Saturday, 24 November 2012

Water, water everywhere

Sally from the logistics team went along to the opening ceremony of the gravity water feed that was built by Alpha 2 in Kampung Nungguh. Here is her report of a very memorable day:
I had the privilege of visiting Kampung Nungguh today to join the local community, partner representatives and the fantastic Alpha 2 group to celebrate the opening of the newly installed gravity water feed (sponsored by Coca-Cola). Speeches were given, dances showcased, gifts exchanged and local delicacies eaten to celebrate the first completed project of 12K.

The villagers of Kampung Nungguh with Alpha 2

The celebrations kicked off with speeches from AFC and a Pitas District Official, but the one that really hit home came from Rose, the Headman’s daughter.
Rose took to the stage for the first time on behalf of her father and said a few heartfelt words: “On behalf of the JKK and Kg Nungguh, I wish to give everyone a million thank yous for making this project happen. We have been living for a long time without water as the small local river often dries up. We have spent a long time looking for wet areas as a possible water source or putting pots outside to collect rain water, as we do not have time to go to the river far away. After working in the fields, we often collect water on our way home, but this is a very hard task and very tiring. To stop doing this and turn on a tap is incredible and I cannot thank everyone enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Ben and Noah act as official interpreters for the event

Everyone takes part in a traditional local dance

With a lump in my throat, I was hearing first-hand how big an impact Raleigh’s work has and how having fresh, running water will improve so many lives, something that we take for granted.  And this is just one project of five on this expedition. This is why we’re here; this is what it’s all about.
Mr Masrin, the Village Headman, presents Sarah with their thank you gift for Raleigh

And to reinforce my sentiments, Raleigh Borneo’s Country Programme Manager Sarah took to the stage, not only to thank the officials, but to acknowledge and thank both Raleigh groups from Phase 1 and Phase 2: “You should be very proud of this moment and be super impressed with what you have achieved!”

Down in Danum...

Here's an update from Alpha 3 about what they've been up to in Danum Valley (with a particular thanks to Kate, Lucy and Steffi).
Alpha 3 left Basecamp bright and early for their 10-hour ride to Danum Valley. On arrival, Boris the boar was there to welcome them to their new home. After a quick tour of the site, slops pit dug and a hearty meal enjoyed, a good night's sleep was on the cards.
Over the next few days of getting to know each other, we discovered that Lucy sleep talks, Stu has an unhealthy love for his parang and Maddie can only cope with leeches by tearing her clothes off and chucking them at someone...
Making the most of our last day off before the hard graft had to start,  we took a trip to the tree platform...not just any tree, a really really  REALLY big tree!
So the first day of work came upon us, which involved hauling sand up from the bottom of the steep hill to the top repeatedly. For four hours. After blood, sweat and a few tears, the work paid off and we were ready to start the concrete for the four columns for the water tank.


Following a minor weather delay (which was rather welcome really), the team got the columns up in no time. In fact, due to our cracking progress we took time out to explore more of Danum, starting off with the Coffin Trail, which did not disappoint, both with its wildlife and history.
 We also visited Tembling Waterfall, where we all had a nice jungle shower!
Meanwhile back at camp we had a few unexpected visitors. Firstly some hungry monkeys decided to have a midnight feast and broke into the biscuit tin. Second, Boris clearly thought he smelt too bad and stole Steffi's soap, then swallowed Angharad's toothbrush and lastly took the opportunity while we were at dinner to steal someone's toothpaste. Unfortunately, however, he still smells awful!
Then one afternoon an orangutan decided to pop in and snoop around the camp, catching Maddie and Komal rather by surprise...clearly the best escape was to lock themselves in the toilet! They obviously made a good impression as he decided to set up our camp!
Never mind Raleigh's essential kit list...Komal clearly knew GHD straighteners were another jungle essential. But it wasn't the girls who jumped on the hot iron plates, but Kenly, Stuart, Jon and Keval, who insisted on a full hair and beauty session....

