Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Alpha 1 Opening Ceremony

Alpha 1 have worked their socks off this phase in order to complete the kindergarten, or community learning centre (CLC) in Kampung Komburongo. And they have done it!

Just six days ago the Loop visited Komburongo and the build was nowhere near finished. The painting had just begun, there was not yet a water tank and the inner walls were still to go up. With 5.30am wake up calls, bucket-loads of determination and quite a bit of paint Alpha 1 made amazing progress.

On Monday 27th August the CLC officially opened with a ceremony that had attendees including members of the community; some of the Raleigh Fieldbase team as well as Country Director, Mac; PACOS representatives and of course Alpha 1.

The team had spent the morning decorating the CLC and putting on the finishing touches. They were also dressed in traditional celebratory outfits, courtesy of the local grandmothers.

The day began with a speech from Ejim thanking Raleigh for their help with the build. Ejim began the process to get the CLC built by contacting PACOS and has been a big part of everyone in Alpha 1’s life. He and his brother Jimmen have worked with the Raleigh teams every day from day 1, with Jimmen being a skilled carpenter and Ejim having a vast knowledge of building they were a backbone to the project.
Simon then made a speech which was translated by Karlye Tam, who works with Raleigh KL. Simon has been on this project since Day 1 and so it has been very important to him to see it finished. Although every Alpha 1 team has worked hard, he wanted to express his thanks to the final Alpha 1 group who have pushed themselves over the last two weeks, getting up at 5.30am every morning and working as late as they could in order to get everything completed.
Mac and representatives from PACOS then made speeches and these were followed by gifts from the community to show their appreciation;

Entertainment followed the speeches with dancing from the Raleigh team. This was accompanied by traditional gong playing;

PACOS also gave a special performance with a bamboo orchestra;

And then finally, it was time to officially open the CLC, so here you go; this is what the Alpha 1 teams have been working on for the last 3 months.

The CLC will provide learning not only for young children but also for the adults in the Komburongo and surrounding communities.

So huge congratulations go to Simon, Adam and Emily, this phase’s PMs and to the Venturers; Amy, Euan, Fiona, Jermae, Bernice, Sabrina, Shaelay, Shin and Umit. Without them, this CLC would not have been completed.

Next up is Alpha 2’s Opening Ceremony, will they get the gravity water feed finished in time? Check back soon to find out!

It's all over for the 5 week Venturers

5 weeks
39  Venturers
2 gravity water feeds
1 house
1 gazebo
1 bio diversity study
1 Adventure Challenge
And they did it! All projects completed, Adventure Challenge survived and it was only Endex left to enjoy.
The teams arrived at the aptly named Borneo Paradise Hotel on Thurday 23rd more than ready for showers, beds and most importantly to enjoy the final days of Raleigh!
Everyone got to view the expedition slideshow and music video which they will receive in their Endex packs.  This brought back all of the memories of the past 5 weeks, and was a great reminder of what everyone had achieved. Everyone also received their personalized expedition t-shirts.

Venturers and PMs alike got the following day to relax by the pool or on the beach before preparing for their last evening with Raleigh.
The evening began with a quick expedition meeting about what the possibilities are after Raleigh and how to stay involved. Next it was on to some admin where the Venturers signed their travel release forms, and had final reviews with Laura and Sarah.

 Each Venturer and PM was given a necklace made by the guides from Adventure Challenge as congratulations for completing the week.

Unfortunately it did rain, which put a bit of a dampener on the planned BBQ and outdoor disco but fortunately our ever positive 12 i volunteers decided they didn’t care about getting wet one last time and danced the night away in the rain!
To all 12i volunteers; you have achieved an amazing amount in a very short space of time. Be proud of your accomplishments and don’t ever diminish it! Keep thinking of the wonderful people and environment that you have helped. Maybe we will see you back with Raleigh sometime soon…

Check back soon everyone for an update of the 12D Opening Ceremonies!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Danum Valley- Phase 3

By Alistair Graves, Annie Moss and Deanna Green

The year was 2012, the month August and the country Borneo. Eight wide eyed Venturers entered the world renowned Danum Valley Conservation Area aka Dinosaur Valley. Their mission, should they choose to accept it would be to complete a water tank with a filtration system which will allow the scientists to continue their vital research. The stakes were high, the conditions were tough and the time was against them; will the eager eight rise to meet the challenge and survive to tell the tale?

So far Alpha 3 have arrived in their 5-star accommodation of bashas with flushing toilets, showers, a kitchen complete with sink and cupboards and the luxurious bonus of electricity! We’ve already made great progress on the project as we are all bursting with enthusiasm and determination to complete this daunting task. However, it’s not all been a bed of roses – face to face encounters with  a wild orang-utan (which was actually pretty awesome), half the group getting stuck inside the confines of the water tank and having to conceal our food from a rather brazen bearded boar called Boris. It’s added a lot of spice to Phase 3!

The group has found Danum Valley, the world’s oldest rainforest, to be a truely mind-blowing place to stay and work, having seen Bornean grey gibbons and macaque monkeys after being here only a few days.

With preparation for the loop visit well under way, tough deadlines to be met at the worksite and so much pristine jungle to explore, Alpha 3 sure have their work cut out for them. Will they succeed and make it to Endex in one piece?

Be there at Heathrow airport on 2nd September to find out...

Monday, 27 August 2012

Alpha 6's advice for future trekkers

By Amy Sedghi

Alpha 6 have made it back alive from Phase 2 and I’m sure all of our family and friends are dying to know how we got on. Our twelve day trek began in Long Pa Sia and it quickly became apparent that we were lucky and as our guide Noah called us ‘quack’ or a strong group. There was no rain or injuries and we had a good spirit all the way. Contenders for Leech Love were Katie, Ruairidh, Josh and Amy with some spectacular leech bites which were dealt with an impressive lack of squealing, unlike Phase 1.

So what did Alpha 6 learn?

1)      Never eat your granola bar at breakfast or take doxy on an empty stomach (Ruairidh learnt the hard way!)

2)      Never let your hammock strings go or you may risk your hammock buddies life

3)      Never run out of Milo

4)      Never put the lid on too tight on the biscuit tin. People will go to any lengths to get more!

Dive Island was greeted by the group like it was a lost world. Our days on the paradise island consisted of snorkelling, diving, volleyball and eating as much of the food from the packed storeroom as we could.

Although some didn’t eat enough to keep hold of their hair. Let me explain…

A brave bet was made by Ruairidh who anticpated being able to eat the entire food supply on Dive Island. If he were to lose this bet he would lose his golden locks. A fair few of us believed he could do it after watching him devour a family bucket of KFC followed by 18 donuts on our day in KK. However, when we got to Mamutik and saw the 92 packets of noodles amongst the supplies we lost hope for Ruairidh. He was however a good sport, and fully accepted his loss which is why he is now bald and sporting a base ball cap 99% of the time.

Ruairaidh attempting to digest his first massive meal

Lessons were learnt and much fun was had by Alpha 6. This has been an amazing phase and we have plenty of stories to catch everyone up on when we get home.

It’s on to our last and final phase next and we are all determined to make it as good as the last 7 weeks.

Alpha 6, Amy Sedghi, Out.