Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Alpha 10 get filthy in the forest

Down in the Taliwas Forest Reserve, Alpha 10 have the task of building a boardwalk to lead visitors over a patch of very boggy ground on the reserve's "Education and Environment Walk".  Let's take a peek at what project life involves.

Before starting to build the boardwalk, the team first needed to gather and prepare the wood, and transport it to the worksite.

Having worked their muscles transporting the wood, there is now plenty of opportunity for the group to hone their carpentry skills as they prepare to start the construction stage...

...and some more work for the muscles as they begin to position the wooden uprights in the ground.

After a day in the mud, the jungle spa awaits,

and perhaps a game of football to play

or to enjoy from the sidelines,

before heading back to camp for a well-earned meal.

There is now less than a week before the groups return from their project.  We will catch with them again before they head out into the unknown for the Adventure Challenge!

Alpha 9 learn about the birds and the bears

In the north of Sabah, Raleigh project partner Asian Forestry Company (AFC) has a large area of land, part of which is intended for conservation.  There Alpha 9 have made themselves a comfortable jungle home from which they can explore the surrounding forest, in order to complete a biodiversity survey to help AFC with their conservation plans.  A team from Field Base paid them a visit to learn more about what they are doing.

Under close supervision from AFC's conservation expert, Phyllis, and armed with plenty of reference books, Alpha 9 have been learning about the flora and fauna that they might come across. 

Having set up humane traps in the forest, the group check these twice daily and have already revealed a range of bird and mammal species,

and some scratches in a tree which - to the excitment of the team -  appear to have come from a sun bear!

After careful identification and documentation, the creatures are released back into the jungle, and the team returns to camp.

And after a hard day's jungle exploration, there is time to practice baking skills,

and to entertain guests with puppetry and song.

Well fed, entertained, and caught up with all the news, the Field Base crew headed home, leaving Alpha 9 to continue their explorations.

We'll be back soon to find out how Alpha 10 are getting on.

Monday, 15 August 2011

11D get ready for the final phase

For some of our 11D venturers, this weekend saw the end of their expedition, with their two phases complete.  Laden, we hope, with many great memories, an address book full of new friends, and perhaps a tear in their eye, our seven week venturers bade farewell to the rest of the group and headed to the airport.

But for the ten-weekers, there is one more phase to go, ensuring that each venturer will have completed a community, adventure and environmental project before their time with Raleigh comes to an end.  Let's find out where they will be spending their final three weeks.

Alpha 1 - putting the finishing touches on the kindergarten will be Amer Townsend, Emily Bradshaw, Emma Pygott, Malcolm Outerbridge, Rob Clarke, Ruba Semain, Siong Chou Lim and Yoke Yuen Chew, accompanied by project  managers Caroline, Martin and Sam.

Alpha 2 - completing the gravity water feed on Maliangin Island will be Charlotte Russell, Claire Huxley, Cynthia Alexander, Nathan Titus, Patrick Loftus, Sean Holmes, Sheri Whiting and Stephanie Morris.  Their PMs will be Rob and Graham and they will be joined by Field Base's very own Marian.

Alpha 3 - taking the construction of the research camp to the next step at Danum Valley are Lucy Ryan, Marcus Pinsley, Martin Robson, Natalie Clerke, Nick Thornton, Oliver Semmence, Ross Weir and Will Essayan, with PMs Miranda, Emma and Beth and initially joined by DPM Rob.

Alpha 4 - continuing work at the Sun Bear Conservation Centre will be Andy Devers, Andy Merritt, Deva Gilroy Sen, Megan Daly, Nicholas Chong, Sophie Given and Sophie Hedges,  accompanied by PMs Jodie and Julie.

Alpha 5 - trekking and then diving will be Caroline Green, Cheah Keat Yew, Daniel Cross, Daniel Kirk, Dharushini Bai, Elizabeth Gold, Georgia Pawson, Harry Clesham, Heloise Richer, Jeral Jackman, June Yin Tan, Natalia Wong, Rujina Khandakar, Owain Masters, Rosie Watterson and Shannon Williams, with a PM trio of Petr, Rhiannon and Simon.

We'll bring word about their antics soon!

Alpha 7 and 8 get ready to (un)roll

Alpha 7 and Alpha 8 are taking care of the community projects for Expedition 11I.  The projects are located in neighbouring villages in northern Sabah, each requiring improvements to their water systems.   Now almost half-way through their time there, let's see how they've been getting on.

Alpha 7

In Bambangan Sook, Alpha 7 have quickly adjusted to life on project.  By now they are already used to setting up the radio for the twice-daily call to  Field Base,

and they are taking turns as Day Leader, gaining leadership experience by managing the group's tasks and activities for the day.

They are getting to grips with their kitchen equipment and Raleigh rations, already working wonders with the camp oven.

Having set up camp, it was time to get stuck into the project itself.  The first step was to learn exactly what was involved, so that the initial work could be organised.

 Next it was time to manoeuvre their materials into position ready to start the construction of the gravity water feed system, 

and to carry out a recce of the site from which the water would be fed.

And of course, no community project would be complete without games with the locals.

Alpha 8

Down the road at Mandurian Laut, Alpha 8 have also been getting to grips with their gravity water feed project.    First they surveyed the pipe that they would need to lay in order to bring water to each far-flung house in the community.

Then the fun began as they started unravelling pipes and walking them to the relevant position around the village.

The group walked and they walked with the seemingly never-ending pipe,

but still they remained in great spirits, ready to walk again with more pipe another day!

We'll have news of Alphas 9 and 10 in the next few days.