The day had finally arrived where 13 excitable teachers and 2 even more excitable Camps staff made their way to Heathrow Airport to travel over to Borneo for the 2016 Teacher Recce.
Borneo has always been on my own personal bucket list, so to be able to share this with other like-minded people was amazing. Our itinerary for the week was pretty jam packed but this meant that we were able to see as much of each camp as possible, and also get to have a small insight into what the summer expedition would be like for teachers and students.
We visited various areas of Borneo, included in those were some of our Camps that students will be visiting in the Summer of 2017. Camp Tinangol was one of my favourite Camps. The communities were so warm and welcoming and the traditions dating back hundreds of years are still alive today. We visited a school that had been built by previous volunteers and also traditional long houses where families of up to 35 people can live at any one time! The teachers spent time playing games with the local children and I am afraid to say that the children were much better basketball players! Sorry guys!
A trip to Borneo would not be complete without visiting Batu Puteh – our Jungle Camp! We stayed in “pre air conditioned hammocks’ over-night, and ventured out on a night walk. Here we saw Long Tailed Macaque’s in the wild, different types of species of birds, and on departure across the Kinabatangan river… a crocodile going for a swim!
Speaking of wildlife, of course we had the opportunity to visit Sepilock Orangutan Sanctuary and the Sun Bear Sanctuary. I can remember asking my parents to go to Sepilock when I was 9 years old, so you can imagine how excited I was to finally be there! We saw baby Orangutans that had been rescued and were being rehabilitated and also adult Orangutan who happily crossed our path at feeding time.
We sampled plenty of local foods and were able to try things we may not find in the UK. The street markets and night time markets in Borneo are full of life and flavour, something that I personally will never forget.
When you visit Borneo, you will be overwhelmed by the sights and sounds but you will also be touched by the welcoming people, who are there to answer any questions you may have and to share their stories with you. If you are coming to Borneo on expedition in the Summer, or you are thinking of doing so, you will have an incredible time and hopefully build memories that will last you a lifetime.