Sunday, 16 October 2011

11K Is Out Here!

Getting ready for expedition

The staff team have spent the last two weeks at Fieldbase getting ready for the arrival of 56 Venturers from across the world and preparing to deploy to project sites across Sabah.

Last Saturday, project managers and fieldbase staff headed to Kota Kinabalu International Airport to meet the Venturers and quickly formed six ‘Delta’ groups.  Teams stay in their delta groups all week - learning everything they need to know for project life from radio language to crossing rivers safely and everybody spends a night in a self-made bed after trekking into the jungle.
PM Claire waits with excitement for her new team at the airport
First things first and we went straight from the airport to the swimming pool for the Raleigh swim assessment, which consists of a 200 metre swim and 4 minutes treading water.  Often a bath on project site comes in the form of a river, so it is important we have a good understanding of everyones capabilities, however with the guidelines we have in place, even non-swimmers will be able to join in.  There's no excuse for smelly people out here!
For most people, a refreshing splash after almost 24 hours travelling on buses, trains and planes

Basecamp is in a beautiful location near the village of Kiulu and in the foothills of Mount Kinabalu.  Our Host Country Venturers (HCVs) arrived here a day earlier than everyone else and along with setting up the camp, they prepared a Raleigh Borneo style traditional dance to greet the revitalised swimmers on arrival at Basecamp, which gave everyone a final boost to get their beds ready for the night ahead.
We were lucky enough that Mount K popped out to say hello the new arrivals

Min helps Ali get ready for her first night at Basecamp

Preparation for a good nights sleep
After a night of fresh jungle air (and no rain), day one of training began.  It kicked off with a over 80 amoebas battling it out through games of rock, paper, scissors to evolve into chickens, then monkeys before final reaching the final stage of evolution - human.

Once all but a few had reached human status, Delta groups spread across Basecamp to continue with games, activities, preparation and training ready for the months ahead.

Delta 6 learn the art of lowering a bamboo pole as a team - not as easy as it looks
Josh, Oliver and Jin cross a "crocodile infested" swamp

Emily and Delta 1 get knotted up

Sylvia, one of our jungle guides shows the teams how to put up the perfect hammock

Many rivers to cross....  Julian shows us how to do it safely

and the teams like to practice....

...a lot!  (Well, it was a hot day).

Nick, Johnny and Elliot eagerly anticipate their chance to get in the river.

Rufus gets to grips with a perang (machette) aka the jungle Mastercard

In less than 24 hours, Delta groups had formed bonds strong enough to take on the Olympic stage. So that's just what they did! Under the watchful eye of Raleigh Borneo Royalty, Delta groups competed in an incredible line up of Raleigh style games.
Queen Sarah and King Petr.
 Raleigh Borneo's Country Programme Manager and Deputy Programme Manager
Let the games begin...

This is crackers!  Yes it is, but which team could eat the Raleigh lunch staple in the fastest time?

Heave!  The teams put their muscles into action

and the girls show them how it's done

Human wheelbarrows tackle the assault course
The grand finale Bravo push

The Gold Medal goes to Delta 4
After a long day, a lot of tired but happy people, put on "longs" along with a good spray of deet to keep the mosquitoes at bay.  We were treated to an incredible sunset over Mount K before settling down for a well deserved good nights sleep in comfy bashas.


AntonyLim said...

I like it!!!! ^^

Anonymous said...

Michael Jarvis (Delta 1)
Hey Michael so good to see you have arrived safely...Wow it looks incredible out there and lots of fun. I have put up a board back here putting up all your latest exciting. Hope your ok and having fun...Nina x

KarenandThomas said...

To Paige,
Finally we have seen a picture and have confirmation that u've got there!! We have written a proper letter, and are currently hunting for a suitable snail, in order to get it to you! Thomas is constantly asking after you, his crush remains strong!! Hope you're having an amazing time and can't wait for another update soon! Big hugs and snuggles.
Love Karen and Thomas. xxxxx

penny said...

Wow _ good luck to all _ all seems a long way from London - we are watching your every post!
All love the ewarts x

Sue Hale said...

Hey Lydie, cannot believe the pics of you and wow it certainly looks like fun - missing you and Wills especially your feet hanging out of the bed every morning. Will write this week and looking forward to every post!!
Love and Hugs, Mum and Wills XX

Anonymous said...

michael jarvis (delta 1)pleased to see you got there ok so proud of you we all following updates looks really good there. Everything sorted back here so enjoy yourself love Mum, dad and all the family x x x

The COOKES said...

Hey Daisy (Delta 4)
You can imagine the scene!
"Dadsie, there's an update!", I almost fell over myself trying to get to the laptop which caused the dog to start shaking. Anyway, now that we've calmed down and reviewed the pics numerous times I'm at the "It's all good news" stage!!!
Glad to see you have a green T-shirt now! ; )
It looks BRILLS and we're all Well Jell. We're trying very hard not to miss you too much but it's very difficult when you've written little reminders everywhere!!
And this is just the start of your GAP YAH memories!!!
Enjoy it Dingle, we love ya and miss ya.
Mum, Dad, Mills. and the old dog. x

Millie said...

Hey Dazzy! (Delta 4) Hope your having a good time sister pal! much laaav Millie xxxx

Chloe SM (Goldfish <><) said...

Paige Caldaralo (Delta 2)
Hey Paige!!
Horray, You're alive!! I have innocently been "stalking" the blog in anticipation that a wild orangutan would of attached itself to you by now :D Sorely dissapointed lol! Hope you're having the time of your life out there, don't fall in any rivers, and beware of strange creatures that try to befriend you, they're after your goods! :P Look out for my carrier pigieon, I'll be sending him on his way soon! I miss you a bunch, Newquay isn't the same without funny quirks! ;) Don't worry about your family, I am currently filling the void as I have set up camp and most likely will be getting the glasses in a couple of days :P Enough about me, hope all is well, be safe and good luck!! Chin Chin for now Paigearooni ^^ xx

Heather Acott said...

