Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Visit to A3 (Phase 2)

I know phase 3 is now in full swing but it is always best to let the groups settle in before bombarding the blogs with updates. So in the spirit of using this first week to catch you up on the past phase I wanted to tell you about my three days in Boribi at the end of phase 2 with Alpha 3.

I arrived on a brilliant day – Fiona’s 18th birthday! Although celebrations were already well under way when I arrived, I brought with me a green (coconut) swiss roll cake, a card and a box of “Endless Joy” sweets for her and the group. As the morning had been spent working on the dam construction, I arrived, ate lunch and was quickly instructed to put my boots on as we were going to some bat caves.

Fiona and her birthday swiss roll cake
Endless Joy

Alpha 3 have fully immersed themselves in the local community and in doing so, met a man who owned two bat caves – yes a real life Batman! The caves were very very dark and smelt horrendous but those of the group who were brave enough really will never forget this experience.

Fiona’s birthday continued into the evening with some unusual Raleigh based birthday games and challenges. I discovered that I can eat 8 crackers in a record breaking 90seconds - who knew? A delicious pasta dinner was prepared by a team of birthday chefs and lots of merriment was enjoyed by all.

The next day was a rest day and the group worked on their skit for changeover, wrote in their journals and the PMs started having end of phase one to ones with the Venturers.

Whilst this was going on Izzie, Rex and Louis took me up to the dam site so I could see the progress they had made. The dam was to be completed the next day and looking at the 17ft dam there really was very little left to be finished.

Rex, Izzie and Louis
In the evening, continuing with the 18th birthday celebrations, we held an ‘F’ fancy dress competition in honour of Fiona. The costumes were inspired:

Costumes included: a fitness freak, flow, flamingo, father, feline, Frodo, a French man, a fella....
The following morning we got up bright and early to get up to the dam site and mix the final batches of wet and dry cement to tidy up the protruding wire framework. After a few hours work, the group signed their names in the concrete of the dam we trekked back down to the camp to prepare for the closing ceremony that the village had prepared for us.

Daan, Steve, Alex and Fran mixing cement

Emma, Tash, Fiona, Erwin, Daan, Alex, Steve and Fran working on the dam site
After an Easter weekend church service – with translation from our HCV Rex – and lots of singing in Malay, Kat and Vera were taken off to the Venturers room to be dressed up in traditional costume. As we waited for the girls to be dressed, the community set up some drums in the communal area and began to perform a local dance. As the drumming persisted they began to teach the Raleigh group and dressed the boys up.

Alex and Daan

Vera and PM Kat
After Vera and Kat were announced and presented, we demonstrated our own cultural dance. As both Izzie and Fiona are Scottish, during the birthday celebrations the previous night, we had been taught the traditional Scottish dance; Strip the Willow. We absolutely loved performing and that the local community were so eager to be involved. Hydrating on fresh coconuts and indulging in a feast of food the celebrations continued into the evening.

A3 being presented with thank you gifts
The group were presented with handmade necklaces and bracelets to thank them for helping the community get closer to having water in the second half of the village. Kat and Rex were also presented with additional gifts, Kat for her moving speech and Rex for his translation skills during the phase. This was a highly emotional point as after attending weekly church services, enjoying homestays with local families, sharing meals, teaching English and playing volleyball and badminton with the children, friendships had blossomed. It was also special as the group really stood back and appreciated how their hard work had impacted on the lives of this community.

It was a privilege to be witness to these final days for the phase two group in Boribi and I will always remember my time there - and the delicious rainbow cake.

A full Alpha group update will be uploaded later on today.


Viki Williams said...

To Alex Williams 13C Alpha 5
Hi Alex,
I was going to leave it another couple of days before I sent you a message but we have today receive a blog on your Phase 2 with Alpha 3.... WOW, WOW, WOW!!! You have all worked so hard and must feel extremely proud of what you have achieved. The villagers were obviously so very grateful and appreciative of all the work you have done - what an achievement. I questioned in my last blog why you were dressed with an 'F' on your top, I now know the reason as it was for Fiona's birthday celebrations. The picture of you with Daan in the traditional costume was brilliant.
I hope you were one of the brave ones who ventured into the bat caves.
Take care, keep safe and love you lots.

Anonymous said...

To Izzie Robertson Alpha 6 ( i think)

the photos look amazing very jealous right now!!
cant wait to see you where youre back

Mucho love!
Mark W xxx

caroline van ravels said...

to emma van ravels alpha 6.
He Em,
Nu zit het er echt bijna op!! Ik heb net een heel verhaal gelezen en foto's gezien van jouw vorige fase met alpha 3 groep. Wat hebben jullie hard gewerkt zeg! En zo te zien was het een hele gezellige groep. Wat leuk dat jullie zo veel optrokken met de mensen uit het dorp!! Ben nu natuurlijk weer heel benieuwd naar info over jouw laatste fase!! Hier gaat alles z'n gangetje! Ben druk bezig geweest met foto's zoeken voor de moeder/dochterdag van Merel. Heb ons hele archief doorgespit en heb zitten zwijmelen bij al die leuke foto's van toen jullie nog zo klein waren!! Ik lees net hier op de blog dat er nog een meisje naar de hotelschool wil, Liselot! Maar daar was je waarschijnlijk al wel achter!! De loop komt vrijdag (nu is het donderdag) naar jullie toe. Weet niet of dit berichtje dan nog op tijd is. Anders lees je dit pas als je helemaal klaar bent. Heel raar dat het zo snel gegaan is!! Ben zo benieuwd naar je plannen na raleigh!! Bel maar lekker snel als je weer op het basiskamp bent. Dag schat , geniet van de laatste dagen!!! xxxxxxx mam