Meet Esther Low, HCV of Expedition 14E

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Meet Esther Low, 20 she has recently participated in Borneo Expedition 14E and currently awaiting for her university placement. Here's her recount on her expedition:

Expedition 14E was a pure type 2 experience. It challenged me in more ways than I expected, from culture shock to injuries. During Induction Week, I sprained my left ankle which landed me at fieldbase, hopping around with the aid of a pair of crutches. A week of rest and I was sent to Sonsogon Magandai with the loop where Alpha 1 was working on a solar panel transformer building. Sonsogon Magandai was one of the most rural villages I have ever seen, the village was so sprawled out it was hard to even call it a village.

Esther hard at work at Kg. Sonsogon Magandai
At Sonsogon Magandai, we worked hard on the building and made an incredible progress, by the end of the phase we were way ahead of schedule. Along with building the solar panel transformer building, two other HCVs and I acted as translators for a WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) program which aims to educate and gauge the locals’ knowledge of water, sanitation and hygiene. The villagers have no access to water or toilets and the children or women of the family would have to walk to the river with buckets in hand to get water and climb steep hills to get back to their house. While carrying out the WASH program we mapped the village to help make future Raleigh projects in Sonsogon Magandai easier. It was an eye opening experience that made me appreciate the luxuries I have back at home. Despite how poor or lacking in basic necessities, the villagers of Sonsogon Magandai looked happy with their simple life. On our day offs we would attend church and then play volleyball or Frisbee with the villagers. The remoteness of Sonsogon Magandai brought a strange sense of freedom, I was completely cut off from the world except for the weekly Raleigh Radio on Sundays and life there was so simple and satisfying. I was a little upset when it was time to leave Sonsogon Magandai for the first changeover but at the same time I was excited to meet friends I have made in the other Alpha groups.
Esther and the majestic falls in Maliau Basin



After the first changeover, I was extremely excited for my allocations; the environmental phase. I got into Alpha 3, we were to work on making new trails and maintaining old ones in Maliau Basin, also dubbed as the Lost World of Sabah. However with excitement came nervousness as I was the only Malaysian in the group, it was intimidating but in less than a week it didn’t become an issue anymore as I got along with everyone and there wasn’t much translation to do as compared to Sonsogon Magandai. We spent two weeks working on the trails and in our free time we took walks and admire the raw untouched beauty of nature in Maliau Basin, spotting gibbons, hornbills, animals and insects that I would never see in Kuala Lumpur. The last week in Maliau Basin was the best as I got to see the beautiful Maliau falls and Ginseng falls. The trek to the waterfalls was a challenge to me as my left ankle was still recovering but it took a bit of fear away and prepared me for my next phase which was adventure.

The trek was something I dreaded, unlike others who worried about how tough it was or if they could cope with carrying a heavy rucksack and trek for 12 days I was worried about injuring my left ankle again. That fear dissipated however as the days went by, my ankle seemed to be able to handle the trek and the weight of my rucksack. The trek was a great experience, it challenged me physically and mentally and it taught me valuable leadership skills. Things went well for me until the 10th day of trek when I sprained my right ankle. My biggest fear came true but I was blessed with a great trek group while the medic in my group dealt with my sprained ankle, the rest of the group quickly took out whatever group kit I was carrying and split my personal kit amongst them. The trek had to go on as there was no way they could get me out immediately so for the remaining days of trek I was given painkillers to ease the pain. We trekked back to Long Pasia and stayed a night at the locals’ house, stuffing ourselves with food and enjoying the great hospitality. The next morning we travelled back to Kota Kinabalu and spend our last week in Mamutik Island to get our diving licenses.



Upon reflecting, there were so many ups and downs during expedition however it has shaped me into a better person and it will definitely be an experience I will treasure forever. I got out there, stepped out of my comfort zone and learn new things about myself. It was a pure type 2 fun learning experience.  

Join us as staff in our upcoming Introduction Weekend!

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Dear Raleigh-ians,
Have you ever wondered how a squirrel gets on the internet? Fret no more as over the years of extensive research and investigation, modern scientists and animal behaviourists have finally concluded that they logged in.

