Thursday, 18 October 2012

One wedding, 200 rocks and a lot of digging with Alpha 2

With allocations done and training officially over, it was an early start for all the Alpha groups as they set off to their various destinations. I (Anna) decided to invite myself along with Alpha 2, who would be working on the Gravity Water Feed system in Kampung Nuguh, for their first couple of days on project.
By the time our coach arrived at its switchover point, where we were due to continue our journey in 4 X 4s we were already pretty starving. So imagine our delight when we discovered that the meeting point also happened to be right next to a rather lovely restaurant on the seafront (good planning there by PMs Nat, Simon and John!). Here we also met Eddie, from our project partner AFC, who will be working with us on the gravity water feed.

After a hearty lunch (albeit rather early at only 11am) and learning a bit of Malay from HCVs John and Kenly we loaded all the tools and rucksacks into the 4 X 4s and set off on our way. Unfortunately about 20 minutes in we had to stop for a tyre change on one of the vehicles, but it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits as Laura and Meghan got us all into a game of Ninja straight away, much to the amusement of people driving in the other direction!
A half-hour’s bumpy drive later and we all arrived at what would be Casa Alpha 2 for the next seven weeks. On first glance it may have just looked like a half-finished house, but closer inspection revealed a fully-operating roof and the perfect sleeping quarters upstairs... okay, it may not have any exterior walls, but with 360-degree views like this, no one was complaining!
A room with a view

Everyone got started on making it more homely, and all the arduous but necessary jobs, like digging the long drop, were completed. Jake got down to digging the slops pit and getting the downstairs in shipshape order, while Kenly quickly proved himself to be a maestro with any tool he came across, as he built tables for the cooking area and the three bowls, a shoe rack, and even started chiseling a Home Sweet Home sign.

Kenly the carpenter extraordinaire

Jake gets to grips with the slops pits

Sorting out the bedroom
Simon and Barnaby set up the radio
Given that what seemed like many many hours of hard work had passed since lunch, we were all pretty famished and therefore ecstatic when Kate and Steffi cooked up a delicious first-night meal of pasta Napolitana, and it was early bed for all.
The next morning, after waking up to a beautiful sunrise, it was time to test out the shower (a pipe a little bit further down the hill from the house, very powerful and with another great view – the best way to start the day!). We all had to be fresh and beautiful as we were due to attend a rather special event – Mr Masrin, the head of village, had invited us all to the wedding of his daughter Alinah to Jamal. It was a bit of a sticky and muddy half-hour walk down to his house, but we tried to stay as smart as we could in our Raleigh T-shirts.

 Everyone made us really welcome at the wedding, giving us our own table and treating us to a delicious meal of buffalo and rice. It was a great way to meet all the villagers in one go and they soon had us up and dancing with them.


We even got wedding gifts!
Then Jamal and Alinah appeared after their formal wedding ceremony and were presented with various gifts – including their very own Raleigh T-shirts by Simon and John!
The happy couple... plus Simon and John...

...and a few more!

After all that partying, the next morning it was time for the serious work to begin. So, following breakfast and a few games of ‘Darling, I love you’ (where you have to go up and say the aforementioned words to someone in your funniest voice to try to make them laugh – Barnaby and Boudewien had the straightest faces by far), Eddie came and talked us through the project and then we all went on a little tour of the water source from which the work would be starting.

The water source
The water tanks

We then walked down to the village, past Mr Masrin’s house (where the remnants of the wedding were still being tidied up) and then up and down, up and down and up and down lots of hills towards the river.
By the time we got down there everyone was raring to get their legs wet, and after a safety assessment to check the river was safe to enter we all piled in and started on the first main job of the project: collecting lots of stones and rocks of different sizes to use as a base for the concrete foundations of the water tanks.
Thijs, Laura and John check the river is safe
Nat is ready with the throwrope


Steffi cools down!

Kate in action

It’s fair to say that the villagers who had come down to wash up from the wedding were very amused by what we were all doing. It’s amazing to think that once Alpha 2 are done with the water feed that they’ll no longer have to take all their washing down to the river and will be able to do it in the comfort of their own homes instead.

A few hundred rocks later and the pile was pretty impressive. Luckily Eddie was picking them up in his pick-up truck, rather than us having to lug them back up and down the multitude of hills!

