Saturday, 21 January 2012

The PM's get their first taste of the jungle!

The Fieldbase team and the volunteer Project managers (PM) had their first taste of jungle over the last few days and it's safe to say they are now wild about it! 

On Wednesday we headed to jungle camp on the outskirts of the secondary jungle in Ulu Geruntum, Sabah, an hour’s drive from fieldbase. 

A mixture of excitement, nerves, fear of the unknown and adrenalin were felt amongst the Project manager team. Coupled with 'Bring it on!'. 

We started off the day building our bashas, a static jungle hammock where we would be spending the night. 

Mac the country director taught us how to walk across rivers - alot like doing the conga but person at the front steps to the left or right and the people behind follow in sequence. It was scary to feel just how powerful the river current was even though it was only knee deep.  

As a welcome relief after the nerve racking river cross only the brave tried Mac's 'Power Shower', lying down on a shallow but strong part of the river and ducking our head under water, exhilarating! 
We tested setting the radio and aerial up, had medical training from the Medics and made our various first Raleigh rations meal of mock duck (don't ask!) noodles, chop suey and tomato puree, surprisingly good! Some teams even managed to make a starter and dessert. Mmm mmm living the high life!
After a good feed we made our way upstairs in Bamboo hut, the place where alot of the theory training took place and were greeted by the local Malay jungle trek guides who would be leading our treks the next day.

Then it was time for a bit of entertainment where we were the stars. Drum class! We all picked a musical instrument and took part in a group musical session - turns out we are not tone deaf afterall!
Before we headed off to our bashas we all shared our highlights so far over a hot chocolate, and psyched ourselves up for the day's trek ahead the next morning.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Here come the Project Managers!

26 plane journeys
20,000 miles (approx!)
17 plates of plane food
400kg of luggage
21 bottles of factor 30
one green feather boa
and 4 secret stashes of chocolate...
...can only mean one thing, the Volunteer manager's have arrived!

Selamat datang! Welcome!

So how have we initiated the volunteer project managers into Raleigh fieldbase life?

Take a look...

After a warm welcome from the fieldbase team we spent the afternoon getting to know each other and letting the Project managers settle in after their mammoth journey to get here.

Dinner that night was Malaysian style at the local restaurant 'Salim Restauran' in Lintas.

The speciality is Roti which is basically a form of malaysian bread, roti meaning bread in Hindi, Urdu, other North Indian languages, and Malay.

The dish is composed of dough made of ghee, egg, flour and water.The entire mixture is kneaded thoroughly, flattened, oiled and folded repeatedly. It is then allowed to proof and rise, and the process is repeated. The final round of preparation consists of flattening the dough ball, coating it with oil and then cooking on a flat iron skillet with a lot of oil. The ideal roti is flat, fluffy on the inside but crispy and flaky on the outside.

We tried various types of roti:

Roti kosong, a flatbread pan-fried till crispy on the outer layer. Served with curry sauce or Dhaal.

Roti susu, a sweet version which is drizzled with condensed milk and rolled up.

The ultimate roti is the tallest roti in the world, roti tissue which was definitely a show stopper and has an almost melt in the mouth texture. Roti tissue is a much thinner version of traditional Roti canai, almost as thin as a piece of 40-50cm round-shaped tissue. The wafer thin bread covered in sugar is wrapped into a cone shape and stood about 3 foot high on the table! Delicious.

Over the next two weeks everyone will be trained up and visit base camp in the jungle, visiting projects and preparing for when the venturers arrive, which we can't wait for!