1st July 2015
After a very long flight, the venturers have finally arrived… and all in one piece moms, fret not! It was a back-to-back session for many of them, having only to arrive in the morning but whisked off straight to the pool for a quick swim assessment. In their respective delta teams, they will be spending the next four nights together at basecamp before being allocated into their projects for phase one. Exciting times!
Welcoming them with their own rendition of ‘Rasa Sayang’, a traditional Malaysian song, were the five host country venturers who arrived a day earlier before the others. Rest was little for the locals as they were sent off to basecamp after arriving for a couple of hours at Fieldbase to help out with the necessary set ups.
This time around, we have a mixture of venturers coming in from various places around the world - with some from Bermuda, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Hungary, Scotland, Belgium, America, Netherlands, China, and of course, the UK. Arriving in four big buses, all 94 international venturers hauled their rucksacks over to their new beds to what will be home for the next five days. In total, there are 99 venturers for expedition 15D and 15I.
It was an early night for the folks upon arriving as everyone was feeling drained out after their flights. Huddled in their sleeping bags after a night of rest, the groups woke up at six in the morning and were hurried along by their project managers to the central meeting point by seven for breakfast. Also coming out to say hello was Mount Kinabalu, peeking through the tall bamboo trees here at basecamp. Talk about having a breakfast view!
On the second day, Delta 7, 8 and 9 were off for some jungle adventures while the rest stayed on for the scheduled training sessions. Basic medical sessions, river assessments, jungle skills and radio training were on the agenda for the day. It was a bit hard to grasp at first with all the Raleigh jargon coming along but trust us, by the end of the ten weeks ‘expert’ is the word!
Third day came about and it was a little relaxing for the venturers as they prepared themselves more for their round robins. Basecamp was a little quiet with Delta 1, 3 and 5 in the jungle. Nevertheless, fun was in store for the rest as they enjoyed pushing the Bravo and completing the ‘Raleigh Rapid River Relay’ (quite a mouthful really!) for the Raleigh Olympics.
Two days before deployment, it was Delta 2, 4 and 6’s turn for some jungle fun. Bashas were set up upon arrival and the night was spent in quality with the jungle guides sharing stories of jungle spirits with everyone while sitting in the dark. Spooky!
With the 5-weekers already on the go last Sunday, the 10-weekers too have left basecamp a day later. By the time this blog is up, they most probably would have settled down comfortably in their respective project sites.
Until then, this is everyone (almost) saying goodbye! Stay tuned to find out who goes where for Phase 1!
Venda, Raleigh Borneo Communication Team