Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Living the divers dream

A blog from Chloe in Alpha 9, photos to follow at changeover

After an early start and some tearful goodbyes, the new Alpha 9 headed off on their trekking adventure. Unlike other trekking alphas our phase did not begin with a relaxing seven hour couch journey but a five hour trek, but we got to our camp just in time to wrestle with the dipole and tuck into some dinner. 

The next few days of trek we got better and faster, smashing estimated times to camps, giving us plenty of time to make some jungle bling - necklaces and bracelets made out of fishing wire, rattan and shells.

Our resident trek heroes were faster and Ping and Harry even managed to put up everyones tarp in the thunderstorm! Five days of trekking done, finished off by an entertaining evening of dancing and a homecooked meal at the JKKs (Head of the Village) house.

Trek phase over we headed out of the jungle and to Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah for dive lessons and shopping!

After a night in the Phillipino market where we wewre treated with lots of culinary delights. A few members of the group bought some extremely crazy trousers then we headed to the hostel and all got to crash on a bed, an actual bed! The first time for many of us in five weeks. 

After sunbathing, ultimate frisbee and eating plenty of grub it was time to head back to the jungle for our eight-day trek refreshed and full of energy.

Finding Nemo!!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Photo fun from Phase 2 deployment!

Just a bit of fun. The best and the worst pictures captured at daybreak before the alpha groups deployed to their project sites. Sorry Guys!

No we don't know what Sam (second from right) is doing either. Crying or sneezing you decide!
Because she's worth it. Giulia.

It's all about the accessories thinks Derk, Joost is not so sure.

Twinkle toes Will is not afraid to express himself through interpretive dance
Knees bent, arms bent rah rah rah

Doesn't look like Thomas is a morning person!

Most enthusiastic venturers at 5am award goes to.....Jack and Bouke. Arthur needs another hour or so.

The art of packing lightly

Tearjerking goodbye or commiserating socks and sandals hug?

Zero to Alpha Groups what's the latest? Over

Every day each Alpha Group radio into Field Base (Zero) with a situation report (SITREP) and let us know what they have been up to. Here is a summary of this weeks whereabouts. Roger that? Over.
'All we hear is Radio Gaga' Field Base radio room
Alpha 1
Have done final installation of bellian wood posts for new toilet. The group visited the rubber plantation with the locals, dug a 6ft cesspit and splashed around in the local waterfall. Sunday morning was spent in the local church singing for the village. Alpha 1 also won Radio Raleigh's Hero of the week with their nomination for Suh, who had been fantastic this week translating with the locals and looking after a team member who wasn't feeling well.

Alpha 2

Have had the pleasure of a visit from Greg the photographer this week. A few of the group had a homestay in the village. The group made some repairs to the dam site, mixed cement and hiked to the project site. They all went to church on Sunday morning with the locals.
Alpha 3
Enjoyed a cooked breakfast today from the project managers for working so hard yesterday. The group completed three trips to and from the GWF site (about 1 hour 40 minutes away) carrying the pipe and rolled out 10 100 metre pipes. Found fame and fortune as Coke been filming on location!

Alpha 4
Have finished fitting the majority of the posts around the sun bears outdoor enclosure. Enjoyed a night of partying with the loop and taking a cultural/shopping day trip to nearby Sandakan town centre.

Alpha 5
Had an 'EPIC' night with a visit from the loop played charades and made a camp fire. Trekking to Ulu Purut camp, stayed at Mengaris camp en route.

Alpha 6
Been checking mist nets and frogging this week. Managed to catch a King Fisher and snake. All of the group were nominated as Hero of the week as they have battled with adverse conditions. Filmed the Raleigh music video this week.

Alpha 7
Sunny gorgeous weather, spent a week suntanning, diving, coral planting, then trekking and making jungle jewellery. Sounds like heaven!

Alpha 8
Trekking and some more trekking but have enjoyed the scenery, some macaroni cheese and swimming in the river.

Alpha 9
Currently sunning it up on Mamutek island, PADI Advanced divers have got their qualification yesterday and the open water PADI divers are due to take their test today.