Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Fieldbase hits the road!

From the (relative) comfort of the radio room, the Field Base team have been keeping in touch with our hard-working teams via the daily radio checks.   Highly impressed with what we've been hearing, we just had to get out there and see the progress for ourselves!

Last weekend, the "Loop" set off on a circuit around our community and environmental projects, returning with news of the great work that is being done... and the great meals that they were fed!  Let's see how the community projects have been getting on since we last saw them.

After an arduous journey across rugged terrain, Alpha 1 finally arrived at their destination, Kg. Sonsogon Magandai.  Settling quickly into their new home, the group eagerly began work on the kindergarten and have barely paused for breath since day one!

First things first, the team began by planning the work that would need to be done to over the course of this three week phase.

As every builder knows, a strong building depends on good foundations, so the first step was to prepare the ground for construction, digging holes for the wooden foundation posts.

  Holes prepared, the foundation posts could be slotted right in,

allowing work on the main structure to begin.

Belian (or ironwood) is ideal for a building such as the kindergarten, being extremely strong, durable and resistant to termites.  But it tends also to be resistant to Raleigh's hand tools, so the group brought in some mechanical assistance,

  and a little bit of extra help from the locals!

By the time the Loop visited last week, the floor was almost in place, and the team was feeling justifiably pleased with their efforts!

But despite all the hard work on the building site, the group still had the energy to decorate their home to welcome their guests with a beautiful, candle lit dinner,

 and a beautiful sunset to boot.

The next stop for the loop was Pulau Maliangin, to find out how Alpha 2 have been getting along on their very own desert island.

Sun, sea and sand - it seemed like a dream come true for Alpha 2 as they boarded the boat that would take them to their home for the next three weeks.

How wrong they were!  Just moments after stepping off the boat, the breeze had picked up, droplets were falling, and within the hour, the rain was horizontal and the wind relentless!  Despite the storm,  the team worked hard to set up their camp, huddling for shelter under the robust communal army tent while the chefs cooked up a storm of their own.

The following day, the team soon set about planning the work for this phase.  This would include finding a water source for the gravity water feed, completing work on a barbecue for future tourists to the island, and placing finishing touches on the composting toilets built by the previous Raleigh expedition.  In the days that followed, the team split, with some getting ready to dig for potential water sources,

while others set to work designing and collecting shells to cement into the barbecue's new artwork,

 and others tackled the joinery on the toilets.

But, as with any community project, time spent getting to know the local community was high on the group's list of priorities, and many happy hours have already been whiled away with the welcoming residents of the island.


A few days and another storm later, the tents took quite a battering. The team awoke to find the "robust army tent" was no more, and in its place remained nothing but a groundsheet strewn with rucksacks and tins of Raleigh rations.

But it seems that the sun does not stay away for long on Maliangin, and just like our friends at the kindergarten, Alpha 2 were rewarded for all their efforts with a beautiful Maliangin sunset to warm the soul.


eunice lum said...

To Ricky,Dharushini, June, Cynthia and Yoke Yuen,

enjoy your life6^^6

sow chan

Caroline Jane's Mum (!) said...

For Caroline Jane - Alpha 2:

Hiya! It's been great to read the Blog and hear what you've all been doing on the island. Love the photos - everyone must have been working so hard. I must say - the shell artwork on the Barbecue for visitors looks great. Though I think I'll just have to travel to Pulau Maliangin to try it out for myself :-)

I'm off to France tomorrow, to give Dad & Christian a break from each other (!) Got an unconditional - will discuss with Dad when I see him. Aunty Cinda posted a comment on the blog, but it didnt appear so she says she'll try again soon. I read that you've had some pretty stormy weather and the army tent took flight! The local children looked gorgeous in the photos.

Hope you are enjoying the experience and looking forward to your next phase. Miss you lots - I have no-one to sit up late with, watching trashy tv and drinking hot chocolate with cream on top. Have a great time. Lots of love, Mum (& Dad of course!) xxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

For Emma Pygott Alpha 4
Hi Emma
Hope you are enjoying the jungle experience and the spiders and mozzies are not giving you too much trouble. We've seen the pictures on the blog and dad read us your letter tonight when we called him.looking forward to seeing more up to date photos soon.

Take care and love from Grandma & Grandad

Lester Pygott said...

To Emma Pygott - Alpha 4
Hi Emms. Hope you're having a great time on your Project and working hard. Looking forward to seeing the photos on the blog. Got your letter. Fab to hear from you and have written back. No idea how long it will take to reach you though. I guess you'll soon be back in the relative luxury of the camp :-) Missing you !! Love dad xx

Debbie Thornton said...

