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A wet Gambian summer

Mountain Experience were privileged to join Marlborough Brandt Group and Venture Force for their summer expedition to Gunjur in The Gambia.

Together with local volunteers, the team started the first steps in what will be an excellent resource for the community. Mangoes grow in abundance in the season, but there are so many, that a significant proportion end up rotting on the floor. The community want to use this fantastic resource all year round and want to earn “Fair Trade” status for their orchard and future products.

This fence was erected by Marlborough Brand Group together with Venture Force and local volunteers. It’s the first step in the long process of making a Fair Trade mango orchard.

The team took down an old broken fence, which they then replaced with new posts and fencing. Future work is planned to instal a toilet block, solar powered bore hole pumps and infrastructure to make jams, chutney and dried fruit throughout the year.

The team also undertook cultural visits to the local elders, and visited other parts of the country, learning about their history and current wildlife.

First used as a prison to break the will of slaves before they were put onto a ship, then used as a fort to stop slavers transporting people down river.

R and R at Bintang Bolong lodge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, at this time of the year, it’s rainy season in Gunjur. The team didn’t let this stop their work though, and they embraced the rain, using it as part of their washing routine!

Lucie from Venture Force “enjoying” the rain!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Malaysia with Venture Force and Kendrick School

Just a few of the Hindu Gods at Temple

Nigel Lewis taking a water break in the Cameron Highlands.
Photo by Martha Case.

Mountain Experience were delighted to work with Venture Force for the first time this year. Together with co-leader Lucie Clewer, we joined staff and pupils from Kendrick School on their expedition to Malaysia. The team undertook work with homeless and disadvantaged people in Kuala Lumpur before moving on to the Cameron Highlands. There they visited a number of Temples and a Tea Plantation, before undertaking a tough four day jungle trek in quite testing conditions.

Guiding the hatchling to the sea.

 

Another day was spent white water rafting before the team returned to hard work with The Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia. Hatchlings were released into the sea, nests were examined and details recorded, beaches were cleaned and even the Visitor Centre had a make over with some gardening. The students also designed and painted an excellent educational mural onto furniture at the hatchery.

 

Nigel Lewis with co-leader Lucie Clewer.
Photo by Martha Case.

A great bunch of students, an excellent co-leader and two really supportive and switched on teachers. A trip worth repeating!