Even though I have been to Malaysia before, I really didn’t know what to expect from Borneo. We arrived in the late evening but straight away felt at ease as excitement took over our tired bodies as we got an insight into the culture and business of Borneo.
From my week in Borneo, my favourite camp had to be our flagship camp – Bongkud. It was even more amazing than I had pictured it to be. After our long but stunning transfer, we arrived at Bongkud greeted by the staff’s beaming faces and a freshly-cooked feast for lunch!
Due to the tropical storm that was quickly approaching, we did a quick tour of some of the completed and on-going projects. The project focus at the moment in Bongkud is for the kindergartens and the local school.
From mural’s, to concreting or roofing, its clear to see how much hard work goes into these buildings. In Bongkud village there is also a large playing field whereby our volunteers are helping build a changing area with toilets – this is to enable the community to be able to play their sporting events and competitions more comfortably.
With the humidity rising, and the rain starting to pour, we headed back to Bongkud Camp for a Borneo culture lesson. It was really interesting learning the Malay and D usun dialect as it was nice to use the language when speaking to other community members. We also spent time learning the local song and dance, which included some embarrassing trip ups over bamboo sticks – but all a good laugh and a great memory to take away with me.
If anyone has the opportunity to travel to Borneo, you are extremely lucky. It really is a magical place, with a lot of culture to learn and experience – which is completely different to anything in the UK! As well as experiencing Bongkud, I had the opportunity of sleeping in the heart of the Bornean Jungle, relaxing on the beach at Mumatik Island, seeing orangutans being nursed back into the wild and getting to know many different local communities from all around Sabah, Borneo.