On Saturday 19th October at 4.15am twenty seven MCM pupils and beaks assembled on court ready to embark on a week long adventure to Sabah, Borneo. After a short flight and a two hour bus ride, we arrived at Camp Bongkud, excited and ready to learn about the local way of life and hopeful that in some way, we could use our skills to make a little difference to the community. Here we spent our days painting, weaving, and weeding – helping to complete the community project that had been started by other volunteer groups before us. Eve, who was the camp manager, also led us through several activities including beading, dancing and cooking that taught us about local traditions. We played football and volleyball with the local people and, by the end of our stay, had a very good taste of what village life was all about. On day four, we ventured over to the Eastern part of Sabah to Batu Puteh where we went, via boat, into the middle of the jungle. Nothing could have prepared us for what was about to be an exhilarating and intense couple of days. We stayed in a very basic camp where the toilet was a hole in the ground, the shower was a bucket of river water and hammocks served for beds. Leeches were everywhere and because they don’t hurt, often you would find one on you that had been there for an hour or more! Despite the basic conditions, everyone loved the experience and we were extremely lucky to see all sorts of wildlife such as Proboscis monkeys, Egrets, Macaque monkeys and Kingfishers, not to mention a variety of insects and jungle plants. No trip to Borneo would be complete without a trip to Sepilok and on day six we headed to the Orangutan sanctuary where we quietly watched a mother and baby feeding. Our last night was spent in Kota-Kinabalu, where everyone shopped till they dropped at the night market and for the first time in a week slept in a proper bed. The next day we woke up early for our flight back to Johor and all of a sudden our seven day trip to Borneo was over, but what an adventure we had!
Teacher of Mathematics