This summer I have had the incredible opportunity to head over to Borneo to experience life in our Camps first hand.
Our team gave me a beautiful welcome from the moment I landed in Kota Kinabalu (KK) the main city in Sabah. Their enthusiasm and caring personalities made me feel at home straight away.
Over my 5 weeks I was lucky enough to pop in and out of KK (what a luxury on expedition to be able to send my clothes to be laundered each time I returned!). My main role as teacher liaison meant I spent time with the teams whilst they were having dinner and assisting in our Asia office. My favourite part was welcoming our teams as they started to arrive for their once in a lifetime adventures.
Projects – Dug out a septic tank, cleared the area around the building, levelled and laid the flooring as well as started on the brickwork for the walls.
Evening activities – Cultural dances, chess tournaments and even a DISCO on my final night! Credit goes to Kenny for his dance moves ..and I mean it when I say there was not one song he didn’t dance too for the whole evening!
Highlight – Sports day with the local children from the Tinagol community.
Project work –Building a cement pathway around the sports field, clearing the area around the toilet block so we could improve the facilities and adding in tyres and plants to the local primary schools outside area.
Evening activities: Traditional bracelet making, painting team boards, making banana cake, Cultural interaction and bamboo dancing.
Highlight: Bongkud hill climb
Project work – Beach clean up’s, vital conservation research on the Megapode bird and assembling some structures in the local school kept us busy the rest of the time. Special shout out to Lydia (camp manager) for organising my birthday donut cake.
Evening activities – Hammock making, reclaimed plastic bracelet making, Sunset and sunrise walks.
Highlight – Clearing over 1,400 plastic bottles and 240 plastic straws from the beautiful shores of the island.
Camp Bateh Puteh:
Project work- Planting new trees, gathering saplings for planting, flattening vines and grass, clearing the weed taking over the lake.
Evening activities- Morning and evening river cruise, monkey spotting, crocodile spotting and the occasional running away from creepy crawlies. Singing around the camp with the students playing guitars.
Highlight – Falling asleep listening to the noises of the jungle.
What trip to Borneo would be complete without a trip to Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary? The team were very excited and they had every right to be because as soon as we handed over our tickets and started walking in, an orangutan was walking along the railing right next to us as we walked past. Watching them play around and eat at the feeding stations was a dream come true for many of us.
It’s been great getting to know awesome teachers, students and leaders throughout my journey here in Asia and I am very sad to leave this beautiful country that’s full of vibrant colour, greenery and wildlife. Moreover, I am especially sad to say goodbye to all the local people who made sure I was safe and happy at all times. I know I have made friends for life – THANK YOU CAMP BORNEO!