Well the final changeover has happened – the next one will be the participant’s party in three weeks time, then the cleanup, then a dive trip to Sipadan hopefully! This changeover went quite well though, and I received a nice gift from a participant – chopsticks carved by the rangers at Danum Valley. This was a special place – it was a bit like walking through a film set at times, and quite difficult to access as a tourist, unless you go via the tourist area at Borneo Rainforest Lodge – unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to see there.
Everything here happens in ‘Raleigh time’ – you think time is flying by, but at the same time it’s difficult to remember what you did a few days ago, as usually so much has happened in between. It makes keeping a travel journal up to date a bit of a nightmare.
I’m in fieldbase all of the last phase so not looking forward to being in a relatively ‘normal’ office environment…in saying that it’s completely different to working 9-5 in a normal job as anything can happen here from people radioing with medical problems, to nice smoothies being delivered from the in-house cook, to uninterrupted laughter as some random comment is made (and trust me, there’s plenty of them!).
My head has started turning towards the end of the expedition more and more though. It’s not that I particularly want to leave here as there is so much that goes on, but it’s good looking forward to having my own time….but maybe not so much having to plan and budget it myself! I need to find a method of earning some money, preferably by some online route, so my trip can last as long as I would like it to.
Several staff and a few participants are planning a dive trip to Sipadan Island for three days after the trip. It’s expensive for my budget at just over 300 UKP for three days, but it does include flights, 9 dives, accommodation and soft drinks. For the destination, it’s a bargain as we’ve got a special deal, but it’s a treat. If anyone wants to treat me, feel free!! I hope to do my two Advanced PADI dives on Friday if I can arrange it so it opens up deeper dives during the Sipadan trip. I also discussed potentially doing a Rescue Diver and Divemaster with Borneo Divers after the trip, but just something to consider at the moment…but it’s tempting if I can wangle a deal with them! Maybe next year….
I’ve been up since 5.30am today to wave the buses as they departed for their project sites, but managed to pop out for Sunday roast, and a swim (sleep!) at the country club this afternoon, but now completely knackered. This week is a mad one – a magazine, and two photo exhibitions to plan, along with possible postcards, a cover for the expedition CD, pictures to develop from disposable cameras we gave to a community site, and lots more! I’ve probably got a couple of thousand of my own shots, plus around 10 participant and staff pictures to look through. A long day beckons!