! But i guess it has got to be done!! It was a shamee to hear about ur luggage not arrivin on time! And u took too much stuff? Lol well jist use it and giv it away when ur comin back!!! Misss you lotss andd love youuuuu x x stayy safe xx mwah xxx nadia xxxxx

alice belaman said...

dear cynthia

Hey, sorry I have not written, hope all is well with you. Your mom and periamma left on Sunday (21.08.11)for Rome and have safely reached there, spoke to them yesterday.Work as usual is busy and looks like for once I am having writer's block, that's why you have not received any mail from me. Take care & lots of love, alice sitti

alice belaman said...

hi Cynthia

I have posted a card after the long break of not mailing you letters. We are doing very well here and just wishing 20th September will be here fast. How have you been keeping? hope all is well and you are still having a fantastic time, enjoy yourself and make maximum use of time there. I have written some of the incidents which happened in France in my card. I am looking forward to my trip to India, will be doing the visa on 7th September, and am leaving on 13 September, will check out the "houseboat" so that we can go next year. we love you, take care and see you soon. Take care. alice sitti.
PS: will try to send notes via the website as am not sure whether you will receive the mails due to the timing.