We also discovered some budding chefs in Malcolm, Jon and Kenly, who have cooked us some delicious Sabah meals. And, with Iona's creativity with the Raleigh Rations, we've enjoyed some delicious dishes, including noodle soup and banana fritters. So you could say we’ve all been fed pretty well so far!

Monday, 19 November 2012

More messages from the jungle...

A few of us Fieldbase lot have just got back from an eventful trip on the Loop (more on this soon!) and have returned with some more messages for some of you loved ones, this time from Kate, Iona, Steffi, Malcolm, Lucy, Komal, Maddie, Matt, Coral and Angharad.

Dear Michaela,
I was so excited to see the blog message from you! I’m all good and yes its hard work but its sooooo good at the same time. Mum’s told me you’re working at Mead Vale – that’s so good that you’ve got some work and I hope it’s going well there. I’m half way through now, it’s gone fast already! Hope you are all well at home and can’t wait to show you all the photos and tell you all about it when I’m back – book an evening in already!!
Take care, Love Kate xxxxxxxxxx

Hi Mali
Thanks so much for all the letters, give mine a chance to get back! That is such incredible news about the house; I can’t wait for us to move in!!! I hope you have lots planned for Dec and Jan, please have koek sisters, rusks and biltong stocked up for when I get back =)
All my love to everybody, Iona xxxxxx


Dearest Mum, Dad and Bruce
Thank you so much for your letters and messages. I am missing you all dearly, even you Bruce!! I can’t believe how long I have been away for and how quickly it seems to be passing me by. I can not wait to see you all and get some of your lovely cooking in my tummy mummy. Dad, I hope you are looking after yourself and that you are getting some well earned rest when you get home. Lastly Bruce, I hope you are well and try not to anger mum too much because knowing her, I will probably get it in the neck when I’m back J
Lots of love Steffi x

Shout out to friends, family and relatives in Tamparuli, Penampang, Miri and around the world. Take care and have a nice day! J
Malcolm Liew


Hey Al, Gem, El and Katie
How are you? It was lovely to hear from you ! How’s L’pool life going? Hahaha
I have sent you all a letter in the post so I hope you get them soon! Hope you are all well! See you at Christmas whoop whoop
Lots and lots of love Lucy xxxxxxx

Dear everyone who knows Komal
I hope you are enjoying the blogs. Having a great time in Danum Valley with Alpha 3. I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. See you all soon.
Komal xxx


Hello Newton Family and Soph!
Having an amazing time! I was at changeover when you sent the pictures. However have no idea what pink trousers you are talking about. The orangutans have almost come close to my hair as one chased me into the toilet! Was all ok though, scary a the time! Hope you’re all ok. Received the letters, tell  James thanks for the spider and Henry is right. “We’ll see” does mean YES, so make sure he gets those wotsits.
Love you all + miss you, Love Mads xxxx
PS Check out my Xmas list in my letter hahaha

Dear Mum, Dad and Jessie
I got your letter yesterday, loving the Percy Pigs – thank you! Danum Valley is great, almost getting bored of Orangutans now!!  Looking forward to calling you guys at change over.
From Matt

To Ben, George and Andy
Looking forward to seeing you guys when I’m back, hope uni is going great for you all. Definitely needs a post New Years Eve beer and burger at Spoons!!
See you guys in 2013!
Matt x

HI Mum, Dad and Everyone
Got your letters yesterday, and sent you and grans one back but not sure when they will get to you! I’m having an amazing time on the gravity water feed. I hope you’re all good at home and not missing me too much, miss you all.
Love Coral xxxx

To Branwen
Thanks for the messages, got printed off version on the loop visit. Wrote a letter to you after the voicemail, expect it in a month or so! Got the deet package, THANK YOU!
Having a super time, hope Halls enjoyed Harry Potter studios. Think of you all a lot, pass on my love at Thanksgiving!Very excited about the climb, feet are on form. Love to the family,
Miss you , lots of love Angharad xxxxxxxx