Monday, 4 February 2013

Drum 'n' Basecamp

Selamat pagi! Good morning!

So we Volunteer Managers are back from our first weekend in the Borneo jungle. We had an action packed weekend leaving Fieldbase at 7am on Friday and returning yesterday (Sunday) at lunchtime and catching up on some sleep.

Basecamp is lovely. In my opinion it could be packaged up as a jungle retreat. With lots of bamboo, a picturesque river and stunning views on the drive down, there was something very calm about the green space. It was lovely and I think everyone enjoyed the new location for our training. 

Meet the Tango groups:

Tango 1: Sarah M, Sam, Kate, Fiona, Kris, Beth, Bec, Alison, Barry and Refat

Tango 2: Jonny, Ali, Kath, Alyrene, Josh, Harriet, Amanda, Connor, Natalie T, Lou, Fred and Sarah B

Tango 3: Kat, Jude, Jo, Ian, Helen, Nat J, Jodi, Mike, Xenia, John and Sarah J

In our three Tango groups we practiced our radio theory and got to grips with setting up and radioing in; received some great medical training from the medics; carried out safety planning exercises and a river crossing and discussed various emergency protocols. 
Raleigh Rations

With all this training it was essential to keep our bodies hydrated and fueled and so we cooked up a storm with our Raleigh rations on a trangia – I hope the new Venturers like porridge, crackers, noodles and pasta. 

Our pasta was followed by a samba band lesson and the 35 of us sounded quite good by the end of the session - we even mastered stopping all together at the same time. This was the perfect end to the day as everyone really got into it - if you want to have a little glimpse at our evening click the link below for a video clip.

Becoming a samba band in our longs

The bashas
After spending our first night in a row of bashas (jungle beds) with our mosquito nets around us, Saturday was another early start with breakfast at 7am and more medical training from 7.30am. We then received our jungle training from Floyd (Floyd can do anything from forming samba bands to jungle craft and trek guiding). 

He taught us how to use a parang (machete); how to make long drops; communal areas and most importantly our jungle beds – although whilst feeling quite confident with these techniques at the time, after a 2.5hr hike in the midday sun carrying our bags, rations, three bowls, sleeping equipment, radio and communal tarp on a roll (AKA sausage roll) up and down narrow and sometimes slippery terrain, my bed for one, was not quite as good as I’d have liked – and this first attempt definitely took longer than Floyd’s - but I like many, was proud that it stayed up all night and I didn't fall out!

Tango 1: In the jungle

Before bed Floyd gave us a little talk about cultural sensitivities in Borneo and about the Jungle Spirits. Great talk but a little bit scary right before bed as let me tell you the jungle at night is far from peaceful. With the rustling of trees; sounds of branches snapping and falling; birds and insects chattering and the nearby river, there were plenty of distractions but most of us got a few hours before our 5am start to pack it all back up, eat breakfast and hike back to Basecamp for the project allocations. We even made it back with time for a quick dip in the river – which provided much relief to our insect bites.

Tango 3: Post trek cooling off in the river

All in all this jungle training weekend was amazing! It was challenging, action packed and really educational. There’s no doubt about it, the Venturers on the 13C expedition really are in for some great times in Borneo with some absolutely fantastic Project Managers and a really strong Fieldbase team.

Tango 2: at jungle camp

I look forward to revealing the project allocations over the next few days as the PM’s complete their site visits.

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