Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Wanderers Return!

The Alpha groups have returned from their Project Planning Visits(PPVs) to a Fieldbase team eager to hear all about their time away. Snippets of stories have been heard over the radio, but here is how they got on:

Alpha 1:
Simon and Phili went to Kampung Komborongo to visit the site where they will be building a kindergarten.

In order to enter the Malaysian school system, a child must first achieve a certain level of education. Without easy access to a kindergarten, this is next to impossible. The kampung already has one State sponsored Kindergarten but this hasn’t got enough capacity to serve Komborongo and the surrounding villages. This project will have a profound effect on the local area, granting increased access to preschool education to the children of Komborogo and its satellite villages.

Phili and Simon were warmly welcomed into the community by the villagers. They attended church on Sunday with the community which is a priviledge in itself and will be staying next door to the JKKK(head of the village) during project. This will hopefully mean that everyone will get to be fully submersed in village life! Komoborongo is an hour away from a beach, so they also have a plan of where they can go on a day off!

Kampung Komborongo

Alpha 2:
Conor, Adam and Candice were in Lalapakon and Mansiat to plan the the Gravity Water Feed that they will be doing in Phase 1.

Many communities in Malaysia have no access to a clean water supply. Most villages collect rain water in large tanks or barrels but this is often insufficient for their needs and so they obtain water from polluted rivers. A Gravity Water Feed System is a simple and often inexpensive solution.

Lalapakon and Mansiat are surrounded by palm oil plantations and therefore their nearest water supply is polluted fertilisers and pesticides. The nearest clean water source is a three hour trek away. This project will supply these villages with clean running water for the first time!

The Alpha 2 PMs arrived just as the village was celebrating a wedding, and much to their surprise were asked to sit in centre stage, to observe the joyful occasion.

The villagers showed the Alpha 2 PM’s to the dam site, where they got rather wet as they had to cross a river 14 times before they even got to the dam site-where they also got wet feet! On the way back, the villagers took them via a different route, through the jungle. When Candice took a moment to tie her shoe lace, there was a slight panic when they turned around and all the villagers had gone. Luckily they hadn’t gone too far and with a bit of shouting the vilagers returned. Phew!

Conor and Candice enjoying a drink from their bamboo cups
Kampung Mansiat

Alpha 3:
Danum Valley Conservation Area is one of the world's most complex eco-systems. Before it became a conservation area, there were no human settlements within the area, making it almost unique. Unsurprisingly, the Danum Valley Field Centre (DVFC) is one of the world's leading rainforest research centres. The project here will help to increase access into the conservation area to enable scientists to carry out more research.

Alpha 3's project will involve building large concrete water tanks to feed the DVFC and trail maintenance.

Nick, Nikki and Vanessa ventured into Danum Valley and within the first 24 hours had spotted orang-utan, red-leaf monkeys, lizards  and much much more. They were a little anxious that some of this wildlife might invade their camp, but were assured that they would be fine. The team were fine, but unfortunately Nikki’s rucksack met Boris the wild boar. Boris dragged Nikki’s rucksack around, managed to get into it and ate her granola bars, and rather strangely the soap! By the time Alpha 2 got back to camp the swine(in all senses of the word!) had run off, but soon returned when he smelt food cooking begging for more! And so Alpha 3 learnt the hard way not to leave their rucksacks on the ground!


Alpha 4:
One of the least known species of bear, the Sun Bear is mainly found in the rainforests of South East Asia. Despite its designation as "Totally Protected" under Sabah's Wildlife Conservation Enactment, poaching and the depletion of its habitat have brought this small bear into danger and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is being developed as a rescue, rehabilitation, education and research centre.

The Raleigh team will be helping build important infrastructure at the centre by creating and building artificial bear refuges in the enclosures. In the wild, Sun Bears climb trees to escape flooding and to hoard food. These artificial trees will replicate the wild for them.

Lucy and Emily went to Sepilok and definitely had the most adventurous PPV; from a near miss with Emily nearly falling through a board walk to getting chased by some rabid dogs to getting lost in a palm oil plantation for 4 hours! Let's hope they only have good luck from here on in!

Alpha 5 & 6

The trekking element will begin in Long Pasia, in the south western corner of Sabah on the Kalimantan and Sarawak border .The trek will be 10 – 11 days in duration and will involve the team carrying all their own supplies and equipment for the duration. The area is one of the richest plant diversity sites in Borneo and the people of the area have an interesting history as fierce head hunters.

Matt, Emma and Max got the chance to practice their basha building skills again whilst trekking and with just a tumble from Matt, and a very cold night Alpha 5 & 6's PPV was fairly uneventful!

Alpha 7

The Alpha 7 trek-dive-trek consists of five days trekking on the Tudan-Mengkaladom Trail, five days completing the PADI Open Water qualification (or higher) and underwater clean-up in association with Project Aware, and a final eight days trekking in the Kiulu Valley region in the foothills of Mount Kinabalu
Ian, Sheila and Emily went on Alpha 7 PPV, spending the first day looking at Casevac(casualty evacuation) routes, experiencing just how bouncy the Bravos can be in rural areas-their arms got a bit of a work out holding onto the handles. They then went on to trek part of the trail carrying 21kg rucksacks(this is very heavy!) and stayed at their guide Hanri's camp on the first night where Emily saw the "biggest spider she had ever seen" in the toilet. The second day was a trek up ‘Killer Hill’, or as the medics described it, 'Cardiac Killer Hill' which luckily for the Venturers- they don't have to do!

