7th August 2013
It’s been a very busy 2nd phase for all 7 Alpha Teams, as well as here at Fieldbase. However, we are looking forward to another Changeover reunion at Basecamp this weekend! We are waiting for photos to come back from the teams working across Sabah, but in the meantime here is a round up of how they are all getting on.
Everyone at Alpha 1 has been working their sweaty socks off and has already finished laying the floorboards and completed the wall cladding on the kindergarten. They’ve chosen the paint colours for the next Phase to crack on with painting the exterior and have been building a veranda.
They enjoyed a great evening with The Loop and have all been eating well. We hear they enjoyed a volleyball match with the village! Our Photographer Ian is currently with Alpha 1 and we will post up some of his favourite shots of the team as soon as he returns.
The team hosted a fantastic welcome when The Loop paid them a visit last week. They have been carrying miles of water pipe that will eventually take fresh running water into the village. A large number of heavy rocks needed to be lifted and placed into the gabion cage (I’m told it took four of them to lift one rock!) at the dam-site and a 3ft deep trench has been dug out – a huge amount of team effort!
When Alpha 2 are not hard at work they are enjoying traditional dancing and music in the evenings with the village, as well as wheelbarrow races and roly-poly!
The team have suffered a number of very wet days in Imbak Canyon. Heavy rain has sometimes made it too wet for them to work safely, so on these days I’m told the team have spent time making interior design improvements to their camp. A new bench has been built and it’s looking very homely!
Currently they are completing a new footbridge which will improve access at the BBC camp. The Loop has promised photos of the team when they return to Fieldbase and will be posted up here shortly.
The team are having a wonderful time in the Bornean jungle. They are all doing great and after a sweaty and muddy days’ work trekking and building they enjoy cooling off in the nearby river. They have seen wild orang-utans and the majority of people on the team have had numerous encounters with leeches.
On Tuesday, Alpha 4 were paid a visit by Country Programme Manager Sarah, along with special guests from Raleigh’s London Headquarters: Trustee Margaret Dane and Sales and Marketing Manager Rachel Collinson who spent the day with them and enjoyed a tour of the Field Centre learning about the successful longterm partnership between Raleigh International and the Danum Valley Conservation Area. Photos to be posted here shortly.
Following their 5-day dive phase, the trekking for Alpha 5 has been hard-going in places. However, the team have successfully trekked for up to 4 hours a day and kept together. They have also pass through areas at high ground, with everyone remaining fit, well and in high spirits.
There have seen a number of exciting wildlife spots (monkeys, exotic birds and creepy crawlies) and enjoyed visiting the bat cave. Conditions are good and they are currently trekking through the dense jungle heading for their final camp before Changeover.
Since my brief meeting with Alpha 6 earlier this week, the team have been making the most of the excellent dive conditions at Mamutik Island. Over 5 days they are learning diving skills and living on the island. Everyone is very well and happy to be out in the sunshine after living self-sufficiently for 12 days under the canopy of the jungle.
I will be joining them tomorrow in the hope that I can bring you some under-water pictures of their dive for you to see!
This week Alpha 7 celebrate the opening ceremony of their newly renovated kindergarten! In the last 3 weeks, Alpha 7 have worked tirelessly to complete a number of repairs and a new toilet block for the kindergarten. But they’ve made it in time for the opening ceremony and we will bring you the photos from the big day as soon as The Loop returns.