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