Wednesday, 9 February 2011

This Time Last Year: Update on the Sulit Paitan Kindergarten.

This time last year, Expedition 10A teams were out at Kampung Sulit Paitan, building a big, yellow kindergarten for the children of the village.

Thanks to our project partner, Asian Forestry Company (AFC), we had the chance to visit the Sulit Paitan kindergarten in January. We were there to meet with the lovely Sister Dorothy, the person in charge of the Sulit Paitan kindergartens as well as several other makeshift kindergartens in the region. (Sister Dorothy is our main contact for the Alpha 1 kindergarten in the extremely remote Sonsogon Magandai, which is currently inaccessible due to weather and road conditions).

We arrived at Sulit Paitan in the mid-morning to find singing children in the kindergarten! 

They were singing a song they sing at the end of each day, "Thank you teacher, thank you friends, I've learnt so much today. It's time to go, but I'll be back tomorrow, to learn and sing and play..."

The kindergarten is up and running, currently attended by 32 little children from the ages of 4 to 6 and 3 teachers. Check out these pictures from our visit!

Kampung Sulit Paitan

Sister Dorothy, Mac, Sarah, Yo, two teachers and the children 

Sister Dorothy and Drew Boshell from AFC

Heading home after school

  Future students of the kindergarten

*This kindergarten was sponsored by the Dutch foundation, Les Paquerettes

Monday, 7 February 2011

11B First Phase Allocations

The groups left very early yesterday morning - wakeup calls at 4 am, anyone? - and have all arrived safely at their project sites. 

"But just who went where?", I hear you ask. Wonder no more because, voilĂ ! Here are the teams for the first phase of 11B for your perusal! The descriptions are brief here, but you can go to our post "And allocations!" for more details on the projects. 


Off to Alpha 1's project with PMs Leanne and Shaun and medic Charlie are

  Adam Hext, Isobel H Reid, Camilo A Gonzalez Rodriguez, Florence R Hayes, Bente L van Keulen, Jerri K Butler, Michael Waller, Ria (Alexandria) Hanish-Oakes, Seng Fung Wong, Stefan J Otto, 
William Mackintosh

Due to weather conditions affecting the roads, Alpha 1 are not able to access their kindergarten site in Kampung Sonsogon Magandai. They are now in Kampung Dalamason helping to repair a derelict community hall. Once the sun comes out to play and roads have improved, they will be working doubly hard to build Sonsogon Magandai's much-needed kindergarten.

Alpha 2 are off to help Pulau Maliangin build a better future. Together with PMs Paula, Graham and our accountant Chris are

     Rebecca Gould, Samuel H Mizen, Hidde Hinloopen, Rebecca Hutchens, Thomas Shelton, Lee Cockin Laura Coombes, Adib Chowdhury, Ryan J Hoey, Denise P De Souza  

Off to Alpha 3's physically challenging gravity water feed system project in Kampung Toboh Pahu with PMs Rory and Rob are

     Pieter Verbeek, Tijmen G Boer, Hannah Tilley, Rosalind Ingram, Samuel J Willetts, Andrew J McVitty, Kelly M Vincent, Louise Hutley, Christopher Aylward, Daniel Razmy Mohd Husni, Kaylie J Gray  


Alpha 4's PMs, Tom and Sarah will be accompanied by our expedition artist, Helen. Off they went to help the sunbears in Sepilok with ten venturers.

     Mathieu R Langeslag, Stefan J Pollitt, Mica Murphy, Sisi Liu, Pim Rusius, Bethany J Corfe, Sarah K Barnes, Syazrina R Saharudin, Nicholas Swaffer  

Alpha 5 are going to Taliwas Forest Reserve to build a gravity water feed system for their studies centre with PMs Petr and Stu and comms officer Belinda.

      Vivianne B Breuer, Mathias T Bidault, Ciara L McGlade, Simon Williams, Avril Howard, Charlotte L Jackson, Fenella Maudslay, Jenni Birch, William A Low, Joe Mangan

PMs Amy and Johnny as well as logs boy Dan are leading the Alpha 6 team, and the lucky venturers who are going with them are: 

     Nick Harman, Onne P van der Graaf, Lorne Paterson, Katherine A Twelves, Amber R Marriott, Nina L Clifton, Fiona R Wiedmann, Timothy J Silvester, Roscoe Simon Blevins, Gregory P Vieux-O'Connor  

Alpha 6, too, are unable to make it to their original project site, but are in Kampung Monguwou to do a environmental survey in the nearby jungles. When the weather improves and the roads are accessible again, Alpha 6 will make their way to their forest reserve in the Pitas region. 


With PMs Neil and Dick and medic Claire are Alpha 7's dive-trekkers:

     Eline A van der Ploeg, Kristan M Emery, Nicola Anne Bell, Arthur Derom, Robert H James, Charlotte P Dickson, Timothy Browning, Annabelle C Chelsom, Jonathan H Downing, Benjamin H Aisbitt  

Alpha 8's trek-divers are lead by James and medic Carla

  Maud C Versteylen, Marian A Sue, Georgia Harvey, Matthew Jones, Thomas Watson, Kelly N Brown, Callum M Junor, Tom Day Goodacre, Leah Cunningham, Theo Tibbitts

And finally, medic John and trek-dive-trek PM Helen will be leading Alpha 9 in their adventures through Bornean jungle and seas! 

     Robert M East, Thomas F Massicotte, Barney P Rowland, Christopher Twydell, Carly A Fletcher, Rhianydd S Jeffreys, Anjalee R Patel, Cheryl K Emvula, James D Astbury, Daniel J Stephenson  

Phew! That's all the allocations done. Don't forget to stay tuned to us on Twitter for quick updates and send us messages on the blog and through snail mail, we love hearing from you! The Loop will be off on the 13th February with supplies, letter and messages, so keep them coming!

'Til our next blog, jumpa lagi!

And then the venturers arrive!

After three weeks of preparations at Field Base, it was time for venturers to pour in. 

Our first batch arrived on the 31st January. The four Host Country Venturers, Daniel, Ah Hung, Denise and Syazrina @ Gina, arrived a day before the international venturers for training and preparation at Base Camp!

On the next day the staff team set off for the airport to collect the venturers. Once everyone had arrived, they were driven an hour away to Base Camp, where they were allocated beds in the specially erected rows of bashers. Almost immediately it was time to start training; there’s so much to learn about life on project and we have to ensure they are all up to the job!

The venturers were split into ‘Delta’ training groups and over the course of the first two days the project managers conducted a series of round robin sessions, covering topics such as radio training, river crossings and how to safely use tools on project sites. 

There were also a number of fun activities like art sessions and quizzes, not to mention the fantastic Raleigh Olympics, which few participants escaped without a thorough soaking! All groups also spent a night in the jungle, where they put their newly acquired hammock tying skills into practice (with mixed results!)

After four nights at Base Camp, and with the last of the exhausted (and soaked!) trekkers returning from the jungle, it was time to announce the much-anticipated project allocations. Once they had learned which groups they would be in, the venturers packed their bags and headed to Likas, where they discussed their projects with their respective project managers, jumped in the nearby Olympic sized pool for a swim assessment, and packed up their kit for the first phase. And then, at last, it was time for deployment...