Message for Nick Thornton (Alpha 6)
Hi again Nick - just had my morning perusal of the blog to set me up for the day. Pics of what Alpha 1 and 2 have been up to are great - and you still have all this to look forward to. You should all be so proud of yourselves.
PC being an absolute pain at the moment - think it has some fairly major issues 'cos it keeps freezing completely and then won't restart without a system check- which always reveals nothing. Took me HOURS yesterday to get it started. Might have to treat myself - can't risk being without!
Not raining at the moment here so think I'll go ride Paddy.
Looking forward to hearing from you at changeover - we all miss you. Take care. Lots of love M, D and R xxx

Kaaaaate said...

Hi to everyone from 11B! Hope it's all going well, looks like it's great from the blog. Hope you enjoyed the loop Rob!
Petr - I saw a lookalike of you the other day at Liverpool Street - it was scary!
Saw some of the 11B lot at the weekend, we went to Helen's house for a Come Dine With Me (although Claire did most of the cooking...) Was lovely to see them all, looking forward to the 11B reunion when you'll hopefully all be back!
Hope the visas are going well Maz.
Love Kate xx

Yvette Pygott said...

To Emma Pygott Alpha 4

Hi Babe, keep checking the blog and waiting for news of alpha four, hope you are getting along with those bears well and look forward to hearing from you soon

Loads of Love
Mum and Zoe

Anonymous said...

message for Katy Horder, Alpha 1 :

Hi katy, like the pic of you knee deep in a hole...the kindergarten looks terrific, hope we will get to see the finished thing. Here it is all rain and disintegration of the Murdoch empire. You are missing nothing. Els had her teeth done and has bounced back (E is a cat, for anyone wondering).

Hi to everyone-wish we were there!

lots of love
J,T,E,R and even j.

Anonymous said...

Hi Natalie, Alpha 1.

Trying again! Looks fantastic but really hard work! Glad you all look like you are surviving! Struggling on here till Thurs! And it keeps raining! Guess what Sam is up to tomorrow!!!

Love you loads. Mum, Sam and Jon x

Julia Kay said...

Hi Sophie - Alpha 2
Its so lovely to see the photos and description of your hard work. The initial weather sounded a bit like your experience in Newquay!!
Looks like your DIY expertise is being put to use with the loos!
Another blogger mentioned that they enjoyed reading a letter from a participant.... so we look forward to receiving yours soon!!
Life carries on here - its Peter's memorial on Monday. Lots of love Mum xxx

SimonH said...

Hello Dan Cross, Alpha 2!

Wow these are some incredible pics! bit of a rough boat trip out then? A very impressive bbq by the way!

Everyone looks like they are having a wonderful time especially you babe.I hope its been a fantastic project and keep that beautiful sunset in your mind.

Sent a letter to you at the start of this week so hope you get it soon.

Missing watching music vids and generally dossing with ya!

Catch you later, love Simon xx

Nelly said...

Hi Daniel, Alpha 4

Waiting for news of the return of Alpha 4 to Base and about the Sun Bears.....
We miss you and hope you have received our mail from home. Look forward to hearing more about the next faze and what you are are doing.

LOL from everyone

Mom and Dad

Dennis Williams said...

Hello Shannon Williams....I see you're still smiling so I guess you're having a good time.....continue to make us proud....we love and miss you....cheers for now...love dad.

Mum Hobbs said...

Melissa, Alpha 2
Hi Melissa - it looks as though you all the groups have settled down to there various tasks. The pics are great, I still can't quite belief you out there. Hope you are coping with the variations of weather. I bit like our holidays in Cornwall but alot warmer. Em has passed her driving theory, so is pestering us to buy a new car to replace the old peugeot. Look forward to more news soon, keep safe, and remember don't play with the crocodiles.
Love Mum, Dad, Em and everyone else.

Boz said...

To Owain Masters Alpha 1 - Hey Owain! Great pics of everything you guys are accomplishing and we've heard that you are being very well fed - that should keep you happy! What's with the pic of you standing idly by while a pretty young lady wields a spade?! Eh?! ;) Love ya, Mum.

Sybil Robertson said...

For Cam Robertson Alpha 1
Loved seeing the pics of what you are up to. Looks like you've made real progress on the building - impressive!! And you're surviving the heat etc. Hope you remembered your camera :). Take care. love M,D & J (who encountered his first snow and ice yesterday - paws in every direction!)

Anonymous said...

Harry Clesham - Alpha 1

Hi Harry, what a great set of pictures, you look like you are having a great time. It looks hard work but so rewarding.I suppose you will be coming to the end of the first phase? I wonder whaat you will be up to next???

Raining here,not having much of a summer!! Sophie off to Portugal with friends in a couple of weeks. She is working at Jimmys Spices to pay off the student odraft and having fun. My work is busy and going really well so life is looking good. Have started to buy stuff for you to go to Uni now.
Keep having fun, work hard & keep safe. Love & miss you loads, Mum xx Sophie sends love too xx

Anonymous said...

vicariously enjoying your travels thus far, cannot wait until you return home so you can recount the full experience.
Wish you had taken a camera, but I am sure your stories will paint a more vivid picture.

Love you Shannon, (Alpha 2)


Lori Ingram said...

