Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Life in Komburongo!

Phase 1 is over, and until now we had no reports back from Alpha 1, or Alpha Fun as they were re-named! But we got plenty of updates at Changeover so here is how Alpha Fun(1) got on at the start of Phase 1.
Written By Shaelay Saltus

Life in Komburongo was mind blowing, eye-opening, breath-taking (literally) and muddy. Our first few days we spent setting up camp. We had to build our shower, the Long-drop, and steps. After our camp got sorted out the Community had a welcoming celebration for us! It was amazing! We danced the traditional dance, played with the traditional drums and got traditional necklaces. As the other ventures danced in their regular clothes, my PM’s and I had a great opportunity to dress the part in the traditional celebration. We wore a sarong made into a skirt with many traditional designs, a neck piece that draped over our shoulders and a vest that sparkled under the stars. I felt like a Komborongo princess and could not stop smiling to save my life.

 The day after the celebration we went up to the site where we had to build the Community centre then went to church! I didn’t go because it was still 7 am and I was still tired from last night’s celebration. As my fellow ventures retuned to camp they said that they prayed for rain because the village’s river had dried out and their water system was not something to depend on. That evening a few locals came to our camp site and treated us to dinner, to my surprise it was really good!

I’ve also met new friends while in Komborongo! The amazing Death Lizard, killer centipede, an army of fire ants, the helicopter beetles and of course the amazing jumbo mosquitoes! What’s Komborongo without mosquitoes? The first day I arrived in komborongo I got approximately 50+ bites all over my body!

Our first three days we worked on digging holes for the base poles to go in to support the floor. At the beginning it was pretty difficult because the land was dried out pretty badly. As we progressed deeper into the hole we realized that underneath the dry land laid moist clay! Moist Clay! Do you know what that means? Easier digging! When my partner and I finished our first hole we were beyond thrilled because we actually finished the 2 foot hole...until we realized we had another 4 to go. The more the day progressed the more work we got done the more the villagers started to look happier.

After each day of hard work we had an activity planned every afternoon by our good friend Ejim (the community’s go-to-guy.) One day we would teach English to the kids, the next we would get taught Malay, the next we would have lessons on making jewellery, teach the adults then have a daily football game with the children. I never participated in the football matches but I did teach the English classes.  The kids were so eager to learn and to participate! It was one of the best feelings in the world to see the look on their faces and to hear their laughter after they accomplished what they came to learn. Although teaching my first English lesson class was amazing, the feeling of knowing that your making a huge difference in a little kids life by doing the smallest and simplest of things makes me feel accomplished.

The families in the village don’t have much but they seem to be the happiest of people I’ve ever met. Living in Komborongo made me realize how important the smallest of things can make a person feel. A smile, a laugh, a hug, a compliment, even a simple wave can make somebody feel appreciated. 

-Shaehlay Saltus

Alpha 1, Phase 1


Anonymous said...

For Euan Judd.

Hey Euan,

I have heard from Mum that you haven't been well... So I hope that by the time you get this you are much better! I would say it looks like you are having a good time but I have not seen too many photo's with you in them - we all know you love a photo so please position yourself correctly when faced with a camera lens!!! I do know you are on the island at the moment and that looks gorgeous!

News from England... I shall be departing for St Helena in the South Atlantic in October, not to return for 18 months!! The fact that it takes a week travelling each way means that visiting will be rather difficult too..

Lots of love, your favourite sister Veronica xx

Mum said...

For Emma Hay Alpha 5
Hey you

How's things going? Life here is quiet apart from the odd argument so you are not missing much. My last day at Annan so at least I won't be so tired and will spend more time at home.
Miss you and love you

MUM xxxxxxxxxx

Tracy said...

For Amy Edwards Alpha 6

Hi Sweet, Hope all is well with you.
Hope you are enjoying your next phase, not sure what it is though. Miss you and love you

Tracy xxxxxxxxxx

Tilly Steward said...

Hello Ben (Alon-Smith)-
phase 1 Alpha (fun) 1

Tilly here. Just seen the photo of you digging holes and looking hot and muddy. Also, want to know if the death lizard can kill you?
Missing you so much. Hope you are having fun at Borneo. Where do you sleep?
Lots of love and a big hug
Tilly xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Squidy said...

For Victoria Hutcheson

Hi Gorgeous,

Was driving through Glencoe today on the way to a meeting. Reminded me of the night at the Red Squirrel campsite, a few pints of nessie monster mash and the amazing climb on Agags grove.
Really missing spending the summer with you !, No in fact really missing everything about you !!.
Hope your having an amazing time. Keep smiling, See you in five weeks.

Love you loads xxxx

Anonymous said...

Great to hear some news about your group, Cassie, and was lovely to talk to you last week. We're all delighted that you're having such a good time. We've seen two photos of you online and have already started making up rude captions to accompany them :-)
We weren't sure if you said that your next assignment was Some Bears or Sun-Bears. Just one tip from me - If you see any of the "Polar" variety, whatever you do DON'T act like a penguin.
Everyone here is fine and looking forward to seeing you very soon. Matthew and James are on holiday enjoying themselves at the sea-side and Mr Cool (Billy) continues to be cool. Your mum is still gorgeous, as always. And I'm on a diet - I figure that if I loose some weight before our family holiday in Scotland I can eat twice as much Haggis while we're away. Woohoo Love and best wishes Nigel x x

Anonymous said...

