Thursday, August 16, 2007

and then....

Couldn't fit all the photos on the other page without getting confused so will carry on my travels here.

After Foxtrot 2 I went over to the East of Sabah to meet up with Foxtrot 4 in Batu Puteh, who, when they weren't moving their pontoon so they could have a mud free wash, were working non stop on the eco-lodge, a 15 minute boat ride away from their camp.

A few photos from the field

There is just under a week to go now before the participants arrive back in Kota Kinabalu to prepare for the next phase of their expedition - The Adventure Challenge.
There will be no rest for the wicked - they will go straight into a couple of days of jungle training about an hour outside of KK and will then be given their tasks to do for the challenge and the final race.....more on that when it happens.
For now, I'll just put up a few photos of some of the groups I managed to visit on my travels during phase two.

I started out with Foxtrot 3 and they got straight into their job of rennovating the kindergarten in Kampong Kalampon with a lot of help from the villagers.

Then I moved on to spend a few days with Foxtrot 2 who had been busy with the ground work for the gravity water system whilst waiting for the materials to arrive.....they had also arranged to do teach various subjects at the primary school. They have the best view - the house they are staying in looks right over onto Mount Kinabalu.

Friday, August 3, 2007

....And now they are....?

Bongiorno bongiorno, Rodders, bonnet de douche, welcome one and all to the site that tells you, friends and family, what those lovable young whipper snappers of yours are getting up to in deepest darkest areas of Borneo.

It has been an intensive 2 weeks for the guys and gals of Raleigh Malaysia’s 07N programme, easy for some, .

challenging for others,

And downright gut churning for a few.

Picked up from the airport, the group was whisked off to the Jungle Training camp in Tamparuli (called TAC, Traverse Activity Centre) for 4 days of intensive Jungle Training and induction.

It’s Day Four in the Big Borneo Household and the groups are settling into their daily routine of camp chores, back breaking hard work and fun and games.

So where are they?

Foxtrot 1 and 2 - Gravity Water Feed Systems (Kg Himbaan & Kg Lagkau)

Working in partnership with the local parliamentary representative and sponsored by Coca Cola, it is intended to construct/refurbish two gravity water supply systems. Currently many of the communities in the Ranau District are lacking any form of water supply – it is usually collected from rainfall into large tanks or drums or carried from distant water courses. Ranau is a large district which includes Mount Kinabalu and the market garden area of Kundasang. The people tend to be from a traditional Muslim background and survive on subsistence farming and some rubber tapping.

Construction of a gravity feed water system involves a detailed survey of the village and area to ascertain where piping and taps should be placed as well as locating a suitable source. Sources are generally several kilometres from the kampong (village) and will be in hard to reach areas. Once a source has been identified, it is damned using wire cages filled with rocks and/or cement. Piping is then laid to several reservoir tanks which enable a head of pressure to be established as well as to cope with periods of high demand. From these tanks, piping is then laid into the kampung; this will usually involve digging the pipe into shallow trenches to avoid it being damaged. Finally connectors and taps are installed as the system is established within the community to provide the most efficient supply. During the whole process the local community assist with the work and are educated on how to maintain their system in order to provide a sustainable solution to their water requirements.

The community of Himbaan supplies a large number of local men and women as guides or porters on Mt Kinabalu and as such they are used to being around/working with westerners. However this will be the first team within the village itself. The community is a mixture of Muslim and Christian with approximately 80 households. They work the surrounding land growing a variety of vegetables which are sold in the market at Kundasang.

Project Managers: Tim Kelly and Kennis Ngai

Participants: George Allen, Kirsty Dolphin, Emily Dunne, Erin Hopkins, Daniel Lane, Katie Mason, Dakshesh Patel, David Pullinger, Emma Richardson, Christopher Thomas, Patricia Webster

Foxtrot 2 will be based in the village of Lagkau, a traditional rural community whose current water system requires repair. This community is also a mixture of Muslim and Christian and is quite spread out and linked with neighbouring communities. It also works the surrounding land growing a variety of vegetables which are sold in the market at Kundasang. There is a small existing water system but it is growing over-used and unable to cope with periods of high demand. In addition the geography of the village mean that there are several different systems and a reliance on a neighbouring village for the source. It is hoped that a new source some 1 - 2 km away can be established and piped into the village. There are also a number of repairs required to restore maximum flow rate elsewhere in the community.

