Whilst our current team of gappers moved on from Camp Tinangol and are working hard on project work at Camp Mantanani this week, their blogging still continues with more experience and adventures as they go along in their Gap Yr program. It’s not all work and no play, honest!
Eva Reda continues to share her blog here…
The blog is back due to popular demand! I’m flattering myself here (but a big thank you to the parents who left positive feedback!), however for the moment I think a weekly blog would be more suitable than a fortnightly one as we’ve been super busy and have lots of news to report.
Week 2 brought the arrival of Henrietta Warwick (‘Henri’), the architect of the new kindergarten we’re building in Tinangol. Having someone who knew exactly what was to be done (with the added bonus of being fluent in English) improved both productivity and team morale, with most of the wall molds being finished this week, alongside the usual activities of English teaching and building a basic drainage system.
Other exciting activities included a weekend visit to the Northern tip of Borneo, and to the beautiful and isolated beach nearby – with warm water and mountainous surrounds included. Whilst there we were all lucky enough to get a full taste of the equatorial sun, which meant varying degrees of sunburn - most members copping only red shoulders and noses, but some unluckier people turning an attractive full-body beetroot hue.
The highlight of this week for most of us would have to be the successful completion of our very first canine emergency evacuation operation. Basically, in Borneo dogs don’t have the cute and lovable pet status they hold in Australia; sadly, they’re seen more as children’s play things to be pushed, pulled, dragged around and chased. The mature dogs are used to this, but our patience ended (particularly on the part of Henri and Hannah) after seeing a tiny ball of fluff being sat on with the full weight of a nine-year-old child. Consequently, they snuck it back to camp in Ashlee’s backpack. The little girl-puppy has been christened Surupu, meaning ‘good fortune’ in Malay. And it’s truly an appropriate name. After just a day of being properly fed, watered and loved, Surupu’s little tail is wagging happily for the first time. Mission accomplished Team Borneo.
To bring the week to a close, Man (the camp foreman) explained the process of rubber tree sap extraction that occurs around the camp, and took us on a tour of his extensive vegetable garden – the product of which was fresh sour mango and ginger salad for dinner.
I’m currently reporting from Kota Kinabalu, where we’re staying for the weekend to complete the four day PADI Scuba Diving course – or to enjoy some well-earned R&R for the non-divers. We’re also hoping to stock up on clean clothes, a precious commodity these days…
Once again we send all our love to everyone back in Australia! More from us next week!
I’m Eva Reda signing off for Blog #3 Team Borneo 2012
If you want to know more about our Gap Year Borneo Programmes fill in the form here and we’ll get straight back to you.