On our fourth day in Borneo we were taken to the Camp in Tinagol, ready to start our first volunteer project.
The community we were going to be helping was home to around 2000 residents which you can find out more about from our previous blogs.
A Kindergarten had been made by previous volunteers from Camps International from 2009 – 2014. The kindergarten building had everything the children would need, and even though it was a little basic the kids were really enjoying their time at school.
However, other than a concrete reception area they did not have a nice area to play in…..
So, we were faced with this;
We were given the briefing that we were to clear the area (!!) to create a playground for the children to use. We could not see anything past the over grown grass but we knew somewhere in there was a pond – only because every so often you could hear a splash shortly followed by a wet dog running past you.
We could not get any machinery in there so our tool list consisted of the classics/muscle achers:
- A hoe
- A spade
- A wheelbarrow
We had to ensure that the tall grass didn’t grow back so the roots were targeted with vengeance. Fortunately we had a team of enthusiastic volunteers (after all this is what we came for!) so after lots of hoe jokes, a few injuries, buckets of sweat and some missing teammates (some went to paint the community hall instead) we had cleared the area.
As much fun as hoeing is, after 6 solid days of it you start to wonder if you are actually in a hard labour camp, but all in all not a bad effort. You could now clearly see the shallow pond and that the area had already been partially landscaped in the past.
This was obviously very rewarding for us as we knew we’d put a lot of effort in to get the park area cleared.
Next to do was burn the grass rubbish. The locals had a carefree attitude to lighting fires to the extent that a big pile of waste was burnt three feet from the school building.
Once the site was clear, we got down to landscaping. This consisted of carving out some steps ready for us to start concreting and brick laying.
After our two weeks of this project we had completed one wall and started on the next ready for another group of volunteers to take over in June. Phase one complete 😊
Whilst it is a shame we couldn’t finish it ourselves, it’s nice to know we’ve completed a load of the hard work ready for the next volunteers and we’re sure the kids will love their new play area once it’s finished.
Aside from the project work we have been doing; we’ve had a fantastic time in the community, the locals made us feel really welcome (see other blogs about the fun and games we’ve had) and it has been great getting to know the rest of the group!
Now it’s on to the jungle camp for reforestation work. Until next time…