World Challenge Borneo & Malaysia | Week 3

After WEEK 2 on my trip, we spent a week doing project work in Bario, the town we came to before our trek. 

One of my favourite things about staying in Bario was the fact that the people were so lovely and kind there! We stayed in a guesthouse run by a lovely couple, Nancy and Harris. Whilst we were there, Nancy was like a mother to us; she cooked the most amazing food, looked after the many sick people and was generally an amazing host!

On the first day of the project we got told our jobs for the week were 
to build about 15 flower beds / fill in the holes in the ground / create a turning point for motor bikes / hold an activity day for the children / paint the side of the school! So there was obviously a lot to do during the week.
We split into two groups to start off with, one establishing the flowerbeds and digging up the soils, and the other group started filling the holes in the ground. We all worked so hard on the first day and we really enthused to get everything done. I had never used a hoeing tool before and didn't realise how much effort it was to use it all day!

We worked from about 9 til 12 then went for food back at Nancy's, which was of course delicious, then worked again from 1 til 3/4 - if I have remembered correctly! It was such a packed day and everybody was so so tired afterwards!

Basking in the Borneo sun after a hard day at work

For the next couple of days we did the same. However, on Wednesday we were able to all come together as one team and all help make the turning point for the motor bikes whilst also holding some activities for the children.

Mixing cement without one of those machines that builders use is so. damn. hard. We had to pour the rocks on the floor, then pour cement powder, and then build it up into a volcano shape, add water and stir it with the hoes for about 10 minutes until it it was the right consistency - so hard! 

Once it was the right consistency, we were able to put it into the whole some of the team had created over the past few days! We filled it all up and then Tom and I used planks to level it and make it look all pretty! Once it was a bit harder we all put our hands in it which gave it a bit of decoration!

On that same day, we all had split into groups and held some activities for the children! One of the groups taught the children some songs and acted out some children storys; we could hear them singing while we were making cement and I really loved hearing that they were all happy and having fun! 

My group taught the children some Malaysian words, told them how to say it in English and taught them actions to go with them. We also ended up doing a bit of drawing and paper aeroplanes. It was so fun to get to interact with the kids and teach them some new things. 

Another group held a sports day sort of thing and ran around playing football and things and the kid had so much fun doing that too. It was so rewarding seeing the children so happy and knowing that it was our most productive day was a really great feeling as well.

In the evening I went to charge my iPod in Nancy's kitchen, and I found George and Will sitting at the table eating an extra supper! Lian had taken them frog hunting and they had caught a frog, threw some punches at it and killed it to eat - I have to admit it wasn't the most humane killing but the boys both seemed proud of it! I got to chat a bit to Lian again before he went away with another group for a short trek!

The next two days were a bit of a drag, we all wanted to get the project done but as we were doing the same thing all day for a long time it did get a bit tedious unfortunately. However, being the best World Challenge team around, we all pulled together and put the effort in to do the best we could with the instructions we were given. 

These photos were taken on the last day of our project and with half the team down with a horrible sickness bug, we carried on and finished the project for the team. What I loved about our team spirit was the fact that nobody complained about the fact there were some people ill, we all just got on with it and had fun as well! Well done team!

On Thursday, Lian and Pedros joined us for tea at Nancy's as a celebration meal for our leader's birthday; we had an amazing meal of Wild Boar, chips!! It was so amazing! We had such a good tea that night, we were all so excited to have Lian with us and we all laughed a lot. Lian and Pedros then gave us all a gift that they had handmade themselves. It was a bamboo cup, they'd carved each of our names in our own bamboo cup and decorated it

Group photo with Lian & Pedros!

I was really sad because I knew this was the last time I'd probably ever get to see Lian! By now, he'd become like a brother to me; as I was missing my actual brother back in England! Spending so much time with Lian I'd gotten to know him quite well and had so many laughs along the way! It's so strange to think I might not see him again, but I'm so glad that I had the chance to meet him & Pedros & I think my whole team really appreciated having them as guides on our trek!

Me and the lovely Nancy!

We then said goodbye to Bario, Nancy & Harris, Lian & Pedros and goodbye to our project phase!! 

One more little extra project weekend & we were off to the islands!!!

Week 4 to commence!! 

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