Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Loop visit Alpha Two

Alice in Wonderland in the Jungle...

Lou, Sabrina and Jonny

One of my favorite and most bizarre 24 hours on Raleigh was visiting Alpha Two on The Loop.

As we drove up the dirt track to Aunty's house we were greeted by Sabrina dressed as a rabbit; fluffy tail and all... Then Tweedledum and Tweedledee (aka Jonny & Lou) greeted us with their big round bellies held in by duck tape braces and lead us down the track to their camp. 

Sabrina skipped along the track with lush green plants glistening in the bright sunshine. suddenly she dipped down the hill and then out came Harry - another rabbit this time with a strong Northen accent urging us to hurry up for an important meeting...

Joesph and Jodi cutting into the jam tart

Totally bemused we followed him down the hill to see Eline, dressed in a blue and white checkered dress (the perfect Alice costume) wandering around looking lost. As she shared her snacks and drinks with us we caught glimpses of a Welcome to Wonderland sign at Alpha Two's camp.

What a welcome we got with the March Hair, Queen of Hearts, Guards and all of the other characters inviting us to their tea party. Jimmy played The Mad Hatter character brilliantly directing the proceedings as tea and jam tart was served.

Then for a (slightly rigged) quiz between The Loop and The PMs. As the loosing team we were put in chains (Awas Tape) and the guards marched us through the jungle down to the dam site to be beheaded by the header tanks (see what they did there..?!) 

Jonny and Joesph
The venturers described all of the work they had done with such passion it was clear to see how committed they are to the project. The dam is built and the piping being laid with the aim of the first tap being fitted and switched on by the end of this phase. There's a lot of work to do but with such a great team behind it we're confident we'll get there. Especially with the support from the village and the determination to equip them with clean safe water, something the ventures had taken for granted until now. 

Back to their beautiful camp with bamboo roofing over the dining area and a well kitted out kitchen where they prepared our Wonderland Feast.

And what a feast it was... 
In keeping with the Mad Hatters Tea Party the meal was served backwards. Bonoffee Pie for starters - absolutely delicious! Then for the main of duck brain curry (lentil and veg..!) To finish we were treated to mock turtle soup (winter melon and vegetable stock) with homemade flatbread.

We were Completely stuffed and super impressed with how much effort the team had put into their costumes, cooking dinner and making sure we were thoroughly looked after the entire day.

Then there was one last treat in store for us when we entered the Wonderland spa. Fantastic massages around the camp fire from Sal, Shirley, Harry and Sabrina were much needed after so much time in the bravo over the past few days.

The Loop and Eline

The stars even joined in the party shooting across the sky as we stargazed in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. 

As if the incredible effort they had put into our visit wasn't enough they proved just what a hardworking team they are as we joined them for a mornings work the following day. 

Coinciding with World Water Day they were letting the dam fill for a ceremony with the village in the afternoon. The morning was spent laying piping and clearing the tracks. With such a sprawling village it's hot, hard work but they work together brilliantly. Splitting into three teams to be the most productive they can at a times.

It was time to leave but I could have easily stayed for a few more days (weeks, months..!) but it was time for us to hit the road again to Alpha Three. I'm really looking forward to catching up with everyone at changeover to see the progress they made and hear more about the beautiful village of Bulud Batu.

Alpha Two


Izzat Sajdi said...

To Jude Sajdi - Alpha 1

Hello Jude
How are you doing? We are following the Blog and hope that an update on Alpha 1 is coming soon.
We are fine. Zein completed the 2 days MUN and now spending the rest of the time with her team in London. She will return Thursday evening. Aziz will finish his exams Wed 27/3 and will return home on 28/3. Lina and Mohammad will come to Amman on 12/4 for 1 month.His company agreed that he could work from Amman and not from Dubai so he will try this for 2 weeks. Great if it works out.
Yesterday we had the KAII Award for Excellence team for an on-site assessment for 2 days. It was a very busy month.
Weather is improving. Everybody says hello.
Take care
xxx Baba and Mama

Wanda said...

For Caspar van Doremalen, alpha 1


Nog steeds geen update :( Ik check de website altijd twee keer per dag, maar helaas nog steeds niks. Gelukkig heb ik vandaag je derde brief ontvangen! Dus nu weet ik wel wat je daar allemaal doet. Super leuk om te lezen hoe leuk het daar is en dat die kinderen zo gefascineerd zijn van jullie. En dat je zo veel met ze speelt. Dat watergevecht in de rivier lijkt me geweldig.. :D

Doe je goed je best? Work hard!!
Gambatte! Zoals ze het in het Japans zouden zeggen haha.

Ik ga je binnenkort weer een brief schrijven, vorige week heb ik de eerste gepost (wat bestaat uit voornamelijk onzin, maar ach!). Ik vraag me af wanneer je die krijgt.
Ik moet je nog van alles vertellen over het feest van afgelopen zaterdag! Het was geweldig, echt super gezellig. Jammer dat je er niet bij was though.