Project Managers: Paul Schofield and Marie Turke

Participants: Barnaby Blackburn, Brian Chan Quo-Jern, Catherine Chapman, Laura Chellingworth, Emily Howells, Ka Png Man, Tessa Montague, Jenna Pickering, Sam Roberts, Suraj Vadgama, Maria Walley

Foxtrot 3 - School Refurbishment (Kampong Kalampun)

Lead by the dynamic duo of our very own Host Country Participant co-ordinator Mia, and Nurse Naomi, the team will be working with PACOS Trust (a grass roots community based charity assisting remote indigenous communities to improve their quality of life) to refurbish the small community pre-school building in Kg Kalampun in Keningau District. This project is sponsored by The Body Shop.

Most rural and remote communities survive by subsistence farming and some rubber tapping to earn a small income. The team will live in the centre of the village in their community hall and will be fully immersed in the Kadazan Dusun way of life. This will involve traditional dancing and the team will have the opportunity to see and experience life in a rural village at first hand.

PACOS Trust works in over 20 communities across Sabah and Raleigh International teams have worked closely with them in the past to build pre-schools and gravity water systems.

Project Managers: Mia Meara and Naomi Haskins

Participants: Alex Alimo, Patrick Clark, Hannah Dixon, Sophie Furse, Juliana Georgiou-Lormand, Siobhan Grier, Charles Mintowt-Czyz, Sheena Rakhra, Hannah Rattew, Benjamin Rozitis, Deep Shah

Foxtrot 4 Eco Lodge Batu Puteh

Working with a small local community cooperative, the Raleigh International jungle SWAT team will assist in finishing off an ambitious eco lodge project. It is hoped that the eco lodge will be the key to raising income in this poor and remote rural community, increase the economic value of a depleted forest resource, and, in the process, raise funds to support the protection and restoration of the last remaining wetland forests and wildlife of the area.

Built on the edge of a large oxbow lake formed by the former course of the mighty Kinabatangan River, the lodge has been under construction for several years, having endured flooding and set backs with funding the project is nearing completion.

This is a very ambitious and exciting project which has taken many years meticulous planning and it is only now that the community are starting to realise their dream.

The group will live in an environmentally sound jungle camp (the skeleton structure seen here) by the banks of the Kinabatangan River on the edge of this small community, just 10 minutes up river from the main lodge/lake site.

The team will assist local tradesmen with finishing off the lodge, develop trails and bird hides as well as help the local community in its continual battle to rid the oxbow lake of an invasive weed called Salvinia. This is an exciting project, combining a unique environmental location with the interaction of a traditional community.

Project Managers: Sara Grinstead, Chris Stubbs

Participants; Kallie Bladon, Michelle Bullock, Felicity Carter, Derek Dunne, David Holden-White, Will Hopkinson, Morwenna Howell, Aisling Jootun, Joseph Scales, Amanda Stec, Sin Hang (Cyrus) Wong

Foxtrot 5 – Kinasolodon – Eco Tourism

Kinosolodon is a small community on the edge of the Crocker Range National Park, not far from the town of Papar. It sits on a new road, recently completed, that links Beaufort and Papar with the town of Keningau in central Sabah. This road winds its way up over the Crocker Range mountains and has turned into a scenic and popular route for day trippers from Kota Kinabalu. The community of Kinosolodon are from the Kadazan Dusun ethnic group and make ends meet by growing some local produce and rubber tapping.

Working with representatives of the local community, the project team will assist in trying to further establish a community mini tourism project. Following on from an already established home-stay facility in the village itself, the community are trying to develop a small traditional rest house with surrounding trails. The rest house is half way up the new road into the Crocker Range and hence has huge potential. However the community lack basic resources to take the project further as well as ideas or experience for such a project. The project team will work with the community to develop trails from the rest house, build steps down to a nearby waterfall and plan further improvements to the area.

Project Managers: Ellen Hodgkiss and Simon Baguely

Participants: Calum Ashurst, Jennifer Best,Charlotte Bishop, Nathan Goodby, Miranda Holmes, Edward Lamaison, Nicole Meaney, Will Parrott, Charlotte Tanner, Carra Williams