13th July 2013
Following a 3 hour bus journey from Basecamp to Tenom to collect provisions, food and fuel for the generator, Alpha 1 were dropped at Kg. Entabuan before travelling off road by 4x4 for 2 hours to the remote village of KG. Abingkoi.
Abingkoi is a small village, 2 hours from Tenom. They have very kindly lent Alpha 1 use of their Community Centre to make home. This is a bamboo hut perched on stilts in the heart of the village next to the church and overlooking the site where the new Kindergarten will be built.
Friendly children, cats, dogs and livestock freely roam around, so the team quickly set about making themselves a frontdoor to deter their animal neighbours from paying them a visit. Sadly, it didn't deter a dexterous and peckish kitten, the Venturers have nicknamed 'Pigeon', from being resourceful and squeezing through a gap in the bamboo to lunch on the team's fresh bread!
Alpha 1 have quickly made their home comfortable by building a longdrop with the help of the villagers, creating a kitchen and teeth-cleaning area, shoe rack, clothes dryer and utensil storage all fashioned out of bamboo and recycled tin cans.
And when they are not being creative with their interior design, they have been working their socks off preparing the site for the Kindergarten foundations.
The villagers had cleared the site in advance of arrival by burning a huge crop of well established bamboo. In blistering heat, the whole team pulled together for a number of days focussed on digging out and pulling out the roots by hand so that holes could be dug out for the posts.
Strength of mind and grit determination were demonstrated by everyone who all wanted to ensure the children would have a clear and safe path to walk up to their new Kindergarten entrance and a solid base to lay the Kindergarten foundations.
Alpha 1 have been warmly welcomed into the village with a feast of locally grown vegetables and sundried wild boar, as well as traditional dancing and lots of fun had teaching the children english songs and games.
Besides trying all the local food offered to them, the team have also been treated to the opportunity to dress up in traditional coats made from bark and villagers bring them home grown coffee and doughnuts on their breaks from work, which is always well-received.
Alpha 1 has made fantastic progress so far in Kampung Abingkoi, helped by the villagers and PACOS support. The Kindergarten foundations are now complete and the building is taking shape. Exciting news is that plans for a Raleigh Sports Day for the children led by Alpha 1 is underway!