Blijf me brieven sturen, ik word er altijd onwijs happy van!



Anonymous said...

To Jonny Tolson - alpha 2

Hi Jonny,
Looks like you are having a great time! The outfits are great. Hope all is going well. Joel and I are getting very excited about coming to meet you! Hopefully I will speak to you soon and can let you know your flight details.
Missing you! Have fun and take care. Thinking of you.
Love Tan x x x x x x

Anonymous said...

for Lewi Wyatt - Alpha 3

Hi Lewi, Hope you are enjoying yourself at Kampang Bombi and the Gravity water feed project is going well! Missing you and thinking of you all the time. It's absolutely freezing here, coldest March for 50 years. Hope you have received the box of goodies I sent, it should have arrived by now, if not it should get there soon.Watched Skyfall at the weekend, had a girly night with grambo, aunty Sary, Claire and kath, and Anna ,Alice and Jennie, actually didn't see much of the film too much chatting and giggling. Everyone sends their love, and we are all very proud of you. Hope to see your write up on the blog soon. love and hugs mum xxxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Naveed (alpha 5 )
How are you? I hope fine and enjoying yourself. How is your new project coming along. I think you all are doing an awesome. You all are truly blessed for helping and improving other peoples lives. How is the bridge coming along. I hope you have taken some beautiful pictures of the sunrise and sunset. We all miss u very much especially your mum. Keep up the good work and i hope you are having loads of fun.tc. love from khatoon masi, joshua masi and family. Xx

Anonymous said...

Lou Alpha 2. Hi Lou, just catching up on all your news, sooo impressed with all the work you are doing, photos really do show what hard work it is.. what a fantastic production of "Alice", very impressed with the costumes, black tie dinner looked very posh! It's Wednesday and the girls will leave tomorrow. It's not been easy as still feel 'under the weather' but they had 2 nights with Danielle, which was a real help, they went to H Potter all day yesterday, which they loved. We've had snow ++ and it's been so cold, so we are desperate for some of your sunshine. I really love reading the blogs as it does give a good insight to your life out there, and how beautiful it must be. Hope you are keeping well and enjoying it all. Love you lots Mum XXXXXXX

Valerie Lim said...

To Sabrina Hoong (alpha 2)

HEY SABBY!!! you looked so cute with rabbit ears :3 we have received the letter from you last week and immediately replied and sent to you. hope it has reached you! :D my life's update would be me being able to secure a room today so that i can move in by june :))))) the room is so spacious and the place is definitely decent. there are so many people who are after the room so i really have to be thankful to God otherwise i wouldnt be able to secure it haha.

i can see you're enjoying so far! finally can see big smile on your face! remember to eat more so that you won't lose too much weight.

we all miss you from home! xx

Anonymous said...

Lou Alpha 2, Hi Lou, just received your letter, such a treat in the middle of all the junk mail! Will pass on the letter for Jane and Andrew, waiting to hear from Jane...they were in SA. Was great to hear all the details,and imagine you sitting at your breakfast table! Keep up the good work...back breaking work by the sounds of it!
Dad would be proud of you....go for it. Danielle is home over Easter so she'll get to read your letter then, she can pass it on to Elaine. take care, lots of love Mum xxxxxxxxxx

Wibble said...

To Mitchell Wodcke Alpha 2

Your letter arrived today!!! I was so happy I jumped around for a bit and ran and told my mum hehe. I really wanted to open it then but I had to leave for my interview at the hospital and I didn't want to rush it, so when I came back I opened it straight away and it made me smile so much! I really miss you too and have still been thinking about you every day, you're like the first thing I think about when I wake up ^_^
Really excited about you being able to phone me. I'm assuming it'll be some point during the first week of April? If it is then I'm free all day Monday but Tuesday to Friday I'm not free until late evening cos of training courses and stuffs which would be like the middle of the night for you :/. Saturday though I'm free before 2pm which I think would be before 9pm for you, and Sunday I'm free after 3pm so after 10pm in Borneo. But if it's the week after (8th - 14th) then I'm free all of Monday and Wednesday but working the other days so not free until around 3pm or before 2pm on Saturday. Wah why am I so busies at the moment?! But to be honest I'll keep my phone on every night from now on so if it's easier for you to call during the morning/daytime then I really don't mind being woken up if it means I get to speak to you, so don't not call just because it's the middle of the night in England! Or I will be sad :(
Yay I'm so happy right now, your letter has completely made my day :D Already looking forward to the next one if you did manage to get time to write it. Looks like you've been doing lots of fun crazy things recreating Alice in Wonderland. You look very funny in your card outfit, it made me laugh :P
Anyways got to dash off for some more shadowing at the care home now. Also my interview at the hospital went really well so I'm starting there on Tuesday 9th, yay!
Love you so so much!
From your Wibble xxx

Anonymous said...