Then everyone enjoyed a much-deserved swim in the river before trekking back up and down the hills to Casa Alpha 2 to listen to Radio Raleigh, which is broadcast from Fieldbase every Sunday afternoon. Thijs has proven himself to be quite a radio pro already, thank heavens, so when we realised we only had about 10 minutes to spare before action his radio set-up skills meant we were all still sitting comfortably in time. After the latest sports, entertainment and world news updates from the Fieldbase team, all the Alpha groups then reported on what they’d been up to, and everyone sounded like they were having a lot of fun settling in!
Our posh new kitchen area
As that night was my last with Alpha 2, myself, Nat, Simon and John treated everyone to a quiz to make sure the grey cells were still functioning as well as the muscles. There was one killer question that no one knew the answer to from John’s round, so he would not reveal it and is still waiting for someone to come up with it:

Which one London Underground station does not contain any letters from the word “mackerel”?
(answers on a postcard, or the comments below if you’d rather!)

The next morning it was time for me to say goodbye. Luckily my car turned up on time, as it was clear that everyone was raring to get started with the next day of work, building a fence around the water source and then starting to dig the base for the water tanks. All in all it was a happy and highly enthusiastic Alpha 2 that I left, so we look forward to seeing what they get up to over the next few weeks.

Next on the travel agenda is Alpha 1 and the kindergarten in Kampung Terian, so watch this space!


Anonymous said...

To: Thijs Wessels Alpha 2

Apa kabar? Aan de fotos te zien vermaken jullie je prima en zitten zelfs in een 1000-sterren hotel. Als die watertanks nog maar afkomen! Maak je zelf ook nog fotos? Veel pezier, papa.

Anonymous said...

To: Thijs Wessels Alpha 2

Hoi! twee zielen één gedachte: ik zie dat pappa ook al heeft geschreven! Wat ziet dit er gaaf uit!! Wel elke dag even 5 minuten niks doen en met volle aandacht genieten van dit prachtige uitzicht!We genieten van alle berichten op de weblog. Ook Oma J. kijkt elke dag of er nog nieuws over je is. Veel plezier, radioman! XX mam

Michaela Pass said...

To: Catherine Skidmore

Hey Kate!!

Read the latest blog and it sounds amazing! Seen you in lots of pictures as well so I know you're not skiving out of anything!

It looks like really hard work as well, so I hope you're not too exhausted by now.

I'm keeping updated with your mum as well, she brought in the first blog for me to read and told me how to send this to you... so hopefully it does get through! I'll keep checking on here for more updates and send messages regularly.

Looking forward to hearing it all in more detail when you are back, but for now just enjoy it and don't think of home!!

I'm very jealous!

Much love,


Tanja Teeuwen said...

Boudewien Teeuwen Alpha 2
Lieve Bou wat een feest kregen net een brief van je en zagen de foto,s en verhalen van jullie groep. Wat een belevenis meisje. Wat zullen die mensen jullie dankbaar zijn als ze straks water hebben uit een kraan. Zouden soms even om een hoekje willen kijken hoe jullie daar aan het genieten zijn en hard aan het werken. Wij net terug uit Italie 5 liter olijfolie van onze eigen bomen mmmm lekker zal voor je bewaren. Gisteren Lohc feest veel zoenen van al je vriendinnen en vriendjes, gingen uit ons dak bij Nick en Simon. Dikke kus Mam en Pap en de hondjes.

Anonymous said...

Yoooooooo fluhtteronckie,
Hoe heb je t poedie? In t begin was alles primmmmma, maar dit weekend bij les parents merk ik toch wel dat je er not bent. Ik begin je te missen kleine kiddo. Hoop dat je t heul leuk hebt en dat t duiken vet is. Ik ben alleen maar aan het nerden in de ub, want heb vrijdag tentamen. Heb je al een beetje vriendjes en vriendinnetjes gemaakt? Zijn er nog mensen met rood haar en brillen met minstens -50? ;) Ik hoop t voor je! Hee ouwe pjehmulzzzz ik ga lekker boerenkool eten met de ouders. Ik zeg kaaaaap, papa zegt joaaaah. Ik zegt waaaaaant (nieuwe versie, waargebeurd) papa zegt joaaaah. Beter snap je alle inside jokes kleine pjehmulzzzzzck en ben je snel weer hier. Ohja, don't forget to be awesome =D Denk hier maar aan: when I start feeling sad, I just be awesome instead.

