Borneo Eco Camp 2014
Malaysia - Rebecca Green
There were participants from 6 countries: Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines and Australia. I was the only participant from Australia and everyone made me feel very welcome.
The camp was an eco camp – this meant it was environmentally friendly. The university has some great initiatives in place for the students to be more eco-aware. Some activities included: beach cleaning, planting trees, and touring the massive university which had its own orchid’s centre.
We had two lovely nights of celebration. One was a patrons night and the second was a cultural night.
On the patrons night, everyone wore their official Guide uniform. It was fantastic to see the 6 different countries in their full uniform. We had a huge feast and there were some great dancers that performed.
The cultural night was also just as good. There were more performances and some of the other countries also demonstrated a traditional dance. Everyone wore their countries traditional clothing which was amazing to see. Both nights were brilliantly run.
I also participated in the ‘sporty’ activities such as Zumba, a walk around the uni and Yoga.
The Malaysians went above and beyond to ensure that I was having a great time. Their hospitality was fantastic. They introduced me to new foods such as Bambangan and Tarup – two delicious fruits! I was so grateful to be a part of the celebration of 88 years of Girl Guides in Malaysia. The camp was a fantastic experience and I would definitely go again.
After the camp I travelled to Sandakan where I visited the Sepilok Orang-utan Centre, the war memorial site where Australians prisoners of war had been held, the Sun Bears rehabilitation Centre and the Rainforest. Sandakan was an hour flight from where the camp was and I was very fortunate to have met some local Guide leaders in this area. They helped arranged my tours, they showed me their guide hall – it was very impressive! And we had several meals together. Again, the hospitability was just sensational.
Whilst in Borneo, I thought I can’t come all this way and not climb Mt Kinabalu. Several Guide leaders had told me they had climbed it before, one has climbed the mountain 9 times! They gave me great advice and off I went. I climbed 4095m and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I’m glad I could tick it off my bucket list!
All in all I had an amazing experience in Borneo and would definitely go back!
Rebecca Green – Girl Guides Victoria
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