Ian, Emily and Petr very excited for the upcoming day...

View of Mount Kinabalu

So that's it!  The Volunteer Manager team is complete and we are all ready to go!

That's the news for now everyone! The rest of this week involves a lot more training, some fun and games and a lot of work to prepare for the Venturers arrival!


Abi Bracken & Nigel Todd said...

We bid farewell to Hannah Todd at T4 Heathrow this morning on her 17th birthday. She met a number of her group who all seemed excited, friendly and looking forward to the experience of a lifetime. Good luck to you all and we hope you have a good rest before setting off for your experiences. Abi, Nigel and Euan x

kathleen caldwell said...

glad to hear you have arrived safly and are okay billy says remember to bring him a pressie we all send our love and to amy look after yourself all our love nana popa '@billy xxxxxxxxxxx2

Jake Cook said...

Charlotte Roper - 12d

Glad you got there ok, hope you got my reply this morning! If not, wrote to you this morning so hopefully that will be with you soon. If you did get my text you'll know the races didn't go very well. Hope you're ok. Missing you.

Jake x

Katie said...

For Karen Ellis
Hi K-lo
I hope you are well. We did send a message a few weeks ago not sure if you got. We miss you in the office and our constant food talk. We finally have a bit of sunshine here!!
Take care and hope to hear from you soon.

Katie and Sonia xxx

Anonymous said...


Rose MacNeill said...

Hi to Emily M.(Delta 5)--Hope all is going well so far,and that you've all settled in ok.Re ally looking forward to the next blog to see what you've been getting up to.All ok here-Alice's last exam went ok and now looking forward to her prom on Friday.
Take care M,D and A xxxxx

Keith Doble said...

Happy Birthday to James Doble who is 20 on 28th June, with love from the Doble family.

Anonymous said...

Lucy Troman, Borneo Expedition

Lulu, I miss you! I hope you're doing your hair in those plaits that we spent so much time practising! It would be a shame not to, and waste all your skill! :P
I'm very proud of you for doing this! Big chest clap for you! :)
I've been watching the 'I'm gonna have a baby' video so many times, we'll have to watch it together with a cup of tea when you get back :)

Llloooovveeee yyyoooouuuu :)

Sally x

Betty and Aaron said...

(Hannah Todd)
Hey Han!!
How's it going over there?! Although its hard to admit we are missing you loads, especially mum! She keeps saying her baby girl has left:P Really really quite here with out you:( Sid is missing you loads, shes my new big sis:D
Aaron says heyyaaa;D (imagining the voice eh?:P)
Have you seen any hairy things? I cant remember what it was:O But yeah:) I hope you are having a greatttt timeee!! Ill try and get mum yo post...if she hasnt already:) Love you lotsss Boo Boo

Adrian Parker said...

For Ruairidh Parker
This is my first blog and I am not quite sure if this is the type of thing one writes.Hope your flight went well and that you have acclimatised. The photos look great and I hope to see some with you in them. It took me 48 hours to get here and since arriving it has been hectic. I will send you a bluey in the next few days.
All the best and enjoy

Nigel said...

Cassie Wright, Group 12D. Hi cassie, We're all very proud of you and hope you're having a great time. We've had a tornado (yes really!!)and loads of rain in Sleaford so regardless of what you're up to, I bet we're wetter than you are!! We're all missing you and looking forward to seeing you in August. Love Nigel x

Wright Family said...

Hey Nick, just a quick update mum and dad are having a lovely time in cyprus, the cats fine and im good aswell :) Weathers been okay here, not too bad but looks hotter where you are haha, anyway hope you're having a good time! See you soon (ish), love Millie xx

Kristin White said...

Selamat Pagi! (is that right? lol)

Shouting out to all the Raleigh Bermudians: Amon, Rayanne, Jermae, Michael, Ndavyah, Shaehlay, and Amanda!!

Wishing you bonfires, shooting stars, mafia, ramen, spam, sunrises, and tons of laughs... take photos and lots of 'em!

Love Ashley and Kristin

Sue & Russell Thomas said...

Hope you have acclimatised and enjoying yourself.
Been with Si and Matt today and missed you of course.
Thinking of you lots but especially on your 22nd birthday. Hope you have a very special day.
Love you loads. Have a great time.
Mum Dad and Alfie xxxx

Rose MacNeill said...

Dear Emily(D5)--it was great to see the blog and photos of your arrival and even better to get your call on friday!Glad everything is going well--we are all packed up and ready to leave in the morning, but don't worry we'll still be in touch!!
Missing you loads lots of love, Mum,Dad and Alice xxxxxxxCC

cousin Kaywell said...

hi Mae Mae and Shalay:

Glad you arrived safely; enjoying the pictures online. take plenty of photos. say hi to Simon and Emily for me; they were Malcolm's PM's for 11D 2011.