News & Events
A Tropical Adventure
- Posted by: pembscollegesuperadmin
Following a life changing expedition to the tropical island of Borneo, Pembrokeshire College students returned just in time to celebrate their A-level results.
During the 28-day expedition the twelve students completed a number of community and conservation projects in and around areas of primary forest in Northern Sabah. The exciting itinerary, put together by the students, included a Jungle Survival Camp and a successful attempt at South East Asia’s highest peak, Mount Kinabalu. Speaking of the experience, their expedition link tutor Mark Bond said: “It was quite tough at times and it asked a lot of them both as a team and as individuals but throughout it all I have been consistently amazed by the students’ tenacity, determination and commitment to their expedition. I am so very proud to have been involved with them and to have shared such incredible, life changing experiences.”
In preparation for the expedition the team spent the last eighteen months tirelessly fundraising which included organising a number of impressive events locally – most notably a huge Jungle themed water party at Blue Lagoon, a stand at last year’s Pembrokeshire County Show and a gig in Little Haven Village Hall shortly before their departure.
“We’ve had such fantastic support from businesses and personalities in and around Pembrokeshire” continued Mark, “Once we had formed the team we just put ourselves out there and local people rallied to help us reach our target. It’s been a long journey and I know that what we’ve achieved will stay with us for a long, long time to come.”
During the expedition the students spent a week deep in the jungle with the charity Mescot and were engaged in trail cutting, seed collecting, and mending and constructing boardwalks. The team planted ninety-six new trees in total and spent time working in the charity’s nursery caring for a number of endangered plants. This phase ended with a village homestay where the students stayed with families in their homes around a small village on the Kinabatangan River. Expedition team member Molly Lewis said: “This was by far the most special experience of the trip for me personally. It was a real privilege to live with the family and to share in their day-to-day lives. The island’s people are so very happy, generous and laidback – even by Pembrokeshire standards! It has made me realise how lucky I am to have the things I do back home.”
The expedition team spent time at Orangutan and Proboscis Monkey sanctuaries close to the town of Sandarkan and during their trekking phase in the Crocker Mountain Range they were lucky enough to be invited to a traditional Malaysian wedding. “When we arrived at the village we were treated like celebrities!” said student Theo Crutchley-Mac, “When it was time to leave the entire village came out to wave us off – it was a definite highlight!”
For their final three days the team enjoyed some well-deserved R&R on the beautiful tropical island of Pulau Mamutik, a short boat ride from Kota Kinabalu, before the 16 hour flight back to the UK. Arriving back at Pembrokeshire College the exhausted students were reunited with their families and preparing for their exam results the next day. Speaking at the time Bethan Reynolds said, “I’m so ready for the next challenge now, the experiences on Expedition have really increased my confidence and made me realise there’s a big exciting world out there waiting for me.”
The expedition team would like to thank everyone who has supported them throughout the last two years in achieving this trip of a lifetime.