15th July 2014
Alpha 1 have been doing an amazing job in Sonsogon Magandai with the construction of a building to house transformers for solar panels to bring electricity to the village. They have also been planning and providing English lessons for the community and exploring the village in order to produce an asset map to help with future Raleigh projects in 2015.
In their own words, Alpha 1 gives us an insight into life in Sonsogon Magandai during phase 1.
“After six hours of travelling on bumpy off road tracks, we arrived at the remote village of Sonsogon Magandai. It was unlike anything else we had seen before and we couldn’t wait to have it as our home for the next 19 days.
After wading our belongings and food supplies across the river, with help from some of the locals, we got settled and ready for the next day.
We had a slow morning of organising to begin with but that was followed by our first trip to the work site up a rather steep and muddy hill. The view from the top was breath-taking.
We got to work and progress developed rapidly with holes dug and posts in place after the first day, a task that was supposed to take about three days to complete. We are now about a week in and the floorboards are being laid and the roof supports are up, making it all look a lot more complete, a very satisfying feeling for us all.
Not everyday is spent with the whole group devoted to the building construction. One morning a few of us lent a hand in the kindergarten, which they have very kindly let us live in, playing games like head, shoulders, knees and toes and their own version of the alphabet song.
Other tasks have included the exploration of the village and GPS tracking the houses to create an asset map of the village to help another Raleigh expedition next year with the installation of a gravity fed water system.
However, it’s not all work and no play. A downpour provided us with an incredible rainshower, a highlight for many of us, especially feeling clean! A group of us also took a trip to the church for a service on Sunday morning, followed in the afternoon by a game of volleyball with the villagers on a slightly flooded court.
Putting up defences against the dogs and chickens has been a daily challenge and even though some of us are slightly pink, the building work is going great and we have been discovering some great meals! All is happy here in Sonsogon Magandai!”