Friday, 8 March 2013

Alpha 2 - Gravity Water Feed Visit

I arrived in Bulud Batu around 2pm on Sunday afternoon and found most of Alpha 2 finishing their 'Sunday Lunch' at the Head Woman, Rodiah’s house.  Alpha two are lucky to be regularly invited to Rodiah’s (AKA Aunty) house for meals and entertainment, such as karaoke. 

Nicki, Jake, Hugh, Sjoerd and Sabine

The Alpha 2 PMs Connor, Jonny and Lou
Raleigh Camp

Sam, Lou, Alex, Vinnie, Connor, Andrew, Jonny

After lunch the Venturers led their first English lesson for the locals. In the 1.5hr lesson they taught them introductions and greetings, how to count from one to ten, some animals, the days of the weeks and months of the year, weather and body parts – as assisted by the song ‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes’. We were most impressed with how confident and interactive Aunty was. However, despite clearly enjoying the session many of the students were a little less confident and shy. That said, as a few of the group were at university (which is taught in English) in future classes the Venturers felt it would be best to split the group in terms of their level of ability, rather than running a large all inclusive class or one divided purely by age. 

The group were enjoing their day off which had started the day before with a BBQ of fish and chicken legs at the Raleigh Camp, courtesy again of their very generous neighbours. They were very chatty and eager to update me with all the community interaction they had experienced.

Vinnie, Andrew, Dwana and Cat

The community here – despite being spread out over a large area – are very close and cannot do enough to support the Raleigh group. The luxurious camp area is evidence of this. They have been constantly popping by to help the group with their camp improvements including a kitchen area complete with shelving for food, an area for the hob and a table (complete with cloth); a shelving area for their shoes and boots; a covered clothes drying area for overnight protection from the rain and even the instillation of a tap for washing hands after visiting the isle of the long drop. The group have clearly been busy and this is definitely the Raleigh Gucci Camp.

The toilet seat - thanks to Connor, Vinnie and Sam

The actual gravity water feed project itself is also going very well. From photos the group have showed me, they have already made a great start. During my brief visit the group finished digging the four holes that will hold the 400 gallon tanks and reinforced them with steel wire mesh to give extra stability to the concrete – which as I left on Tuesday (5th) was being mixed, ready to pour. 

Lou with Cat, Sam and Sjoerd

In addition to this a second group were working on the area around the small water source that will soon house a weir/dam. This will enable the water to be successfully diverted into the tanks and the village. 

Alex and Sabine finishing off the holes

Hugh and Andrew

The weir will also be constructed with cement and aggregate which will be laid on top of an arrangement of larger rocks which have been strategically moved into place.

Hugh, Jonny and the locals

Hugh, Jo (me), Aunty (the Head Woman) Jonny, Lou and Alex

As you can see the group are lucky to be working under a shelter of trees which provide a little relief from the hot Sabah Sun but the group also have a two hour break for lunch every day which enables them to escape the mid-day heat, chill out and regroup.

Having now seen the small water source, it seems incredible that over the next few months the Raleigh teams will (with the help and support of the locals) provide fresh running water to 107 people, which will drastically improve their lives. The PMs are hoping there might even be possibility of extending the project to even more villages.

The Alpha 2 'Gucci Camp'

It really was a great project to visit and it was obvious how much the group love being in Bulud Batu. I'm looking forward to uploading more updates and pictures after changeover when the next team go in. 

Updates from the Loop's recent visits to the static project sites, the Alpha 3 gravity water feed opening ceremony report and our trekkers and divers to follow shortly.


Amanda said...

Message for Sarah Greener arriving in Sabah with the week 7 group Sat 9 March.
Dear Sarah,
You have a place at UEA!
Love Mum and Dad

Elaine Sedman said...

For Alex Williams Alpha 9
Hi Alex
Grandad was thrilled to speak to you this morning and I have heard all your news. Mum & Dad have just had lunch with us (roast beef and yorkshire pudding!). It was a lovely Mothers Day surprise for her to get your phonecall and she loved her bead and card. Thank you for my flowers. I am going to Isle of Wight with Rosemary on Tuesday until Friday but it won't be as exciting as your trip. Looking forward to hearing which project you are on next - whatever you do just enjoy it and make the most of the experience. Lots of love Nanaxx

Tim de Putron said...

To Hugh BIrley

Hope all is going well


Alexandra O'Connor said...

Message for Vincent O'Connor;
Was expecting to see a lot less of u the way you've carried on ;0)
Keep it up Vincent, were all so proud of u!!
Love your bug sis x

Elaine said...

Message for Fiona Bell Borneo 13C.
Dear Fiona,
Hope all going well and you're acclimatising to the heat. Spring has returned to winter here-been snowing. Poor Bonnie just had hair cut in time for this cold snap. She's snoozing waiting for me to get sorted for her walk. Off to the Knapps while sun shining. No swimming today-Knapps loch frozen! Love Mum xx