Saturday, 26 January 2013

Meet the Fieldbase team!

As previously mentioned there is a team of us currently here at Fieldbase in Kota Kinabalu (KK) getting everything prepared for the 13C expedition. Here's a quick who's who to get you started:

Sarah – Country Director

Sarah is a permanent member of staff here and is in charge of everything that goes on within Borneo, from planning projects and business development, to sourcing funding and maintaining connections with all our Country Partners.

Random facts: 
Sarah loves wakeboarding, watching Glee and her greatest achievement was climbing Mount Kinabalu (here in Borneo) for the second time.She would also like to visit Hawaii.

Joseph, Sarah and Ellie

Ellie – Country Programme Manager

Ellie usually works in the Raleigh Head Office in London but is out in Borneo for the next three months as our CPM. It’s Ellie’s job to ensure that everything at Fieldbase and on expedition is in ship-shape order and that both Volunteer Managers and Venturers alike are all fully trained and ready for anything that the expedition throws at them.

Random facts: 
Ellie’s hero is Babs Currie (Yoga Guru Extraordinaire and regular part of daily life at Fieldbase). She loves climbing and watching rugby – particularly whilst eating a malteser rabbit and drinking tea – in fact Ellie loves tea so much that Have a Cuppa Tea by The Kinks would be the soundtrack to her life.

Joseph – Deputy Programme Manager

Joseph worked for Raleigh in 2011 as a Project Manager here in Borneo and has now come back to Fieldbase for the 13C expedition. His Deputy role is to support Ellie and to make sure that everything is running smoothly. He’s also brilliant at getting us energised (and organised) first thing in the morning.

Random facts: 
Joseph would love to have biscuits for hands, however, as he enjoys chin scratching and eating prawn cocktail crisps perhaps that wouldn’t work quite as well as he’d like? In his worst job he worked as a toilet attendant – poor Joseph!

Jodi, Josh and Sam – Logistics

Josh and Jodi

The Logs team have been super busy getting to grips with the Borneo roads, preparing all the supplies and checking that everything is safe and ready for expedition. These guys really are at the heart of the expedition as they will spend lots of time on the road delivering kit and – most importantly – supplying the Venturers and Project Managers with enough food to eat over the next three months.

Random facts:

Jodi would love to visit Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory – in fact ideally she would teleport straight there, perhaps arriving to The Endless Summer Soundtrack as this would be the soundtrack in a movie montage of her life.

Josh would take either a football or a pack of cards with him to a desert island, although he thinks the iPhone is the best invention in his lifetime. Josh was a Venturer on Raleigh 12A last year in Borneo and has come back for round two.

Sam loves peanut butter on toast with coleslaw on top (it sounds disgusting but she swears it’s lush). Her luxury item on this trip is her kindle and her greatest achievement was finishing the London Marathon.

Rachel and Sarah – Medics

These two medics have come out early to prepare all the medical kits to go out on expedition, meet with healthcare officials at the local hospital and start one-to-one checkups with the staff. During the expedition there will always be one medic at Fieldbase and the rest will be out on projects, making sure that everyone is fit and healthy.
Sarah and Rachel with Perdi (who is on the mend)

Random facts:

We think Rachel looks like Andie MacDowell (from Four Weddings and a Funeral). She loves Britain’s Got Talent, her hero is Stephen Fry and her luxury item on this trip is her hair moose (curly hair). 

Sarah – AKA, Major – loves drinking Clipper tea, eating lime pickle on cheddar and anything rugby orientated. Despite temperatures currently being in the 30's out here, Sarah’s luxury item on this trip is her woolly hat.


Kath – Admin

With around 150 Venturers and Volunteer Managers on this expedition, we are lucky that Kath is ridiculously organised as it’s her job to get all the forms - and information that comes along with them - into order. She is currently surrounded by mobile phones organising the credit distribution and allocating each phone to the Volunteer Managers.

Random facts: Kath loves Simon Cowell, but wants to marry Gary Barlow (could anyone help with this?). Despite the iPhone being a popular choice for the best invention within her lifetime, pesto might actually rank higher with Kath.

Helen  – Finance/Zumba Instructor


Helen is the mistress of all our money and here to make sure that everything is paid on time. She is also the proprietor of Helen’s Treat Emporium which is not only available during induction and changeover, but also visits the various project sites throughout the expedition providing a welcome relief from Raleigh rations.

Random facts: Helen is our resident Zumba instructor and loves lip synching to Whitney Houston songs. Her greatest achievements include going to 30 countries before she was 30 and being in the Olympic ceremonies.


Amanda – Fieldbase Officer

Amanda is currently helping the Logistics team and getting to grips with Borneo driving and supporting Kath in setting up the admin side of things here at Fieldbase. However, once the expedition is up and running Amanda will be monitoring and evaluating the progress of the various projects. This will form the basis of the future development of the expedition.

Random facts: If Amanda was stuck on a desert island she would like Ryan Gosling to come along as her item of choice. She would also like a pair of ruby slippers so she can go anywhere at the click of a heel – first stop Cambodia.

Jo– Communications

I’m here to cover everything that happens throughout the expedition and will be regularly producing the Sabah Sun for the Venturers and updating the blog with stories and updates from the project sites. As the blog offers the opportunity for friends and family to leave comments for their loved ones during the expedition I will be making sure those messages reach the jungle. I will also be working closely with Fiona to produce the end-of-expedition magazine. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Random facts: I love Mcfly, they are my guilty pleasure and awesome. I am constantly embarrassing myself by talking in my sleep – sorry girls – and I really want to do a road trip around South America and generally see more of the world and write about it. 


