Saturday, 20 April 2013

Alpha 2's Opening Ceremony in Bulud Batu

Alpha 2's Opening Ceremony in Bulud Batu

By Jodi Mau (Logistics)

I had the honor of joining the Loop (Sarah and Helen) in attending the opening ceremony for Alpha 2’s gravity water feed in Bulud Batu.  After what seemed to be a endless rainstorm across Sabah, the day started with the sun shining and blue skies.

We had an early 6am start from Fieldbase, met our friends Coca-Cola in KK and headed up to Bulud Batu.  We were greeted at Aunty Rodiah’s by Alpha 2, who were obviously very excited for the day.  Emma and Jacob led the welcome committee, pinning red ribbons on the honored guests from Pacos, Coca-Cola, the Police, and surrounding villages.

Alpha 2 preparing for the ceremony
With a sea of red Coca-Cola/Raleigh t-shirts in the front rows the opening ceremony was kicked off by our MCs Erwin and Nigel.  The ceremony started with a slideshow that Nigel put together.  The slideshow had highlights from all three phases, the group watched with pride as they relived what they are gone through.  It was great for Josh and Helen to be there as well since they had both been PMs with Alpha 2.  Unfortunately Connor was not able to attend as he is with Alpha 5 in Imbak Canyon, but I did my best to represent him well.

Jonny, Lou and Josh

Erwin and Nigel

Aunty Rodiah was the first to speak and walked us through the story of how we got to this special day, including the many challenges she faced when trying to find funding and assistance with other organizations and how Pacos, Raleigh and Coca-Cola came to Bulud Batu’s aid at just the right time.  She expressed her gratitude to all those involved and especially the Raleigh team.  You could tell throughout her speech, it was coming directly from the heart, you could feel the warmth in the room.

Aunty Rodiah
Ann, the Executive Director from Pacos followed emphasized the strength of the partnerships between Pacos, Raleigh and Coca-Cola and gave thanks to the Raleigh team in their hardwork through some challenging humps that they encountered along the way.

Coca-Cola then took the stage, Kadri Taib and Laura (translating from Coca-Cola) and spoke with great pride about the fact that Coca-Cola and Raleigh have brought water to not only to Bulud Batu, but Pinapak and Borobi as well over the last 3 months.  He also brought great news that gravity water feed projects will continue to receive funding through the end of 2014.  Excellent news for Sabah!

Sarah (our Country Director) then closed off the speeches first directly addressing Aunty and the villagers for their hospitality and welcoming the Raleigh team into their village, and ending with motivating words to get the team through to Endex.

Aunty and Sarah

The Project Managers that have seen the project through all three phases, Johnny and Lou, then took the stage.  With emotions running, they gave thanks to Aunty and the village for making them feel so at home and working with them so closely day after day.  Of course, a big thanks went out to the Venturers for being the hardworking motivated team that they are.

With all that said it was time to turn on the tap! Leaving the comfort of Aunty’s house the group walked down to Aunty’s tap.  The team had decorated the site with signs and of course, a red ribbon to cut! Aunty then turned the water on, cheers rang out through the crowd, and camera’s were going off like crazy. It was really great to share such a special moment with the team.  Once about 100 pictures were taking, we headed back up to Aunty’s for a dance!

Aunty and Uncle prepared a dance with Alpha 2 to a favorite local song.  Accompanied with a live guitar and singing, the team put on an excellent performance.

Aunty then presented the guests with souvenirs which included some amazing necklaces and tissue box holders. There was true surprise and gratitude from some of the recipients of the gifts.   Aunty is such a generous and thoughtful lady, it was heart-warming to see others experience what a great woman she is.

We ended the ceremony with a meal and cold cans of Coca-Cola.  Dessert included Aunty’s famous pancakes, which for those of us that were returning to Alpha 2 from a previous visit were so excited to have these once again.  We stayed for as long as we possibly could, but eventually we had to hit the road and head back to Fieldbase.  It was an amazing day, and a memorable day for all those there.  There is now running water in Bulud Batu. WOW!


