Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Selamat Datang - welcome to expedition 11K

The first volunteers for expedition 11K have arrived in Borneo and are preparing for this autumn’s community, environment and adventure projects across the Sabah region of Borneo.

Here we’ll be following the stories of staff and volunteer managers and venturers as they ‘Get out there’ into the Borneo jungle and give friends, family and supporters the opportunity to get involved by posting comments.

Who lives in a house like this?

Fieldbase is the hub of Raleigh Borneo where the behind-the-scenes action happens. Venturers don’t come to fieldbase so it remains the mysterious rock behind expedition life.

Head of operations here is Country Director Mac. He has run 12 expeditions in Borneo and first got involved with Raleigh International in 2005 when the British Army sent him to work as a project manager for Raleigh Costa Rica and Nicaragua. 

Mac:  “Bring plenty of socks and plenty of talc in them. Oh, and tea bags.”

Our programme management duo are country programme manager Sarah and deputy programme manager Petr. They make sure project managers are fully trained and that projects are supported throughout expedition, as well as ensuring that fieldbase runs smoothly.

Sarah is employed full time in Borneo after ten years of work in the London hotel industry and taking part in expeditions as a venturer and deputy programme manager.

Sarah winning the ninja Fieldbase energizer: “ Don’t forget pyjama bottoms - excellent expedition longs."

Petr is originally from the Czech Republic he studied in Fife, Scotland and spent six months in China before coming out to Borneo in January. He has been a project manager twice before and now as Deputy Programme Manager he is responsible for the day-to-day running of expedition and keeping the fieldbase team in shape.

Petr giving it all changing the Bravo’s tyres: “Give expedition your all, you may not have another chance.”
Loli: “Spice up mess tins with chilli flakes.” Perfect for porridge?

And making the fieldbase home what it is with delicious food and kitchen dancing is Fieldbase cook and the team’s Sabah Mum, Loli.

This weekend, Mac, Sarah, Petr and Loli welcomed fieldbased volunteer managers and advanced medics when they arrived from the UK and got stuck into a packed schedule.


Marcus and Shana:  Keeping on top of the accounts and making sure everything is bolted together are Finance Manager Marcus and Admin Officer, Shana.

Shana: “you can never over-Deet!"

Shana has been working in retail and after trekking in Borneo last year she has the bug (hopefully not a leech, yet) and will using her professional skills to keep expedition in running order.

Marcus: "Can’t wait for fresh tropical fruit."

Marcus was the finance manager on expedition this time last year in Costa Rica. Adverse to UK winters he only spends the summer back at home in Dublin and will be joined by his wife in the Sarawak region of Borneo for Christmas.

l-r Nicki, Andy and Craig: Queen and Kings of logs
Nicki, Craig and Andy: Sorting out all the supplies and making sure equipment is safe and ready to get out there, are our logistics team.

With two expeditions under her belt, Logistics Manager Nicki from Newcastle is the Queen of Logs. Kings of Logs are fellow Geordie Craig and Lancastrian Andy. They’ve switched their office day jobs to plan the delivery of vital equipment and supplies to projects.

Nicki shows the lads how to change the Bravo’s tyres.

Preparing drive out to projects and make sure our support team can keep re-supplying projects ‘on the loop’ are our jungle drivers - Craig, Nicky, Marcus and Andy will be out this afternoon training to navigate some of the most bio-diverse environment on earth.

James and Jemma: Paramedic James and Doctor Jemma arrived last week, fresh from A&E’s in Newcastle and Sunderland and after already climbing Mount Kinnabalu they are all set for adventure. Whilst reminding everyone to take their malaria tablets, keep their walking boots ON and telling tales of tropical injuries and diseases, our very own Posh and Becks have been carrying out vital checks on medical equipment, ordering supplies and preparing to brief fellow medics next week.

James and Jemma: "Protect your feet - walking boots are this season’s must have item.
Isla and Katie: photographing expedition is photographer (and birthday girl) Isla who is taking a break from working on heritage conservation. Swapping historic buildings for jungle won’t be a problem for Isla who has been volunteering for Raleigh International on and off for 21 years. Reporting on the projects and putting words to Isla’s pictures is Communications Officer, Katie who is on sabbatical leave from working as a Government press officer.

Isla and Katie working on the Sabah Sun: there will be four editions during expedition.

The fieldbase team
And finally, Salamet Hari Jadi (Happy Birthday) to Isla who celebrated yesterday with a famous Loli birthday cake.

The first of 24 birthdays to be celebrated Raleigh Borneo style

Good luck to all our project managers and medics who are packing to head out this weekend. Check back here for the latest expedition news. 

                                                Raleigh Borneo blogger


alastair yates said...

Ha! Say hi to "Posh and Becks" - your medics. They'll never live down that tag when they get back to UK. We are proud of what they've achieved so far and this expedition is typical of their passion and commitment to serve. All the best to them and you all. Love from Alastair and all in Teddington x

AshleyFryer said...

Hello Raleigh!

This comment is for DR JEMMA FRYER.

Hello darling! How's it all going? Love the blog, can't wait to hear what exciting things you get up to! Hope it's not too hot over there and that you've finished sorting all the medical packs out - I am sure everyone feels like they're in safe hands already! We miss you lots, even though it feels like you've been gone for months already. Strange to think it was only two weeks ago! Got our flatwarming party tonight so will keep you posted! Haven't gotten around to sending you a letter yet because life's been manic, but promise to put one in the post today/tomorrow.

Love you millions,

Ash xxxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne Williams
I realise it's early days yet, but I hope it's all going well so far. Three months without a triathlon...how will you cope!? Looking forward to the blog updates.
All the best, Sandra