The final part of my blogs about summer team preparations here in Borneo takes me to Camp Mantanani, our small island outpost off the north west coast of Sabah.åÊ As ever on my visit to the island last week, it looked glorious in beautiful sunshine with its white sandy beaches and light blue lagoon.åÊ And of course the welcoming smiles of the staff at the camp made it even better.

The new sleeping block designed by Arkitrek

We have recently renovated the camp to change the sleeping accommodation ‰ÛÒ previously we used tents but have moved to a more weather proof and certainly more aesthetically appealing use of what we term ‰ÛÏbashas‰Û.åÊ Basha is an old term for a hammock and we have incorporated hammocks into a stunning and very functional structure.åÊ The initial block was designed on the Arkitrek camp earlier in the year and we have now replicated the design to produce another 4 blocks.åÊ I have no doubt all visitors to the camp will love sleeping and living in these structures ‰ÛÒ I certainly know I would! Aida, the Camp Manager, has been busy preparing the projects as well as the camp.åÊ Our main project on Mantanani continues to be the construction of the kindergarten or to be more technically correct, the Community Learning Centre.åÊ It is nearing completion and we hope to finish it this August.åÊ The main structure is up and what remains to be done is the outer wall cladding which is made up of hundreds of frames of bamboo weave.åÊ The panels are being completed as I type ready for installing into an intricate network of framework.åÊ There will be plenty to be done alongside this with lots of finishing touches to be ticked off a very long list.

Inside the basha, in full use!

In addition to the CLC, we are also extending and refurbishing the school‰Ûªs existing library, and will be conducting our usual sessions of Marine Conversation learning and teaching.åÊ Aida, being a trained nature guide, has also prepared some local treks and activities to experience some of the rare bird life on the island including trying to spot the ground dwelling scops owl and some survey work on the numbers of roosting Christmas Island Frigate birds which reside on the western end of the island.åÊ In addition I know Aida has other fun stuff up her sleeve including activities with coconuts and driftwood.

The frame work on the kindergarten ready for the bamboo panels

And of course, did I mention the diving? Teams will spend 4 days in the capable hands of our dive providers Borneo Dream, conducting their PADI Open Water qualification.åÊ Its tough but someone‰Ûªs got to do it!!

Albi, the chief and head foreman, with Aida, Camp Manager, at the project site

Its a terrible place to be!!