Well I arrived at Raleigh field base today, and to some more great people. The guys here have put in a sterling effort to get the place ready, in what has been described several times as one of Raleigh’s most palatial field bases! Despite this, it’s going to be a hot kip with a few of us in each room, and the mossy nets are up already! We are in the Lintas (I think) area of Kota Kinabalu in a massive house, and have the luxury of a lovely local woman to cook some food. After getting some briefings about my role as a photographer I (admittedly very late) joined in scrubbing some pots and pans from the last programme to get them ready for this trip.
My role is looking like it’s going to be very hard work, but really rewarding, and hopefully exactly what I hoped for. As well as photo briefs from Head Office, I have to produce photo CD’s for venturers, postcards and maybe other stationary to purchase, help sort out a t-shirt design comp, arrange a slide show and photo exhibition, and cover as many of the projects as possible, including some underwater shots during at least one of the dive phases. This programme looks like it’s going to have more than the usual share of visits to projects sites from local government ministers to large name corporate sponsors (think some of the very very well known company names in the world), all of which must be covered if possible.
The usual newsletters and press releases have to be performed as well which are sent to local press and sponsors. My driving force for in this is the on site Raleigh PR Officer, a journalist from one of the big worldwide news channels, who I hope to glean a lot of info from!
Tomorrow is straight into it with the start of staff training, then Thursday until Saturday will be spent in the jungle getting trained from locals how to construct camp areas and survive in that environment.
There are some stunning projects this year in places like Danum Valley conservation area and Imbak Canyon. This article, and this article give more news on previous Raleigh trips to Imbak Canyon. These are renowned areas for conservation around the world, some parts of which are very remote and have seen no more than 200 visitors. One previous group had to camp for four days until the river went down so they could drive across it.
Anyway, I’ve waffled enough but wanted to say what I was up to. Time for kip!