Hi, Selamat Datang, that means Welcome to Borneo! This is our first summer blog by Laura Burton from CI office. She has dedicated her time to be out hereåÊ to support our Borneo team of staff and get stuck in with all teams for the summer. Here is her report directly from the ground this week at Camp Bongkud…

Hi everyone,

An update from a few of our teams over here in Borneo:blog1

We have had a busy week over in Bongkud with all of our teams getting hands on in project work, crafts, traditional cooking and some early morning treks up Bongkud hill! It has been an absolute pleasure to have both St Edward‰Ûªs School and our composite team of Blatchington Mill School, Trafalgar School, Hagley Park, St Peter‰Ûªs Collegiate and John Fernley, with us for the last few days.

Bongkud Camp is set right in the heart of the community in the foothills of Mount Kinabalu ‰ÛÒ so the teams have had a really authentic experience of Sabahan life.åÊWhilst here, the students have really embraced Malay culture ‰ÛÒ getting involved in traditional cooking, crafts and jewellery making. There are some great friendships forming and atmosphere on camp has been fantastic.

IMG_0609The local children performed a traditional dance which was a fantastic way to kick start the week – Our teams then treated us to their very own take on traditional Malay dancing ‰Û_. Compromising video footage to follow !! ‰ÛÒ Very inventive take on it guys‰Û_..

Both of our groups did a brilliantåÊ job teaching English to the local children ‰ÛÒ Some great teaching ideas with smiles all round. The organised lessons eventually turned into giant Hokey Kokey sessions and we were able to get some fantastic photos along the way – Some budding teachers amongst the groups by the looks of it! The local children absolutely loved the experience and I was told by many of the students that it was the highlight of the expedition so far. blog2

Whilst here, both groups also had the chance to head up Bongkud hill. At the break of dawn sleepy faces emerged from the longhouse ready for the climb – a bit of a shock to the system – but the students really pushed themselves to reach the top and were rewarded with some wonderful views of Mnt Kinabalu.

The community centre project is coming along nicely and all teams this week have made great headway with the construction work. The centre will be an integral part of this small community so the work is hugely appreciated. St Edward‰Ûªs have been busy flattening out the front of the centre and have worked really hard on cement mixing. Blatchington Mill, St Peters Collegiate, Hagley Park, Trafalgar and John Fernley have done a brilliant job on painting, cementing and laying bricks ‰ÛÒ so a big thanks to all involved. All of the students can be extremely proud of themselves … keep a look out for the finished result in a few months time !!

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We have now said our farewells to both teams who are off on the next phase of their adventure ! A brilliant week all round.

We have since welcomed West Hill School and our new arrivals fresh from England ‰ÛÒ William Allit, Skegness Grammar School and Barnard Castle. All of the teams have settled in to the brand new long house accommodation and thrown themselves into life on camp…

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More updates to follow soon J

Laura