Michael Jarvis In Delta 1
So Proud Of You Glad You Are Having A Good Time,
Everyone At Wilko's Send There Love And Hope You Do Well
Lots Of Love

Caldaralo's said...

Hi Paige, sending you a letter tomorrow with photo of your new cousin. She's called Chloe. We're all ok. Just read the blog from temporary adopted daughter Chloe, made us laugh. Hope you're settling in with your duties and enjoying yourself. Missing you loads. Love you lots. Mum, Dad & Blaise.

Emma said...

Hey Ryan Willis!!!!!

Yay, there is a picture of you, and now all the staff at Aspire can rest knowing you are alive and well. We are following everything that you are doing, and remember to put sun screen on because we will be able to tell by your beetroot shade if you are not! Literally counting down the days till you are back (we have a Ryan's Return Calender going!) Kate wants to know how many midge bits you have got?
Can't wait for the next update, lots of love, from all the staff at Aspire xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

JenniLou said...

Hi Al... (Alex Edwards Delta 4)
Just been checking out the blogs their brilliant hope you having a amazing time and have got too many mozzy bites keep applying that deet!!! Hope theres plenty of eye candy to see you through the next 9 wks...Will be checking the blogs for more updates think Mum's been on there pretty much every day!!! Enjoy every minute missing u lots love Big Sis xxxx

Anonymous said...

Hoi Ruub, wat ziet het er allemaal stoer uit, we zijn super trots op je en maak er the time of your life van dikke xx

KarenandThomas said...

Hey Paige(Alpha 1)
Thomas is dictating this!! Are you having a good time? The games you've been playing look like great fun. Pushing the Landrover looked hard. I miss you lots. Thomas xxxxx
My turn!!
Ur Mum and Blaise were in today, very excited about the updates! We must have both been looking at the blog at the same time yesterday (Sunday morn) because we txt'd each other at the same time to say it had been updated!! We're all missing you lots and work isn''t the same without you! Believe it or not Leon is looking to come back to us for winter (he must be crazy!!) Nothing exciting here, although ur Mum showed us the pictures of ur new cousin and she is totally gorgeous!!! Will post again tomorrow, our Paige must be the most popular!! lol!! Have fun building the kindergarten, u'll be able to do ALL the store maintenance when you get back, and when ur Dads busy you'll be able to join him! Caldaralo and Daughter has a certain ring to it.......Big hugs. Lots of Love.
Karen and Thomas. xxxxxxx

HollyBathie said...

Hi Ali (Alpha 2)! I'm glad you and your bag got there together. It looks like you're having fun - good to see the pics!! I'm going to print out the updates and send them to mum. I've sent you a letter, though not much has happened in one week! Good luck with the kindergarten building! Lots of love Holly xxx

Anonymous said...

Ruben Bloembergen, alpha 1

Hi lieve Ruub,
foto's zien er allemaal leuk uit! Is toch wel wat anders dan je luxe leventje van de afgelopen paar maanden he! Ik hoop dat je er wel lekker van geniet en dat je het uithoudt onder een klamboe, op je matje/ in een hangmat. Ik heb alle vertrouwen in je en time flies when you're having fun, dus maak er wat van!! Hier thuis is het allemaal saai, koud, regen en iedereen is aan het leren want SE1 komt toch wel heel dichtbij... Je mist dus helemaal niks, alleen missen wij jou wel!!
Hoop je snel te spreken en een hele dikke kus en knuffel, ook van mijn moeder!!
xxx Merel

Died&Ther said...

Lieve Julie,(alpha 5), ben het weblog aan het uittesten, kijken of het lukt. hoe is het ermee?? iedereen vraagt ons hoe het met je gaat, is het zwaar? ik denk aan onze beklimming van de vulkaan op Java waar die zwavelblokken waren. dat was best zwaar. gelukkig ben je sterk en kan je het, yess. hier alles redelijk rustig, een beetje werken, klusjes en misschien naar de achterhoek. D. wil alleen maar chillen en p. is nu op weg naar moskou en komt via ventosilia weer terug zondag. denk aan je, dikke zoen, M

Wendy said...

Hi Sophie (Alpha 3)
It all looks very exciting, glad to see you in your team photo! Looking forward to seeing some more of you.
All's well here, we're missing you (& Meggie is!. Got a positive from your last phone interview - well done!!
I'm responding to emails for you.
Hope you got my letter and photo. Everyone sends their love xxx

Andrew & Sue said...

Fern (Alpha 4)
Hey Fern we're missing you here. We went to see Johnny English II with Rich n Lynz, and Ed & Elise on Saturday. It was even funnier than Johhny English I!! We had Grandpa over on Sunday & took him to church in Cherhill & said hello to Granny as it was their wedding anniversary. Then back to ours for a fantastic stew made by chef bro. & Apple crumble & Lynz insisted on fizz at it was her birthday not that long ago. Hope you're still enjoying it & the venturers are behaving. Keep smiling! We're watching you on the blog. It looks lovely & warm there - it will freeze here tonight. Lots of love from M&D.

Pauline Jarvis said...

Hi Micheal,(Delta 1) glad to see you are having a good time, it looks great out there. Frozen Planet starts soon but dont worry I will save it for you, take care, love you, Nan xx

Anonymous said...

For the attention of Mary Zeitoune
Hi how are you doing
Hope all is well for you
we miss you very much
Are you due to come out of the jungle soon?
We would love to hear your voice when you are able to call :)
We are off to Cairo on the 8th of December till the last week of January. Will be waiting for your safe return
Love Dad, Mum, David and Maram