Volunteering in Borneo, the ‘land below the wind’, was the most rewarding experience I have ever had and I’d like to thank the organisations who sponsored me in my fundraising.
These included Looe Music Festival, Ocean and Earth Thai Restaurant, Mama J’s Italian Kitchen, Winter Sports Company, Big Rib Charters, Mountain Warehouse, Dance with Jodie, Adrenaline Quarry, Cornish Orchards, Summers Cleaning Service, Commonwood Manor, Street Motion Freerunning Academy and Simon Hannaford Computer Solutions.
Project work during the mornings and afternoon, as well as socialising and speaking to the locals in the evening, provided an entirely different way of life to my routine back at home but one which was simply beautiful.
Up at 6.15, a cold shower, noodles and egg for breakfast and then work at 8.
Our first project was to help build the new kindergarten for the local children, so that early childhood education could be provided to more of the population in Bongkud.
This consisted of making over 25 batches of cement the traditional way (gravel, sand and cement mix with shovels and hoes) as well as digging a 10 ft long, 1 ft deep channel to lay a pipe through.
We also helped to build a place for traders to come and sell their local produce, clearing the ground for cement to be layered to provide a platform to set up stalls.
During our stay at Bongkud, we had the opportunity to teach a group of kids English, who were lively, excited and had passion for learning rarely seen in England.
The project work was tough but the achievement felt by all of the group was immense.
Being the first group to arrive at Bongkud that year, we certainly made our mark.
After the first camp, we prepared for our jungle trek, learning how to set up our hammocks, as well as being briefed by our guides on jungle safety and the upcoming journey.