Kiddo ik wacht met smart op je reactie.
Kusjes en liefde van je grote nerdenzus.
Sjuhtto van Sjuhtteronck
En een kleine kopstoot van hast onthoofde sjehpps (=()
En een likje ;)

Anonymous said...

Anna Court Alpha 3
Hi Babes
Hope all well with you and that the bites have settled down or you have become immune!
Had a busy weekend on my stone walling course so now I am expert of course!
Will write tonight but be good to see you on the blog soon
Much love Missing you loads
Mum XX

Anonymous said...

hey Steffi, you seem to be enjoying yourself. hi from mum n dad, and guess what bruce says... take care.

Teri said...

To: Meghan Broadbent, Alpha 2, working on the Gravity Water Feed system in Kampung Nuguh.

Hey Maggie May, hope you are having the time of your life! The smile on your face says it all. Just want you to know we're following you and wishing you and your group, the best!!

Teri S.

Mom said...

To: Meghan Broadbent

Helloooooo Miss Meg!! We miss you sooooo much! From the looks of pictures and your grins you are so happy and having the experience of a lifetime.Your dream of going to Borneo since you were a little girl has come true!Hope your whole trip is a happy and healthy one. We love you and wish you the best. Be careful and good luck. May you be blessed and watched over! Love, Mom,Dad,and Family (and girls)XOXOXO

Adelina & Rebecca said...

To Laura Liebenerg (Alpha 2)

We all miss you here at the office..!! Very proud of you and what your doing..!! Toffee crisps are here and waiting for you..!!

Love Adelina & Rebecca.

Maurits van Rhijn said...

Hey Ruben (Vd Water),

alles goed! zag dat je eerst op trek was! jammer dat je dan vroeg op dive island zit maar wordt zowizo heel vet als je afsluit met of nature of community! Sport van de week:

Armstrong verliest zijn 7 titels!

Ajax stond 3-1 (schone 2x en sana) voor in laatste 8min en wordt er een doelpunt afgekeurd (onterecht) en maakt eriksen een enorme blunder en 3-3 dus heracles lucky

Willem II stond 0-2 voor tegen PSV maar die rot Strootman (aanvoerder) die scoort 2x en matavz 1x dus 3-2

Twente Verliest ook punten 1-1 tegen RODA JC

Pelle scoort de winnende 3-2 voor Feyenoord nadat ze 2-0 achterstonden tegen VVV

Athletico Madrid staat bovenaan met barcelona (falcao al 16 goals in 10 wedstrijden dit seizoen) en barca wint een spektakestuk met 4-5 van Deportivo Lacarunoenja (of hoe je dat ook schrijft)

Verdere uitslagen zijn
NAC Breda - Vitesse0-3
AZ - NEC 0-2
ADO Den Haag - Utrecht1-2
Heerenveen - Groningen3-0
RKC Waalwijk - PEC Zwolle1-2

Over vitesse gesproken die staan tweede 1 punt achter twente... die bony staat al op 10 (ontzettende goede speler)

In engeland scoort Dzeko alleenmaar voor city in de laatste 2minuten tegen Fulham (91ste) en tegen westbrom stond city 1-0 achter en scoort ie in de (89 en 92ste) heel duits dus.

Tottenham 2-4 Chelsea (verthongen is prima bezig en is geweldige linksback (net zoals martins indi die de verbazing is van heel Nederland toen ze wonnen van een of ander rotland en roemenie 1-4 (toen lens een kopbal scoorde van 18 meter..... heel apart) maar bij Chelsea speelt die Mata geweldig betoverend! ongeloofelijk ook dat die Lloris op de bank zit en Friedel eerste keus is))

Duitsland stond 4-0 voor tegen zweden en verlist 2 punten 4-4 in laatste seconden dus koekje van eigen deeg voor die Kolle-boys.

Verder mijn leven: ik heb tentamens en het is zoo veel werk dus geniet ervan! Ik had ADE (amsterdam Dance event) en chillde met Eva Simons (zangeres this is love en lose control) in de DJ deck van escape (heeeeel vet)

Verder is er deze week CL dus krijg je een ajax update van me!

Geniet enorm van je tijd jongen!

Salamet Pagi