Monday, 11 February 2013

Community PPVs - Alpha 3

Alpha 3: Gravity water feed project - Pinapak and Boribi
Xenia, Ali and Kat

Our recent project planning visit (PPV) we started at the first site of Pinapak. En route, we took in stunning views of Mount Kinabalu, local flora - including tapioca, birds of paradise, hibiscus', local chickens -that do actually cross the road - and an abundance of native butterflies. When we arrived in the 4x4's, after a bit of offroad driving and a suspension bridge crossing over the river into the village, we spent two nights in the JKK's home (the head of the village) that he'd hand built himself out of wood. 

The JJK's house
We were made to feel very welcome by all the villagers, especially the children and although some folks were a little shy about practicing their English at first, they soon came round. We were invited to play volleyball so if anyone has any football skills you will definitely be called upon to play on the village pitch. Not everyone in the community speaks English, especially the older generation, so a few Malay phrases will come in very handy.

Xenia, Kat and Alison
The conditions are basic (remember that we are installing running water!) and so bathing will be in the river. We saw the house we'll all be staying in - it'll be a squeeze and we'll be sleeping on the floor under a mozzie net but we will definitely make it a home from home very quickly - Venturers, don't forget your roll mat. Any electricity is via a generator but we won't have one at the house, so spare camera batteries are essential. It's also worth noting that karaoke is a big deal in the villages, so we'll be brushing up our singing voices!

The second two phases of this project will take place in kampong Boribi is a village consisting of about 50 houses with a population of 140 people. Raleigh, last summer put in a gravity water feed to half of the village and now we have been invited back to complete a new gravity water feed to give the remaining half of the village taps of water to their homes. 

Alison, Xenia and Kat
The accommodation in the village is great. We have use of a community hall and a separate communal area for eating and socialising. There is running water from a tap outside - thanks to Raleigh last summer - and electricity for lights! Luxury! It's an amazing village, with really friendly people who are keen for us to get involved through our project and sports. They are also keen for homestays for anyone who is interested. The community are very organised and have clear plans of what they want and will be providing help to us during the project which will take two phases to complete. Exciting times.

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