Anonymous said...

To: Natasha O'Sullivan
Alpha 8, phase 3

Dear Tash (aka Bear Gryll Junior),
We were so excited this morning to find a blogpost update for Alpha 8 written by you!
Wow! after no news for the last couple of weeks, a full description of your rainy expedition in the jungle. I loved the description of your muddy walk as snowplowing through mud,or ice-skating. I flet for you all, and am in complete admiration that despite mud,rain and leeches you all had a good time.
The pictures really gave a feel for what you have been through.The picture of you all at Long Pasia, you all look muddy and dishevelled. But the picture of you at the end of the trek all at dinner, looks like you're elated to be at the end of the trek.
I also loved the picture of you in wetsuit and snorkels enjoying being in the sea and sunshine.
I can't believe that you've now reached the end of your raleigh experience. What an amazing series of porjects.Unforgettable, I'm sure.
Things are ok at our end. We've all booked flights to Singapore. Kevin and Daniel arrive on June 17th, and I arrive on 18th. Kev is booking a hotel and we'll get those details to you.Can't wait to see you, can't wait to give you a big hug!!
Kevin has been in Istanbul this week. I've been at home.Daniel had a good week and showed some improvements. The weather is finally improving in London and we've been out walking in the park every evening. the highlight of my week was going to the ballet with Ime, we went to the royal Opera House to see Mayerling (a slightly crazy but passionate ballet). Next week, I have a board meeting, so lots of work to do and it will be a full-onn week.
I hope to hear from you soon, hope you enjoy the final parties for the end of project Raleigh.Let us know what your travel plans are.
Take care,
Lots and lots of love,

Wibble said...

To Mitchell Wodcke Alpha 7 or Alpha 2

Ahhh I'm so excited, only 5 days til I see you! :D :D :D
Just read the blog post about the Bulud Batu opening ceremony and was glad to see you in the photos. I wasn't sure if you'd be able to go with your trek but I'm guessing you've finished it now - well done!!!
Seriously can't wait until Friday to hear about everything you've been up to and see all your photos. Gonna be such an amazing day!
Hope this gets to you okay - I wasn't sure what alpha group to put so I put both just in case.
I hope you have an amazing Endex and a safe journey back :)
Love you lots and lots and lots!
From your Wibble xxx

Lucy McMahon said...

Lou hake alpha 2

Well done Lou! It's amazing all you guys have achieved and the villagers must be so grateful. Am sure you are going to find it hard to leave them all. Sending you lots of love. Luce xx

Raymond Hogan said...

For Connor Hogan -Alpha 5.
Dia Duit a Chonuir, agus conas ata tu?
We are counting the days - I can't believe it's now April...almost May...
I'm so sorry about your phone - I'm sure you are very upset about it - not just the phone but the photos and of course all the contacts.
I'm hoping that you'll be able to pick up something cheap back in Kota Kinabalu to contact us leading up to and during your journey home.
Do you remember all the details? - I'll send info through to your e-mail account just in case.
All's good back here - Mum's moved on to her new job at the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit - it's turned out to be a good move - she's really enjoying the challenge and the change of working environment. Niall & Fiona say Hi. Niall is continuing to spread the joy that is he, and Fiona....well I know she's somewhere in amongst all those books..
We are really starting to get excited now at the prospect of seeing you again.
There's going to be an almighty roar at the arrivals lounge of Belfast City Airport whenever you stroll in - and that'll just be your mum.
I'm taking time out from marking scripts and getting ready to start timetabling for September - some things never change!!
Okay - I can hear a whip cracking - Mum must be home!!
I miss you - we all do.
Stay safe.
Love you.


Oli T said...

Miss Lou Hake, and the rest of the team - WELL DONE - not only have you achieved something amazing, and altruistic, but you look so healthy and happy on it too !

Looking forward to having my friend back from the jungle, but at the same time - enjoy the rest of your onward travels, all of you - and congratulations again :-) x