Thursday, 11 April 2013

Bulud Batu - The Community View

Bulud Batu was chosen for a gravity water feed by one of Raleigh’s partner organisations – PACOS   who are a community based organisation dedicated to supporting and empowering indigenous communities in Sabah. Aunty Rodiah, the head woman, is an amazing woman.  Not only is it unusual that Bulud Batu have a head woman, but she is even more unusual as she was elected. However, on meeting her this is less surprising as her passion and warmth is infectious.

Aunty Rodiah
 As well as being in charge at Bulud Batu she is also responsible for four other villages in the area and was very excited to hear that it was her village that was to be the first of these to work with Raleigh to get a water system in place. 

Villagers welcoming the PM's Lou, Jonny and Connor to Bulud Batu
She currently has no running water supply to her house or most of the other houses in the sprawling village, the only house that does have a supply of water is the house where alpha 2 are staying and the family make a daily trip of 20 minutes each way to fill up their jerry cans with the water for all their daily needs. In the dry season looking after the farm of rubber and palm oil as well as all the animals becomes increasingly difficult. The Raleigh gravity water feed will meet this basic human need and improve their quality of life dramatically; from hygiene and sanitation; to helping with farming; to making social life in the village that much easier. Family and food is so important to the community at Bulud Batu and running water will make family reunions and parties so much easier to cater for, Auntie hopes that relatives will visit more often once they have running water.

Villagers and venturers working together to lay pipe
Living as part of this community has really opened the eyes of the Alpha 2 Venturers. They have seen and experienced firsthand how it is to live without water at the turn of tap and are really appreciating the comforts of home. They understand the necessity of their project and how happy it is making the villagers. Communities here in Sabah don’t have the expertise or the money to build these systems for themselves but the project is so much more than laying pipes. The group has really integrated into village life and have been attending a local church and teaching English – Auny’s English is coming along in leaps and bounds and she is the most enthusiastic student in the class. Showing pictures of family from home and explaining their daily lives helps the village understand that life at home for the Venturers is like– very different from what they have seen on TV!

Alpha 2 phase 1 with the villagers of Bulud Batu
Strong relationships have been built during the installation of the water feed. At the beginning the villagers were a little baffled by the international group living in their village with their 3 bowls and Raleigh rations and rules which they found hard to understand, but they have learnt to live together and dinners are now a truly international affair with such delights as frankfurters, wild boar and chicken nuggets on the menu! 

Alpha 2 phase 2 having breakfast at Aunty Rohida's on their last day
The Venturers have learnt so much here in Bulud Batu, how difficult life can be without basic facilities they take for granted at home, learning not to be wasteful, the realisation that you can have an amazing shower with just one bucket of water,  the  value of family and community to people here in Sabah. Aunty and Uncle and the rest of the village will be sad to see them go but they will always be reminded of Raleigh when they turn on their taps and are able to use and enjoy fresh, clean water; the legacy of the partnership between Raleigh 13C, Pacos and the community of Bulud Batu.                                       


Anonymous said...

For Emily Kelly
Hi Emily, how are things? Your project sounds amazing and the scenery spectacular. I'm hoping one of the many new skills you will have learnt will involve the use of a saucepan maybe and something vaguely like a recipe so when at home you will be able to whisk something magical up for dinner and even the washing up won't be an alien concept.
Sadly, we're nearly at the end of our holidays, James is going back on Saturday and Samuel is going to London for the Monopoly run which he is looking forward to. Nanny and I enjoyed our trip to London but unfortunately the car had 2 sulks, the second one being in the bus lane outside the Albert Hall for about half an hour whilst we waited for the garage man to arrive and get her going again. I don't think she liked the hustle and bustle of London traffic, it was all too much for her - silly car. Anyway, make the most of every second you have left on your expedition and although you may want time to slow down we are all getting very excited about your return and hearing all about your adventures.
We all send our love and lots of hugs, mum, dad, James, Alice and Samuel.

Anonymous said...

Rosie Rich Alpha 8
Hi there! Received your letter today which was such a lovely surprise and always enjoyable to read about what you have been doing and experiencing.
I have warned Simon re new look long drop at The Tips this summer and he will start digging shortly. Ann told me last night that she has taken up bird watching as a hobby and joined the RSPB so perhaps the two of you can go to Minsmere together!
I will transfer funds via Western Union for you, though if you can give me some idea of how much you need beforehand, it would be useful. I understand you need your passport and a code. When you next get to an internet cafe, I can send you all the details.
Love to you as always Mum xxxxx

Mel and Dan said...

For Davin Chandra (Alpha 6 - Phase 3)

Hi Davin! Hope you're very well and enjoying the final few weeks of your adventure! We just read the blog update on the Bulud Batu community. It seems as if you and your fellow Alpha 2 venturers have been part of something really special! Felt quite emotional reading about the wonderful community. Very well done to you all :-)

How is the biodiversity study going in Alpha 6? Must be very exciting identifying new species. Have you started work on the research centre as yet? We read that there was quite a lot of water on the site. Hopefully, you'll be able to start construction soon.