Just like the squirrel, you could easily log into the social platform of nature, The Jungle®! By joining us you will be able to reconnect and have the chance to surround yourself with old friends such as the exotic plants and fresh air, babbling brooks from the nearby river, listen to chirping melodious gossip by the birds, or even to old uncle crickets playing you a symphony at night and lastly, some warm-comfortable heart-felt companions none other than Raleigh-ians themselves!

Wait no more to reconnect with nature as the upcoming Introduction Weekend will be held on the 19th till the 21st of September 2014! Therefore, mark your calendars because our staff registration is now open!
Without a further adieu, here’s the list of roles that you may partake:

Logistics Officer
Without you in the team, brawn would more likely be a.. prawn. If that even makes sense. Ultimately, you’re in charge of handling camp equipment (making sure they’re in mint condition for use before, during and after IW, etc). We greatly need your assistance, so please do lend a helping hand.

Coordinators
This is a call to all fellow Ex-Venturers who wants to plant the spirit of Getting Out There to the newborns. The role is pretty challenging as you will have to facilitate and take good care of the participants’ progress in terms of leadership, workmanship and self-discovery. Think you’re a guru enough for the job? Well, sign up then!

Medic
There are not enough words in the English dictionary to explain how significant this role is. If you have the qualifications or certificates in first aid training, please do sign up as we greatly need more people like you in case of emergencies.

Friday Set Up Team
If you’re unavailable on the weekends but available on Fridays, then we need your helping hand. You and other helpful Raleigh-ians will team up and will have to go down to the IW campsite in advance to set up the site.

Trailblazer
You are responsible to recon, scout and ensure a definitive, clear pathway for the trekking trail and to ensure safe return of all participants and staff from the trek. Sounds challenging but exciting? Yes? Then trail yourself all the way to the registration form and blaze it!

Facilitation + Logistics + Camp duties = Minions
Unlike the cute yellow twiggies running around causing havoc, this role requires staff to be extra cuter and to be able to juggle between a variety of tasks such as facilitation of games, kitchen duty and whatnot. What’s better than gaining all sorts of experience from different expertises, no? Plus, it’s a great chance to sharpen your multi-tasking skill!

PR & Registration Team
If you can’t make it for the whole of IW but can contribute your Friday evening, please do sign up as we need your help in handling the participants at first glance in terms of registration, applications, spot check and ice-breaking games.

Sunday Support Team
Likewise as the Friday Set Up & Registration Team, if you are able to contribute your Sunday afternoon to the tired faces of participants and staff, then we deeply appreciate your assistance as well for the closing ceremony.

SIGN UP HERE NOW!
http://goo.gl/lUCDF8

For Staff Training, please be patient as we will set up a date and will inform you soon enough! Stay tuned!

If you have any enquiries, feel free to contact and buzz me up.
Thank you!

Cheers,
Charina Pria
Introduction Weekend Officer September 2014
Raleigh International Kuala Lumpur



IW Dates for 2014/15

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Dear Raleigh-ians, future venturers, and anyone itching to GET OUT THERE:

Here are the dates for our future Introduction Weekend (IW) for 2014/15:

1. 19th September - 21th September 2014

2. 9th January - 11th January 2015

Raleigh KL's IW is aimed towards youth aged 17-24 that are interested in the great outdoors as well as a platform for you to learn more about us and Raleigh expeditions. Future venturers that are interested in taking part in our expeditions, should consider locking down their dates for our IW as it is a requirement to attend at least one IW before embarking for expedition. Essentially it will be a weekend away in the jungle with like-minded adventurous youths while experiencing a miniature version of life in expedition.

As for our staff roles during IW, we would need YOUR expertise and contribution from our regular members, ex-venturers, Raleigh dinosaurs and etc to help run our IW. Various positions are up for grabs and we will be releasing further information once the IW dates are approaching. This will be a chance for you to meet new members while reigniting your Raleigh fire! 

Raleigh KL is a voluntary NGO run by volunteers for volunteers. Any help and participation from you all will be greatly appreciated. What are you still waiting for? Get the word out on our IW and we are looking forward to see you and your friends there!

Don't forget to drop us a message on Facebook or an email at info@raleighinternational.org.my if you want to know more about us, IW or our expedition.

Regards,

Jia Hui
Secretary 2
secretary2@raleighinternational.org.my

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