Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Over 100 venturers are about to ‘Get out there’ as we mark the start of Expedition 12A!

What will you be doing over the next three months?
  • Pushing yourself to the limit?
  • Trekking hundreds of miles?
  • Camping in the jungle and washing in the river?
  • Seeing creatures you didn’t know existed?
  • Achieving more than you thought was ever capable to help communities in need?
Well you might not be, but over 100 brave, bold and courageous venturers will be arriving in the Malaysian state of Sabah in a matter of weeks from America, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and West Malaysia (including Sabah) for the adventure of a lifetime.

A team of field based volunteer managers have arrived this week to prepare for the expedition. Follow their stories as well as the venturers when they arrive for their once in a lifetime experience in the Borneo jungle.
The Borneo expedition is going to be doing some amazing things over the next few months and we are going to be bringing it to life on these very pages. Get involved, post your questions, comments and support.

Let’s start with an introduction to the field based team.

Fieldbase is the hub of Raleigh Borneo where the behind-the-scenes action happens. Venturers don’t come to fieldbase so to them it remains a mystery, but here is a sneaky pic...

Head of operations, Country Director Mac. 
Mac has run 12 expeditions in Borneo and first got involved with Raleigh International in 2005 when the British Army sent him to work as a project manager in Borneo then in 2007 for Raleigh Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Country programme manager, Sarah and Deputy programme manager Stephen.
They make sure project managers are fully trained and that projects are supported throughout expedition, as well as ensuring that fieldbase runs smoothly.  
Sarah works full time in Borneo after ten years of work in the London hotel industry and taking part in expeditions as a venturer and deputy programme manager.
This is Stephen’s fourth expedition, he took part in an expedition as a volunteer Logistics manager in Borneo in 2004 and prior to that expeditions in Ghana and Fiji. Back home Stephen runs a performing arts school but in his role as volunteer Deputy programme manager he is responsible for the day-to-day running of expedition and keeping the fieldbase team in shape.

Fieldbase cook, Loli
Loli is the fieldbased cook. She is currently back home in the Philippines for her son’s wedding but we are all looking forward to meeting her and her famous cakes.

Hot off the plane (literally!) this week are volunteers…
Jerry and Natalie: Keeping on top of the accounts and making sure everything is bolted together are Finance Manager Jerry and Admin Officer, Natalie. 
Natalie caught the Raleigh bug after doing an expedition in India a couple of years ago and since then has been working for Tesco but she has been itching to get back out on expedition again. Natalie will be using her professional skills to keep us all organized.
Jerry affectionately named ‘Can’ (as in Jerry Can!) by the field based team, hails from Scotland. It’s his first expedition. Back home in Scotland he runs his own Architecture firm and is pleased to get away from the cold winter weather. He will be keeping our finances in tip top shape and seems to be rather good at doing chin ups!

Louise, Alex and Kim: Sorting out all the supplies and making sure equipment is safe and ready to get out there, are our logistics team. They’ve switched their office day jobs to plan the delivery of vital equipment and supplies to projects.

Kim is also our project partner for Expanding Horizons Indigenous Youth Leadership Program at Darwin Regional Indigenous Development and will be mentoring our venturers from Australia.

James: Trek leader James is a civil servant for the Ministry of Defence but is ready for a new challenge . James has an affinity for the great outdoors and is eager to lead a trek through the jungle. He is also married to Louise from Logistics and they will be celebrating their 2nd wedding aniversary during the expedition!
Richard and Catriona: Doctors Richard and Catriona arrived from opposite ends of the earth New Zealand and Aberdeen respectively. Spending the first few days doing vital checks on medical equipment, ordering supplies before the rest of the medics arrive on Saturday.

Rachel and Greg: Photographing expedition is photographer Greg who is keen to boost his portfolio with exciting jungle shots. Reporting on the projects and putting words to Greg’s pictures is me, Rachel the Communications Officer, my background is in marketing and internal communications working for brands such as Shell, Mars and Northern Rock and I'll be writing this blog!
Ed: Joining us from the previous expedition where he was a Project Manager is Ed who is returning this time as Team Coach, coaching Project Managers with people skills to run a project. Slightly different to his background as an actor, photographer and dancer. A keen photographer/videographer Ed will also be putting his creative flair to good use and producing some videos for us. Watch this space!
So now you have met the field based team. We look forward to greeting our next arrivals the Project Managers who will be based with the projects. Read about it in the next update…
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