Saturday, 27 August 2011

Maz brings news from Maliangin (Alpha 2)

The beginning of Phase 3 made Field Base a much quieter place as administrator Marian packed her bag and boarded the bus with Alpha 2 for a long awaited spell on Maliangin Island.  Bursting with tales of the group and the project, she returned this week.  Here's the latest news from her:

"It was to be the final phase on Maliangan Island, and a busy one at that, as the various components of the gravity water feed system put in place by the previous groups were to be fitted together like a meccano set. Huge water tanks were rolled into position on concrete platforms constructed by the venturers who were becoming expert cementers!

Trenches were dug along the pipe route where various sized pipes would be laid under ground. Stop cocks, reducers and valves were slotted into place to connect the network of pipes. 

Final touches were made to the reservoir with the trenches being filled with rocks to act as a natural filter, whilst both reservoir and trench covers were created to prevent animals from drinking from the same water source to be used by locals.

But it wasn’t all plumbing and engineering on the island with the venturers having time to mingle with the local community, play with the kids, learn how to weave traditional mats and play a spot of volleyball with the locals after a hard day’s graft.

All in time to watch the beautiful Maliangin sunset.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Mission accomplished for A7 and A8

Alpha 7 and Alpha 8 each had a ceremony to celebrate the completion of their projects in Kampung Bambangan Sook and Kampung Mandurian Laut on Monday.

There to rejoice with them were the happy villagers, who danced and played traditional music to mark the auspicious event. Drew Boshell, Head of Community Development at Asian Forestry Company, Kadri Taib, Director of Communication and Public Affairs for Coca-Cola Far East Ltd and and Mr. Lahab Enul from the Kota Marudu District Office travelled all the way into the two villagers to join us for the ceremony. Sarah Hoare and I (Yolanda) were there to represent Raleigh Borneo.

Here are some pictures from the ceremonies: 

At Alpha 7: 
Bambangan Sook's kulintangan band
The opening dance

Kadri Taib, Communications and Public Affairs Director of Coca-Cola giving his speech

Lahab Enul, the government rep and Sarah turning the tap on. It works!


At Alpha 8
Some of the villagers at the ceremonies, with their very cute babies

Mandurian Laut's kulintangan band

PM Tom, with John, who helped A8 a lot

The ceremony was held outside of someone's house

The team was dubbed Super 8 for the extraordinary amount of work they did in just 3 weeks

And their tap worked as well! Yay!

The projects, which started on the 6th August, were successfully completed, thanks to support from the Sabah Government, sourcing and technical support from AFC and funding from Coca-Cola. But of course, the outstanding hard physical labour and dedication were credited to the young volunteers from Alphas 7 and 8 from Raleigh’s expedition 11I and the villagers who took time off from their farming to help them.


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

On the road again - Lads on the Loop

It's the middle of Phase 3, which can only mean one thing.  It's time for the Field Base team to escape the office and head off to our project sites once more.  After the all-girl Loop of Phase 2, this time it's the turn of the boys as Country Director Mac and Logistics Lee visit our ten-week environmental projects.  Lee lets us know how they were treated on their travels:

"Alpha 3

The Loop's first stop, after a long drive full of Power Ballads and tea stops, was at Alpha 3 in Danum Valley. After spending a night at the Field Centre we trekked in to see the group in their jungle camp. In homage to Mac's military background, we were welcomed with a display of arms as Alpha 3 demonstrated a parade check run with military precision.
After a quick lunch we were casually taken to a nearby waterfall for a quick swim.

We were shown to our beds, or should I say "love nest", where our bromance was celebrated and we were left to mingle whilst we waited for the ‘Fat Golden Leech’ to open for business. First course was cracker pizza, hoummus and a weird red lentil soup. This was followed by a jungle cottage pie made with corned beef and Smash – the usual ingredients - and a mix of biscuits, peaches, custard and condensed milk for dessert.

After eating too much we were divided into teams for the evening’s entertaining pub quiz. With several rounds across a range of topics, nobody was surprised when we smashed it with a breathtaking score of 29 out of 30!
The evening was a roaring success and every effort was put into making us feel welcome and fat. We appreciated our shot at being "quiz kings" and stayed up late to chat with the venturers before going to bed ready for our trek out in the morning.
Alpha 4

We left Danum after a quick trek out and continued our travels to Alpha 4 who were at Sepilok. Upon arrival we met half the group at the cafĂ© and got PM Jodie to lead the way to the camp – little did we know that Jodie is in fact a human Tom Tom and after a mere hour of ‘I am sure this is the way’ we finally arrived at camp.
After a quick tour of the camp we were thrust into things. Firstly a mess tin full of pub snacks was placed in front of us marking the pub theme of the night. This was followed by Borneo Burgers – beef burgers made from corned beef and a bread and butter pudding.
The food was delicious and the entertainment, in typical pub style, was a quiz. We were split up and faced a number of rounds, with Helen (also visiting from Field Base), myself and Mac all on different teams.
After several rounds and a cup of tea later, the results were in. Helen's team had crashed and burned and come in last place.  I came in a respectable second with Mac taking the title.  The forfeit was a quick ORS (oral rehydration sachet) shot. The evening’s entertainment did not stop there and a quick round of music followed before the rain and bed.

In the morning we got a chance to visit the orang utans and I got to see my first ever one, after only 6 months in the country! We headed back to Field Base afterwards and thus ended the first part of our Lads on Tour twist to the Loop. 

 Stay tuned for the Loop part two next week…"