Fiona – Photographer/Feline clothes maker

Fiona is documenting the 13C Expedition so will be constantly out and about, visiting the various project sites and taking photos for the blog and end-of-expedition magazine and DVD. Unsurprisingly she will spend most of her time looking like this with a camera attached to her face. Smile please! 

Random facts: 
Fiona likes salt and vinegar crisps and fizzy drinks a lot. Her hero is David Attenborough and one day she would love to see (and attempt to photograph) the Northern Lights.

Loli – Fieldbase chef extraordinaire


Loli is absolutely amazing. We’ve only been here for a few days and have already experienced some incredibly tasty meals. Having been spoilt with these new flavours and a multitude of local fruits (twice a day!!) we’re definitely going to experience withdrawal symptoms once we’re out on the project sites...

Random facts: Loli loves Durian fruit, the film Dirty Dancing and would like to be a millionaire so she could help lots of people and move to the Philippines.

And we can’t possibly leave out our resident cats Pongo and Perdi, and the crazy four kittens (Ping, Pumpkin, Pav and Pepper) who are always there to provide a little entertainment and a cuddle.

The Raleigh Kittens

Perdi in her Raleigh T-shirt

We're looking forward to meeting the rest of the Volunteer Managers on Tuesday when they arrive!!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Introduction to Raleigh Borneo

Before the 13C expedition starts I thought I would tell you a little bit more about Raleigh’s time here in Borneo to get you started.

Raleigh have been running expeditions in Malaysia since 1987 and established a base here in Sabah -which is in Kota Kinabalu - 11 years ago. Since then there have been more than 200 projects across Borneo and over 26, five and ten week expeditions.

This is a map of Sabah and a selection of the project site locations

Working with local project partners here in Borneo, the Raleigh projects are committed to inspiring young people to be all they can be. The expeditions continue to offer the adventure of a lifetime to a diverse group of venturers and volunteer managers whilst challenging and inspiring the groups to learn new skills and strengths in a variety of ways. 

Get ready 13C because this will be a complete change of lifestyle (for most)  and a lot of hard work. Fear not though as three days into pre-expedition life the advance staff can confirm it’s going to be a lot of fun and the impact that the sustainability projects have on development within local communities and environments is something really special.

Key facts about Borneo

1. Borneo is the third largest island in the world

2. Borneo is divided into three countries – Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia (we are based in Malaysia)

3. Borneo harbours some of the world’s most diverse and oldest surviving virgin rainforests

4. Borneo's capital is Kota Kinabalu – which is where you fly into

5. Borneo is 7 hours ahead of British Summer Time (which is 8 hours for most of this expedition)

6. Borneo is pretty hot. The temperature is generally between 21-32c

7. Borneo has a population of about 3,120,040 and 32 officially recognised ethnic groups in Sabah alone

8. The main language spoken in Borneo is Bahasa Malay – but English, Mandarin, Hakka and Cantonese are widely spoken

9. Borneo has a large Christian, Muslim and Buddhist following

10.Borneo was traditionally dependent on the export of timber but deforestation protection efforts in recent years have meant that Borneo’s main exports now focus more on rubber, cacao, seafood, vegetables and palm oil.

Hopefully this little post has given you a bit more insight into the Raleigh expeditions in Borneo and if you are joining us as a member of 13C - your new home. 

If you aren't joining us on this expedition don't forget to have a look at the Raleigh website for more information about the different opportunities available around the world and how you can get involved in the future.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Hello from Fieldbase

Hello from the Advance Team at Raleigh Fieldbase here in Borneo.

We’ve arrived in Sabah early to get the admin and logistics side of things up and running before the Project Managers arrive for more training in the jungle on the 29th January. With help from a few special guests (and distractions from the resident cats Perdi, Pongo and the four kittens) we are working hard and getting very excited about the 13C Expedition and its nine projects.

We’ll be telling you more about who we are and our roles in Fieldbase over the next few days AND once everyone is here we will be able to reveal the expedition projects. 

Selamat Datang - Welcome!

Welcome to the Expedition 13C blog! This page will be your main point of contact for keeping in touch with your loved ones whilst they are out on their various adventures during the next three months. We will do our best to keep you up to date with plenty of stories and photos of daily life here in Sabah in addition to updates on the progress of the community, environmental and adventure projects.

This is also your space, so please do send in your messages for the venturers and volunteer managers as modern technology and communication don’t quite stretch as far as the middle of virgin rainforest and I know your comments will be gratefully received.

So here’s how it works:
  • To post a comment, scroll down to the bottom of the most recent entry, and click on the ‘Comments’ link. A box will then appear where you can write your comment. Don’t forget to tell us the name of who the message is for, including their full name and project group, if you know it. Then click on ‘Post comment’ and you’re done!
  • Any comments you post will be printed and taken out to the respective venturers and volunteers on the project sites.
  • Your comments won’t appear on the blog straight away - first they have to be vetted by the Communications Officer and then they will be posted.
  • When we visit the venturers and volunteers on site we’ll also bring back lots of messages from them too, so keep an eye on the blog for this.
  • But remember that this is a public blog, so we may not be able to post all messages but do rest assured that all messages will be passed on and that personal messages can be also be posted via letter (see our address to the right) or in the case of emergency you can email Head Office, and we will deliver these personally.
  • The best way to stay right up to date is to enter your email address into the box in the top left hand corner; then you will get an email every time there’s a new blog post.

My name’s Jo and I’m the Communications Officer here in Borneo for the next three months and I'll be managing the blog, so if you have any questions then just get in touch. We look forward to hearing lots from you.