Thursday, 11 August 2011

Super Loopers: The Loop hits the road for phase 2

The second, all-girl, Loop journey commenced with Lis (Logistical Coordinator), Maz (Administrator) and Sarah (Country Program Manager) heading to their first stop which was Alpha 3 at Danum Valley and what a stop it was!  They were greeted by venturers dressed up in "tribal gear", dancing in a circle, serenading their guests with their own take of 'I'm a Believer'.  This was then followed by a 3 course banquet of lush food and entertainment consisting of charades and 20 questions. It was a fun filled evening filled with merriment and joy.

After saying their goodbyes to this hospitable bunch, the Loopers then went on to see the delights that Alpha 4 at Sepilok had in store for them.  And what a surprise it was to be greeted by 'jungle spa staff' who gave the girls a pampering session to remember.  Manicure, pedicure and massage treatments were offered, whilst the loop girls were sipping their home made jungle mock-tails made by the venturers. The camp was decked with handmade rainbow coloured bunting and welcome banners to boot. The refreshing break was definitely enjoyed, if only the girls knew what was in store for them next.

The girls powered onwards to Alpha 1 at Sonsogon Magandai and were also greeted with open arms by venturers in their jungle outfits. A riverside spa, food and games followed as well as a tour of their work site, the progress of which was amazing to see.

There was even some quiet time to allow the venturers to read their mail that the Loop had delivered.

Last but not least, the Loopers completed their round trip by visiting Alpha 2 on Maliangin Island. On arrival, the ladies were stretchered from the sea to then be 'wined and dined' so to speak. It was a lovely affair and nice ending to the adventures of the Loopers.

Now that the Super Loopers are back at Field Base, safe and sound, the whole Field Base team are busy preparing for the next changeover.

By Super Looper Maz

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

11D - Alpha 6 return from their trek and head to the sea

After living in the jungle with their supply of Raleigh rations, supplemented by some fresh food from the jungle and guided by their expert jungle guides, Alpha 6 has found that twelve days has been an experience they will never forget.

They trekked,

and they trekked,

they crossed rivers,

they overcame obstacles,

and they trekked some more.

They put up their tarps and hammocks at new sites every night having trekked to the location of their new camp, cooked their dinner over a Trangia and washed up using Raleigh's three bowl system. 

Keeping up your strength while trekking is an important part in being able to complete the challenge so the group regularly took the opportunity to share some of the food that they had taken with them while resting at the jungle camps.

It wasn't all hard work though and the group were able to learn essential jungle skills, such as how to make cooking and eating utensils out of bamboo, how to start a fire and how to be resourceful in keeping rehydrated with the help of the bamboo tree.

Some great opportunities arose to see some native flora and fauna,

and trees with spectacular roots.

Of course, there was some time for some R&R in some beautiful places,

some exploration,

some tree hugging,

and some people hugging.

The final part of their journey on the trek phase was a home stay in the village of Long Pasia.  All of the venturers, in groups of two to four, stayed overnight in a local home in the village.  There they experienced a home cooked meal, a comfy bed and a warm welcome from the villagers, all of which were satisfying rewards for the hard labours of the previous 11 days.

Alpha 6 are now enjoying time on Mamutik Island where they are undertaking their course to learn how to SCUBA dive.  We hope to bring you more updates on their progress in the coming days.

From Sarah and Helen, Field Base Team members