Monday, 27 February 2012

Three people, one place, one phase, one blog post...

Phase 1 Alpha 1
Firstly Project Manager Penny describes her journey into Kampung Mandurian Laut and settling into Phase 1 of the Kindergarten build project with Alpha 1...
PM Penny

Having bounced around in 4x4’s for two hours along gravel roads and mud tracks (that's after a few hours on a coach!), we finally got to the breathtakingly beautiful Kampung Mandurian Laut. Huge smiles and fresh coconuts from the JKKK (Head of the village) and the villagers welcomed us. 
We are staying in the community hall, opposite the Baptist Church, and next to the JKKK’s house. Within hours they had helped us to make a very fine home – we have a bamboo extension for our kitchen, and not one, but two 'shower cubicles'! 
There’s quite a lot of shower singing going on just so that we know which ones are in use, and we have all decided that bucket showers, with a view of the palm trees and blue skies around us, are some of the best showers we’ve ever had! 
Vilkon singing his heart out at
the community church!
We were incredibly touched to be asked by the JKKK to attend the community church service on Sunday morning on our second day in the Kampung, and were slightly surprised that in accepting this offer, we had also agreed to sing for the community!

Luckily one of our Host Country Venturers Vilkon, is a member of a church choir, and led the way for us; we have a week to practice now before it’s the turn of all of us! 

Sitting to eat dinner on Sunday night, we all agreed that the morning in church had been one of the most beautiful and insightful experiences we have had out here – each member of the community shook our hands, asked our ages and where we were from, and in return shared their smiles, names and what they do which was so interesting to all of us, and so kind of them to be so open and welcoming.

We are all excited to start the building work up on the kindergarten site, an open expanse on quite a slope – we have our work cut out! We can't complain though, as we have the most beautiful views and access to clean water from a gravity water feed installed by a Raleigh project last year.
Volunteer Finance Manager, Jerry describes the start of building the kindergarten

Jerry with PM Laura on the Kindergarten site.
check out Laura's "I'm a celebrity get me out of here" T-shirt!
Very early on the first blistering hot Monday morning we started about creating a Kindergarten building for the local community’s children.
The site itself is a challenging one, sloping in two directions and without any shade for relief from the heat whilst we will be building. Laura (Project Manager) and myself hadn't had the chance to spend much time together up to this point but that was soon about to change!

Every fieldbase manager gets the chance to go onto a project phase for around ten days and this was my chance to turn my back on the accounts for a short time and get stuck in with the project, handy then that back home in Edinburgh I am an architect!

The first thing we did was to locate the footprint of the building by identifying the proposed four corners, pointing the future verandah towards a view over the tree canopies and the mountains beyond, where the rainforest takes hold with the river running through.
Then, using the simple technology of bamboo stakes, string, a water tube level, tape measure and Pythagoras maths, we proceeded to set it out accurately.
Due to heavy rains, and I mean, seriously heavy, the materials took a few days later to arrive (and then only in dribs and drabs by 4x4, as the lorry had become stuck) which meant work was somewhat sporadic. We eventually managed to dig 16 holes on a 30 feet square grid, 3 feet deep to receive the timber posts. The timber we use for this is belian timber, hard as steel, from Sabah’s rainforest, and heavier than you can imagine. By the end of the first week we will have done all the posts, and began the floor perimeter beams which, in turn, will support the floor joists. By the end of the phase, we will have the flooring complete and potentially even the columns which will form the walls and eventually support the roof structure.
The mud fight seemed a good idea at the time!
We are also building the kampung’s first proper toilets (long drops are used in all the dwellings at present), in the form of a small outbuilding to the school kindergarten which will have two toilets and two septic tanks.
Raleigh and the local villagers will provide the labour for this project, the materials for the toilets have been provided by Asian Forestry Company (AFC) one of Raleighs key partners. The funding for the kindergarten building has come from a group of Raleigh Borneo alumni, who after completing expeditions in 2010 as Volunteer Managers, returned home, completed a variety of activities and raised the funds to provide a much needed kindergarten for a remote community in Sabah.
Primary education will improve the future development of these remote kampungs dramatically, and I am really pleased to have been a part of that process. I have had a great time and met some great venturers who I will follow with great interest along their Raleigh journey.
Venturer and 'Raleigh Reporter' Giulia Hetzenauer describes how it feels to be over halfway through the phase...
Giulia Hetzenauer still manages to look glam on project
Our time on phase 1 of the kindergarten project is almost over.
In six days we are leaving Mandurian Laut and we are going to say goodbye to the villagers, 'quick sand beach', our dog 'Chicken', the mosquito's in the long drop and the project that we have worked so hard at no matter whether it was in the baking sun or pouring rain we were there getting the foundation posts in!
Now the group are realising that we will soon be leaving that all behind as we prepare to say goodbye. We're sad but feel blessed that we had this opportunity and have achieved so much.

I'd like to thank my group for the time we spent together, the jokes, the very creative meals and the the valentines cards!


Pen's mum said...