Hi Shannon! so happy to see you smiling while giving back. You have made me SO PROUD I can't wait to hear all the stories and experiences. My love to you and all of your new friends in Alpha 2. Keep up the good work and keep on smiling. Love you always! Godma

oliver whittle said...

Message for Sam Hedges: AJ... You're ripped!! Love JJ.

Chris said...

Hi All 11 B's

Loved seeing the loop pictures especially Maliangin. I started work this week and began to wonder why I am not there!!!

Love to you all


Year 1 said...

for martin
are you having fun?
and wen are you coming back love
from Phoebe and Sam Year 1, St Patrick's, Southampton

Year 1 said...

hi martin
have you seen any spiders yet?
come and see us when you are back
i love you
love bethany and olivia xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Year 1, St Patrick's School, Southampton

Year 1 said...

Martin Robson

Hi Martin,
Have you found the water you were digging for? Is the water fresh? Are there any bits in the water?
Have you met any friends yet?
Have you got a teacher to help you dig?
I hope you are having a happy day.

Love from Archie
Year 1, St Patrick's, Southampton

Year 1 said...

Martin Robson



Year 1, St Patrick's, Southampton

Andrea said...

hi Ollie this will be miracle if you get this message!! sounds like you are having a great time,the photos are good to view Annabel has your picture as her screen saver, we had good holiday in Slovnia we missed you, everyone sends their love, take care look forward to your next phase love mum,dad,annabelxxx

Helen Conway said...

To Abbi Harris, Alpha 4.
Hi Honey, we got your postcards today - really great to hear from you and also to see some pics on the blog. Sounds like you're having an amazing experience. Everything is fine here - your student finance has all come through ok and you've been called up for jury service! I've deferred it for you. Can't believe you'll be home in 3 weeks - less by the time you read this. So looking forward to hearing all about it. Hope you enjoy the last phase of your trip and love you lots. Mum xxxx

Jane said...

Rob Alpha 3. Great treat and surprise to hear your cheery voice. It sounds and looks great on the blog. Sounds as if you should be pretty fit and ready to trek and dive. Keep writing. We will keep watching for news and pics. XXX

Anonymous said...

To Nick , Will & Andy Alpha 1! Meg and Liv here missing you guys already we are about to set off for the island ... prepare to be jealous of our tans!! Lots of love Alpha 6 Awooooh! x

Anonymous said...

Sean , Pipo & Claire Alpha 3 (Danum Valley) Hi guys meg and liv here!!! we miss you loads have fun in the jungle..again! Sean we miss your hair already lots of love xx

Anonymous said...

Nem , Steph , Cynthia & Ben Alpha 4Its meg and liv here in an internet cafe before we get our boat to paradise island ...again! Have fun with the monkeys and bears we miss you loads see you soon when we have awesome tans! Lots of love x

Anonymous said...

Beth Alpha 5! Megs & Liv here in an internet cafe before we set off! Missing our best medic I am scared because I have now only got liv! help! Have fun in the jungle don't be too feral remember to rock the jungle chique...ps liv says the tanning and messy hair war is on! Lots of love x

Anonymous said...

Hi Ross (Weir)
Great talking to you the other day and to hear how much you enjoyed your first phase. Sounds like you all worked really hard. Glad you got the camera working and we really can't wait to see all the pics. Looking forward to seeing what your next phase is hope it is a good one. Not a lot happening here. Off to the animal park tomorrow with Kyran, Aaron and Lindsay. Thats if it ever stops raining!!! Well take care will get another letter out to you soon. Love you lots Mum and Dad xxx

Shannon William's Aunt said...

Hey Shani!!

Looking good!! I asked Riyah where you were and he said "Shannon's in Laysia on 'd' boat!! Jacqui showed 'your' kids the pics of you. They all said they miss you! Cholae said to tell you hello and she can't wait to hear all about it!!

Miss you niece!!!!

Anonymous said...

Messege for Harry Clesham (Alpha 1)

You are looking as if you are having a great time Harry,so good to beable to see the photos. Little Harry thinks you look really strong "look at those muscles!!!".
I've heard you have shaved your hair off!, dont blame you, it must be really hot there.
Emily is doing really well in her swimming and now trying to crack the art of diving but seems to be belly flopping alot!! Heheheheh! it's really funny to watch, she will get there in the end.
We are going on holiday to Spain in three weeks can't wait, counting down the days and hopefully get a lovely tan like yours.

Harry and Emily send their love and lots of hugs.
Take care of yourself and enjoy.

lots of love Kirsty, Harry and Emily. xxx

Anonymous said...

Jenny Reay! :D

can't believe you're out there doing it! we saw some pics of you! really proud, hope everything is going well :D

love Allie xxxxxxx

p.s. IB sucks - hope you've read the leopard ;) hehehe

Richard Hedges said...

Hi Sophie

Just seen the Loo seat - its good very Art Deco!

Hope everything is going well.

Tell us which team you are in - want to follow the expedition!