Hi Harry,

writing to you on behalf of all the Ashes. HOW ARE YOU???!!!! bet youre having an amazing time. I have jsut flicked through the borneo blog and seen a picture of you running somewhere wearing a bowl on your chest and some sort of ludicrous ears! hahahahaha! you look ridiculous! but still, looks like youre having a wild time. i am unbearably jealous of you! have heard a bit from Henry who says he is havign a really good time, and loving it all, as im sure you are too! met some lovely people i bet! im sure youve been in contact with family, but the weather in the uk is absolutely dreadful. we are just permanently waking up to tons of snow, its all relatively tedious if imhonest! would far rather be building stuff etc in borneo. ashes are all fine, henry sends his love from quite literally the other side of the world! hopes youre having fun and is looking forward to exchanging stories when you get back i think! we are about to go skiing in chamonix where it is forecast to rain but it is snowing in yorkshire. typical really. anyway, others are back now so must dash. continue to have fun though! lots of love arwot, bobbie, mill, james (who wrote this), and hen xx

Lucy McMahon said...

Lou hake alpha two
Nice bump Lou! Suits you as does the tasche. Looks like its all going well. Loads of love. Luce and the gang. Xxx

Anonymous said...

To Tom Rumble
Newcastle Uni

Can't wait to see an update from the Uni lot. (Hint, hint)

Happy birthday, son. Wish you were here so we could celebrate. It is truly the ambient temperature here. Barney is in excellent voice, and he & Katy are getting on as well as usual. He loves Josh too!
Grandma & grandpa sent a cheque for your birthday which Dad has paid into your account.
Have a great day, it'll be a different scene from last year in the alps!
With all our love mum & dad xxxx

Nature Mum said...

Nature notes from abroad for Max Sheldon Alpha 7
Dear Max,
I've just been out in the garden to feed the birds who are still needing a lot of feeding. Those fat feral pigeons ate nearly everything on the bird table in the front garden almost as soon as I'd put it out. And those fat Buff Orpingtons are out there hoovering up any food that their wild cousins have dropped. The frog spawn is doing well, probably because the cold weather has kept the newts at bay for the time being. Even the elder is only reluctantly showing its leaves and the daffodils are putting a brave face on it, althought I think they're wary of being flattened by snowfall.
Looking forward to sharing it all with you when you get back.
Lots of love Mum. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Caroline said...

For Asher (Alpha 2) Hello darling Asher! This is my second attempt at sending you a message as I just seem to have despatched the last one into the void (unless it did actually get through – there doesn’t seem to be any way of checking). It has been wonderful being spoilt with two reports on the doings of Alpha 2 on the Raleigh blog – each time one comes through we examine the photos for signs of you (not always easy to find) and we laughed to see that you had chosen the guise of caterpillar in the Alice in Wonderland welcome to the Loop! I am wondering how the second part of your adventure has been, staying in Raleigh’s Gucci camp (as described on the blog, for its relative comfort) and how the presumably pretty hard work of building the gravity water feed in the heat has been. I wonder whether you have begun to brace yourself now for the trek through the jungle. All is well here though you can be glad to be missing this interminable winter – it has been and is soooo cold. It is the first time I can remember my birthday in snow (with the daffodils poking through). My birthday was lovely and orchestrated by Lara and Dad. After a lovely snowy walk with Pepper we went on a mystery visit into town to a restaurant called Skylon, overlooking the Thames , where we had a lovely meal. Then back home to presents in front of the fire with lots of flowers and candles and later in the evening another more modest meal with John and Lisa – our standard birthday props and co-celebrators! Your letter hasn’t arrived yet and mine has probably not reached you either. I am already excited at the prospect of your return to Base Camp and the possible prospect of talking to you soon. It was so lovely to hear your voice when we were in Marrakech. I hope you are well and happy. Much love – Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Lara said...

To Asher, Alpha 2.

Hey bro! Writing to you turns out to be an excellent alternative to revising the structure and function of cytoskeletal elements... Looking through all the photos I can't believe you're actually out there, looks like you're having an amazing time and mum said something about eating snakes/lizards? Nom... I'm heading down to Brighton tomorrow with Julia and Kate to remind ourselves what we missed about sleeping in grimy 15-bed hostels, back on Saturday and Robert's arriving Sunday night. And I'm nearly 21?! If you're in basecamp this weekend it would be great to talk, I can live vicariously through you during exam term. Also, thinking of doing a 14 day trek at the end of my teaching stint in Nepal, which looks awesome - possibly to Everest Base Camp, or around a national park. Either way, excited to travel again. Miss you! It means I have to fight with Dad instead. And I still haven't worked out how to use the car radio...
Lots of love, La

Anonymous said...

Hi Harry
Amazing blog - love the rabbit! D and I both home now and looking forward to talking to you hopefully on Sunday. GA is coming tomorrow and girls later today. I have wished Phoebe happy birthday from you and all of us and will find her a K9 treat later today. Norman is staying at the moment and Hector has disappeared!
Lots of love
M and D xxxxxxxxxxxxx