Saturday, 13 October 2012

Off to the jungle!

Days three and four at Base Camp and the Volunteer Managers decided that it was time to step things up another notch. Up until now we had been relatively kind to the Venturers, with running water, properly cooked meals and nice cosy bashas to sleep in – now it was time to introduce them to real jungle life!


Deltas 1, 3 and 5 were the first to set off, with rucksacks full of enthusiasm.
Two hours later and the heavens opened... just in time for them to arrive at Jungle Camp andstart setting up their hammocks and tarps. Four hours later, with the rain still relentless, it’s fair to say that the afternoon had now well and truly become the epitome of Type 2 fun.


In spite of this, everyone ‘Raleighed’ and got on with setting up their beds for the night without too much slipping over or losing belongings in the quagmire of mud that the camp had evolved into. Luckily there were no major hammock-related incidents during the night either. However in the morning the torrential rain decided to pay everyone a special visit again just as they were packing up as a leaving gift.
 Then it was the turn of Deltas 2 and 6 and instead of the rain the sun was shining as they set off.

But, of course, that meant a different kind of getting wet, and it was a sweaty, muddy bunch of Venturers and PMs who arrived at Jungle Camp a few hours later.


 Everyone appeared to be pretty unfazed about setting up their beds for the night and the fact that they’d be sleeping out amongst the creatures of the jungle and hanging from trees – in fact some of the PMs were put to shame, with the Venturers having to offer a helping hand with their beds for the night!
The next day the rain decided it was only fair to also pay Deltas 2 and 6 a visit for their return to Base Camp early the following morning.

And then the team were reunited once more, sweaty, muddy and ready for Allocations... more on that very soon!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Welcome to Basecamp

Hungry? Need a shower?

How about a nice warm bed for the evening and a good 12 hours’ sleep?

Well, sadly that wasn’t an option for the 40-something Expedition 12K Raleigh Venturers we met at KK airport on Sunday 7 October! As soon as everyone had the time to become acquainted with their Delta training groups, and as many misplaced sleeping bags/phones/ rucksacks had been reunited with their owners, it was straight down to business.

First off it was time to head to the pool for the first official challenge – the swim assessment, essential before anyone can go diving with Raleigh.

Then, after some interesting cheese and cucumber sandwiches made lovingly by the Volunteer Managers (it’s amazing what you’ll eat when you’re hungry!) it was back on the coaches and straight to Base Camp for the whole team. An hour later and as everyone piled off the coaches we were treated to a rather special reception – the Host Country Venturers and PMs who had arrived the previous day and prepared a special ceremony for us in the form of a traditional bamboo stick dance, followed by a slightly less conventional Gangnam-style performance.

 Everyone was then introduced to their bashas where they would be sleeping for the next five nights, and despite the majority of people wanting to go to sleep then and there we all got together for our first proper meal of the expedition.
The next day there were no lie-ins, with breakfast served at 7 on the dot in anticipation of the first day of proper training, including energisers to get to know a bit more about each other and other sessions on using the radio, first aid training, river crossings and tools.

Then it was time for the Raleigh Olympics, and after a colourful opening ceremony where all five Delta groups put their skills on display, there were three rounds to sort the wheat from the chaff. First off was the tug of war,

followed by the almighty welly wanging challenge

and the final test of endurance – a massive water-based obstacle course, consisting of spinning around broomsticks, crawling under tarps, rolling tyres and a mini steeplechase – all while carrying a very precious mugful of water

After a good soaking for all Delta 1 emerged as the victors and opted for two tubs of ice cream rather than a gold medal. Who knows when they’ll get to eat it next! 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

And so it begins!

It's official - Expedition 12K has finally started!

Yesterday we welcomed 11 excited Host Country Volunteers (HCVs) from Sabah and West Malaysia to Fieldbase, ready for the start of their Raleigh adventure.

After making sure they all had the right kit we let them have a bit of a rest before waving them off for their swim assessment with PMs John, Emily and Keval and HCV Recruitment Co-ordinators Christian and Karlye. After that they all headed to Base Camp for their first night in the jungle... we hope they had a good sleep!

 Today we're off to the airport to meet the rest of our international Venturers and then will make our way over to Base Camp and the Raleigh Expedition 12K family will be complete.

We won't have an internet connection at Base Camp so this blog will be silent for the next few days, but keep an eye out at the end of the week for news on our jungle training and what projects everyone has been allocated to!