For Elsemieke Kruseman kindergarten (alpha 1 ??)
Lieve Elsemiekje,
Weer een krabbel van mij. Dat is tenminste een levensteken van één kant!
We zitten dus nu in Vil. en de zon schijnt hier heerlijk en martine ligt eindelijk in haar zon. Dus je krijgt concurrentie wat betreft bruin worden!
Hier gaat het z'n gangetje. Annalie dus zaterdag naar NY en GW zaterdag weer in Haarlem. Wij rijden hier maandag de 30e naar Les F. Had ik al verteld dat de Airco van de Merc kapot was, maar dat merkten we pas in de auto toen we op weg waren. En martine had juist een spijkerbroek aan voor die koude airco! Nog in nederland hebben we ons maar zeer zomers gekleed en reden we met alle raampjes open. Tja, dat deden wij vroeger altijd. mss was het voor yopper een beetje warm achterin, maar die dronk iedere keer als we stopten. hij loopt een beetje mank, weet niet precies waarom, maar als we in Frankrijk zijn gaan we wel even naar de dierenarts. Dus we wandelen eigenlijk niet met hem. pappa fietst hier dan maar, nu ook weer, naar solalex. Ik ben bang dat een brief er niet meer van komt. Dit is wel zo handig en je krijgt op die manier meer briefjes. Maar nu weet ik niet meer wat ik zal schrijven, want we doen dus niet zo veel. morgen maar eens wat kleren opruimen! ook zo'n leuk werkje (maar niet heus). Dag lieverdje, ik zag de beschrijving van de vorige groep die hier in komorongo (?) zat. wat een werk en wat lekker modderig. maar wel leuk dat je zó in de community zit. ben nog steeds erg benieuwd naar al je verhalen en ervaringen. Dag meisje, ik stop er mee. heel veel kusjes, mamma xxxxxxxxxxx

mum said...

Amy Edwards alpha 6

a wee brown hen dropped down from the skies and stayed....:))
Anna in her element..follows her everywhere.. sat on the stairs and watched her hoovering..
so sweeeet..

hugs to you y gorgeous girl

mum xxx

David Allen said...

For Rebecca Allen (not sure which Alpha group yet)

Hi Rebecca. We just thought that we would try posting something on this blog as we are off on holiday tomorrow and not sure of the Wifi connection in our hotel. Anyway, we hope you have settled in and are having a good, sweaty, muddy time! We will be interested to hear what project you are working on. I am sure it will be welcomed by the local community. We have just been to see Grandma who thinks you have gone all the way to Bournemouth (she is very confused)! Anyway, take care. Lots of love Mum and Dad x

sedghia said...

Message for amy sedghi
Hi, thanks for your letter.Sounds as if you are having a wonderful time,despite the hard work of labouring!!! By now you have had the changeover.....what are you upto now? Here its been soooo hot 30 degrees feels too hot to do i can imagine how you feel in the borneo humidity.I enjoy reading the blogs...very interesting.
Everyone here is to Peppa Pig World at the weekend for Maddisons birthday :)
Missing you loads. Everyone sends their love.Love Mum.xxxxx

gilly said...

hey emmmmma haaaaaay

How's it going hunny..?
I still cannot believe you guys are out there having the time of your lifes hopefully..??Almost halfway there already...!! Stay safe and watch those leeches mind...
hugs and love

gilly xxx

Jeanette said...

Hi my little flower,

Looks like you are having a fabulous time judging by the photographs on the Raleigh blog site. We are really looking forward to haring all about it on your return and seeing lots of photographs.
All is well back home...keeping busy at work and home as I'm sure you can imagine. Billy has had his brace fitted and we are currently waiting for an appointment to have his tooth removed.
Matthew, James, Billy and I had a go at making our very own Rhubarb and Crumble ice cream which was delicious. You will be pleased to know that since then I have bought a book with lots of ice cream recipes in it.
You probably won't believe this, but we have had lots of sunshine over the last few days, although this is due to change for the weekend apparently.
Today is June's birthday and we will be going out to the Queen's Head for a meal which should be nice.
Anyway, must get on with some work now. Love you lots and see you in a couple of weeks.Look after yourself Cassie!
all my love always Mama x x x

Dervla said...

Hi Fiona
We've just had a week of summer, Carl's sister and family stayed. We had some lovely evenings on the pier, no guitar though. Today we spent 9hrs driving almost half way up Sweden to a beautiful part of the country called Svärdsjö, most people say it's as Swedish as you can get here. We'll be taking out a boat tomorrow,and hopfully catch some perch. Mmmm fresh smoked perch, you can't beat it. ... with a big stick!
You're mum & dad were delighted to hear from you of course, getting to eat all sort's of exotic food's I hear, I suppose moose meat sounds pretty ordinary to you now?
Take care Sweetie, love from Carl & Dervla