Quick sports update...Chelsea are back in 3rd place in the premiership and are still in the FA and UEFA cup. Torres has scored quite a few goals recently, finally ;-) The Masters has started in Augustus with the youngest player ever taking part...a 14 year old from China, and Tiger Woods has regained his world number 1 ranking.

Enjoy the rest of your amazing Raleigh adventure!
Let us know what flights you would like us to book for your travels after. Everyone misses you so much. Stay safe. Love you so very much. Mum and Dad xxx

Ben Selby said...

Tom Selby, Alpha 3,

Hi there Tom, how are you doing? Sorry it’s taken so long for me to figure this blog/comment thing out, I'm still not sure if you'll get this. I hope you're having an amazing time in Borneo. There's been much debate about whether your new beard suits you or not - personally I quite like it! I'm looking forward to hearing all about your adventures when you get back.


I've got your cousins and grandparents to write you some messages. So here they are. Enjoy

Laura - Hope you're having a wonderful tine in Borneo and haven't been mistaken for one of the locals (orangutans) yet. I'm sure you're a true Smellby now

James - Hello Thomas, have you found anyone to tie your shoe laces yet? Hope you are having fun with your new friends (the orangutans).

Josh - Hey Tommy Wommy, Joshy Woshy here. Hope you're having a fantastic time in Borneo and pulling lots of local Amazonians wildlings. See you soon xxx

Sam - Hey Tom, hope Borneo is fun. Hope it’s not just the animals that are biting (James hijacking the message)

Bobba - Hi Tom. Am having a hectic 80th Birthday. Looking forwards to seeing you!! Bobba

Granny - Think Joshy Woshy got rather muddled! We all missed you at Bobba's 80th Birthday do! Looking forwards to return. Enjoying all the blogs. Anything happening to Alpha 3 - lost in the jungle?

Elaine said...

To PM Lou (Hake): HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS!!! Not sure where you are at the moment - maybe you've already left Bulud Batu? Hope you are having a nice birthday and got my package?! Drop me an email when you can! I'm good - heading back to Essex this evening for dinner with the NH girls and then to see mum. Danielle went to Egypt last week. Anyway, hopefully speak or hear from you soon - love you lots!! xxx

Anonymous said...

Message for JAKE BUNDAY - ALPHA 7

Hi Jake
great to get your call last week - hope you enjoyed life on the beach and are now having a good time trekking. We're now home - and yes very very brown!!! Had a great time but it's good to be home again - and dare i say it, a bit colder! Saw Gaggy this morning - she was thrilled with your letter - serious brownie points there my boy!!!!! Well done! Where's my letter or post card!!!!! And well done too for phoning B&B. Erin and Ru are off to Compton's cricket dinner tomorrow - then dad's got in-set on Monday and Tuesday and the little darlings come back on Tuesday pm. Can't beleive we're half way through April already and your Raleigh experience is nearly over. Cant wait to see your photos. Let me know Thailand details asap and we'll see if we can sort something. Also have you arranged with Elliott where you're meeting up in Sydney - Big hugs and cant wait to speak again. Love M&D xxx

Susie said...

Hello Jimmy P,
It has been awhile. Nearing the end of your magnificent journey so looking forward to hearing about all your wonderful experiences. Stay safe and we will catch up soon from Bonnie Scotland, Susie

Céline Henneveld said...

Liselot Bekendam,

He lieverd. Hopelijk heb je nu de tijd van je leven. Wilde jou, als mijn alleroudste vriendinnetje, heel veel knuffels en liefs vanuit holland sturen! Jij kan dit en ik weet dat zeker. Jij hebt namelijk een kracht in je genaamd lachen. Als jij lacht, kan je alles aan, he lachmaatje. Kan niet wachten totdat we weer samen kunnen lachen. Mis jou en een dikke kus. Céline

Anonymous said...

For Asher Spencer, Alpha Two

Hey Asher, hope you've had a great time so far mate; i'm eager to hear how you coped with the food over there and whether the psychotherapy worked. Just so you know, you're missing out on nothing over here so make sure you make the most of the rest of your time there! I realise there is a chance that you may actually not see this before you get home but i suppose that doesn't really matter. Hope to see u soon, Niall.

P.S sorry for sounding like a pleb throughout this comment.

P.P.S Elliot beat a 28-year old.

Anonymous said...

Liselot Bekendam Alpha one phase 3

Lieve schat van me,
laatste daagjes zijn ingegaan!! Wieeeehoeee coming home! Je zal het mooie weer en de warmte daar wel gaan missen maar hier word het ook stukje bij stukje wat beter! Dit zal wel een van me laatste blog berichtjes zijn want denk niet dat je ze nog heel lang binnen krijgt. Weet ook niet wanneer je reis terug begint, enige wat ik weet is dat je woensdag ochtend vroeg aankomt hier! Heb er zin in lieve schat, ben super benieuwd naar je verhalen. Echt onwijs trots op je dat je dit allemaal maar even hebt gedaan! Je bent een topper, geniet van de laatste daagjes en onwijs bedankt voor je lieve kaartje! Je bent een schat, als je thuis bent lekker bijpraten lieverd. Geniet nog even van de aapjes en de hangmatten want het duurt niet lang meer, ik tel de dagen af! Hele dikke kus, je beste vriendinnetje deem