Saturday, 6 August 2011

A fully trained 11I head off to their project sites

The recently arrived venturers of 11I went straight from the airport to commence their jungle training at Base Camp.  Here they undertook four days of intense training in skills that are vital when they set off to their project sites. 

They learnt how to set up and use the radio.  They also learnt the radio protocol necessary for when they communicate with fieldbase twice a day.

Some of our venturers knew about the tools that they will be using on site, however for the rest they all undertook training on the tools they will be using over the next couple of weeks.

Water safety is a high priority therefore all venturers learnt and practised how to safely assess and carry out river crossings. 

Having completed last minute preparations of jungle kit and jungle skills, all the venturers and project managers headed into the jungle for the night.

After four days of intense training, the venturers are now fully equipped to head out to their four different projects and have been allocated to their groups.  So let's find out who is in Alpha 7, 8, 9 and 10. 

First the two community projects.

Alpha 7 - are building a gravity water feed in the village of Bambangan Sook, in the Pitas district of Borneo.  Within Alpha 7 are Christopher Houghton, Joshua Longson, Peter Johnson, Amy Provan, Lucy Veys, Tamara Reynolds, Victoria Prew, Louise Organ, Rupert Gibson-Hall, Greg Kinchin, Palomie Patel and Theo Isaacs.  Andy and Sarah are the project managers for Alpha 7.

Alpha 8 - are rebuilding and extending a gravity water feed for another village in the Pitas district, Kampung Mandurian Laut.  The team are John Gilmour, Natalie Grant, Simon Brooker, Christopher Holtum, Sian Stokes, Tom Holmes, Eleanor Kermode, Rajeev Malde, Tegen Evans, Bristi Gogoi, Claire Hargreaves, Jad Marie and Sophie Lockwood.  They are joined by Caroline and Tom who are project managers for Alpha 8.

The two environmental projects are Alpha 9 and 10.

Alpha 9 - is an environmental survey being undertaken in the Pitas region.  Andy Brown, Micheal Lockwood, Caitlin O'Keefe, Jennifer Reay, Robyn Pike, Anouska Banks, Laura Sadler, Lucy Finlay, Isaac Richardson, Racheal Buckley and Chloe Senior will all be making Alpha 9 their home for the next two weeks.  They are joined by Lucy and Helen as project managers and Anne, the logistics co-ordinator will be joining them for the start of project.

Alpha 10 - Last but by no means least is Alpha 10 who are working at Taliwas Forestry Reserve building an elephant proof fence.  Alpha 10 is Helen Kidwell, Alexander Davison, Gregory Yianni, Fiona Stephen, John Hall, Lauren Teaney, Lula Fuller, Nicola Fletcher, William Cooke and Honor Wright.  Amy and Gabby will be joining Alpha 10 as project managers.

Having completed all their jungle training and been assigned to their alpha groups, all four groups successfully deployed in the early hours of this morning to their project sites. 

We look forward to their updates as they settle into their new homes. The loop vehicle will be visiting the teams soon and we will print any blog messages them to take out with us. It's a great way to keep in touch and will mean a great deal for them to read something from home.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Helen and Sarah, Borneo Field Base team

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A warm welcome for 11I venturers

It was an excited staff team that headed to the airport yesterday to meet the venturers of Expedition 11I, and a relieved one that left again with a full team in tow!

With all venturers safely accounted for, it was straight to Base Camp, where the new arrivals could start getting to grips with the intense Borneo heat, and to preparing their sleeping area, jungle style, with mosquito nets and hammocks. 

But despite the long flight and the lure of a comfortable hammock, there was no time to rest just yet!  With nearly 50 venturers, there are names to be learned and new team mates to get to know.  This is where the fun begins!

We will be back in a few days to see how they are getting on with their training.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Loop head to the jungle

With Phase 2 of Expedition 11D well under way, it was time to pop in and visit some of our project sites.  Our new Loop team of Country Programme Manager Sarah, administrator Maz and logistician Alicia were excited about getting out to meet the teams.

For the first part of their trip, they headed across to the east coast of Sabah where our environmental projects are taking place.  First stop, Danum Valley, where a warm welcome and a hearty dinner awaited them.

Not only impressed by the tasty food, jungle decor and tribal entertainment, Alpha 3's dinner guests were also struck by the great progress the team has been making on the project.  Currently trekking the last of the building materials 8km into the jungle, they are due to start construction very soon.   Undaunted by the weight of their load, the leeches and a leaking tarpaulin, the team are already ahead of schedule.  Let's hope they leave some work for the Phase 3 team!

The next team to host the Loop was Alpha 4, who had turned their camp into the Sepilok Suite - a jungle spa.  With all the treats  our all-girl Loop team might wish for after a very long road trip, from massages to manicures,


fan bearers to accompany the treatments,

and despite a surprise guest for dinner,

it was very reluctantly that the Loop headed back to Field Base the following morning!

In a few days' time, the Loop will hit the road again and visit our community projects.  We'll let you know the news once they return.