To Penny Patrick, PM

Hi Pen

So good to see your photo - what a very jaunty hat! Amazing to hear how much Alpha 1 achieved in such a short time - thank you ALL for the excellent blog which means so much to us at home. Each picture tells a story too - well done Ed(?). Oh to have a bamboo shower cubicle with a view and a dog called chicken!

I am sure you are discovering skills you never knew you had and seeing sights you never imagined.

Lots of luck to everyone for the next 3 weeks, where ever you are -out on the projects and the behind-the-scenes crew too!

Love you loads, Penny sweetheart, great big hugs from Mum and Dad xxxx

Adi said...

Hello Toddy!! (Claire Todd)
so pleased to hear from Raleigh and to hear the exciting and so worthwhile things you are up to. Makes us all very jealous! But when you get back i'm keeping a list of DIY jobs you can come and do for us. Thanks

We've been busy - Sophie Eloise arrived 5th Feb! she's been great, apart from tonight when deciding to scream for blue murder.........
Jess is doing very well, getting prouder of her little sister and occasionally trying to help with bathing her or changing a nappy - you can imagine how successful that is.

anyway, hope you're surviving the mosquito bites, bugs and creepy crawlies. Someone told me Borneo was being swarmed with hair-eating trongi beetles? Is that a problem? I think they are repelled by chocolate behind the knees - let me know if you want me to send some.

Anyway have fun, stay safe and sympathise for us at work in good old blighty, then nappy-changer extrordinaire by night....
Adi, Lyns, Jess and Sophie

Ashley said...

Heya Justin!

Great to see these new pidtures of you! Looks like you having loads of fun! Hugs!

Ashley@Raleigh Bermuda

SUE said...

Hello to my muddy daughter Laura You are achieving so much and having such fun doing it. Something you will all remember all your lives. Keep up the good work.
Love Mum
ps dont even think about bringing the clothes home! xx

Anonymous said...

to Yu Wei Lee (Alpha 2) :
刚刚从屋主手中收到你的信,原来从远方寄来的一封信是那么的温暖人心,也给了我无限的力量。真的很想念你,抱歉我的信一直无法寄出。待会读完后,会写多一张然后明天寄出去。很想让你知道,那封信对我来说是多么的有意义。。。因为之前embryo final 没有过关,所以整个寒假很忙,为了重考,当然也加上其他的考试。目前为止我还剩下下个礼拜的anatomy prac and theory. 那之后我才在这一个月多的马拉松式考试生活停下来,喘一口气。放心重考我过关了=) 会继续拼下一科。原谅我没有寄出那些写过的信,有些是在压力下写的,很不像样。。。 不过我明天会抽出时间去寄的。
还是一样,好好照顾身体,很开心能够知道你的故事,因为我的很闷,哈哈。谢谢你在我很累时以那些信给我力量。一起加油!久违的字体又在我眼前,很幸福 =) 



Lea Toebak said...

voor Anneroos Kleinrensink

Liefste Annie, vandaag (zaterdag 3 maart) je enorm lange brief gekregen, wat heerlijk om weer van je te horen! Die van ons gaat vandaag op de bus, ik hoop dat hij op tijd is en dat je hem krijgt als je weer op het basecamp bent. Hier alles gewoon zoals altijd, de vraag is natuurlijk een beetje wat wij moeten vertellen omdat Nederland verbleekt bij al jouw belevenissen daar in Borneo. En dus genieten we maar van al jouw verhalen! Maak er iedere dag weer iets moois van, hele dikke kussen van ons allemaal, mama

Saskia Bender said...

To Willemijn van Daal - alpha 3

Hoi Willemijn, hoe gaat het daar in de jungle? Zo te zien een dolle en vrolijke boel. Van je moeder hoorde ik al dat je het geweldig naar je zint heb. Hoe vind je de projecten waarmee jullie bezig zijn? Jij bent al bijna klaar met je 2e, is het niet?! En heb je al gedoken? Jullie foto's zien er echt heel anders uit dan die van Marjolein in India. Logisch natuurlijk, maar ook wel opvallend. Jullie kunnen elkaar over een tijd echt een hoop vertellen en ervaringen uitwisselen. Marjo is net aan haar 2e project begonnen en moest daarvoor ca 2 dagen reizen vanuit het binnenland naar de kust en dan helemaal 'omhoog'. Werken daar voor het behoud van een schildpadden kolonie. Zo hebben julie wrsch een opdracht met Orang Utangs? En hoe bevallen je spullen? Helemaal gewend aan het slapen op je matje? Lieve meid, nog heel veel succes en plezier de komende weken. Lieve groet, Saskia Bender :)

Victorine van der Hoop said...

Willemijn van Daal - alpha 3

Hé alpha girl, lieve Willemijn,
Aan de foto's, verhalen en berichten van Heleen te zien en te horen, gaat het geweldig daar. We zien enthousiaste foto's met zeer verschillende activiteiten op allerlei locaties en tussendoor jouw glimlachende gezicht bij de bbq (geen inheems vlees lag daarop hopelijk). Wat een schat aan ervaringen, contacten met anderen en helemaal weg van hier. Geniet ervan, petje af voor wat je aan het doen bent! Veel liefs van Victorine, Nanning en Berend