Raleigh International

Expedition Ghana - 02G

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

 

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

I've spent 3 of the most amazing months in my life, where I learnt lots of things and lived like our grand parents life or maybe harder! I would like to thank all people who made it possible, Sheikh. Mohammed bin RashidAl Maktoom, who always support youth development in all fields and Naturalization and Residency Admn. Dubai, who sponsored me and gave me a full support to be the United Arab Emirates there, and the only Arab in the expedition, I specially thank the director Saeed bin Belaileh and Maj. Jasim AbdulGhafoor for their wise understanding. before going to Dubai Immigration; it was very hard to get a sponsor, I tried with more than 30 companies.... Anyway, It is organized by Raleigh International - a youth development organization which inspires people from all backgrounds and nationalities to discover their full potential by working together on challenging Environmental, Community and Adventure projects around the world. It runs 11 exoeditions a year in countries like Belize, Chile, Costa Rica & Nicaragua, Ghana, Namibia and Sabah-Borneo.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

What did I do there?

We had 3 projects, Adventure, Community and Enviromental.

Adventure Project:

* Helping Wild Life Division and World Vision to explore an area no one has been before.

* 3 Week deeply inside the jungle, few kilometerss to Togo borders.

* Explore more than 2 waterfalls, DUBAI Waterfall and Laboon Wtrfall.

* Explore a new HIGHEST PEAK in West Africa, it was Afajato but not anymore, the new peak is Mt. Kyabobo.

* Marking GPS waypoints for our tracks and explore camping sites.

         Pic on top is (Dubai Waterfalls)                                                                 *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*


 

Pic on Top (Project site in Bia - Building Ranger's Huts)

Environmental Project:

* It was in Bia's Tropical Rainforest.

* Building 2 Ranger Huts and the Scientific Research Centre is ready.

* Teaching a day in the closest village school, the subject was (United Arab Emirates).

* Days walk into the rainforest to see Flora & Fauna.

* Introducing UAE to the community.


 

Pic on top (Project site in Kwakupanfo)

Community Project:

* The project is on a rural village called Kwakupanfo in the middle region.

* Building an Action Aid Office for the communities.

* Digging the foundations.

* Teaching in schools.

* Being very close to the community, work with them and live their lives.

* Intoducing UAE to the communities in their meetings.

* Climb Mt. Kwakupanfo range.


 

The First Week

Pic on top (Group Picture in Kwame Nkumah Memorial Park) -Day 2-

 

I was scared before meeting the group, I think this is natural because I will meet more than 120+ people, all of them talk the same language, live in a same country, culture and everything. but I am from another part of the world, different language, culture and religion. IT WASN'T SCARY, but I met nice people in the airport on 19 Jul, 2002. The first person I saw was Sharon (The Medic). She asked me to go to a place where locals where singing and dancing on their cultural music. and then after BA flight arrived, staff sorted us out in our groups and moved to Volu Camp near Shai Hills. Cordinates N0555'17.7" E00000'29.6"

Pic on top (Shai Hills in the introductory week)

 

My first phase was with Alpha 5, which is an Environmental Project.... After we met and knew each other, we packed our rucksacks to move to Shai Hills & Baboon Camp as a live training for the next 10 weeks...  Of course, we lived in trekking tents, most of food is Cans food... One of the worst and most disappointing things was the toilet!!!! Oh, no you can't call it a toilet, it is a Long-Drop or a Short-Drop,, which is a deep hole into the ground, "you dig it by yourself", the depth depends on the time you will camp in the place, and it just takes couple of hours to be filled of creatures! insects, snakes, scorpions and bats... So, no flushing toilets anymore......... No wonder, I am not in Dubai.... In Shai Hills we saw lots of Baboons (Huge Monkeys) playing and running around and they were following us to the Sacred Bat Cave, which was full of bats,,, it has a veeeeeeeeery bad smell... yuk... We learnt lots of survival stuff this week like, Using GPS which I already knew, map navigation, using and tying robes, making a helicopter landing area, water safety, river crossing, first aid, manual breathing, malaria...etc............. During this week, I was writing my diary one night before sleeping and I was veeeeerrrrrryyy tired, so I will fell a deeeep sleeep,, but unfortunately, as soon as I slept, somebody woke me up, he wasn't a human, but ANTS!!!!! ARMY ANTS attacked our tent,,, I just ignored, I said oh,, it is an ant,,, but as soon as I heard Helen screams, and saw my legs with at least 50 ants,,,, all of us started running away with no shoes, 1/2 cloths, and the land was full of them.... it was horrible.... but an unforgettable night...... by the way that was just the FIRST ant attack!!!!.................. On the 18 July, 2002 we  went to Kwame Nkumah memorial park, to take our "all expedition members" picture,, and listen to the Minister of Sports speech, and I was very happy and proud when he said that we have the UAE in Ghana this year for the first time,, and he mentioned the United Arab Emirates in a very special way,,,,,  (UAE) oh, that's me,,, everyone was looking at me that time!!... I  LOVE YOU UAE ♥


The Environmental Project

 

 

As I said before we built ranger huts in the rainforest 200m away from the scientific research centre where we lived for 3 weeks in cordinates: N0632'33.4" W00302'05.2" which is 20 km from Ivory Coast...

 

The Picture on the left shows me holding the Gian Pangolina,,, it is the friend of another animal called Tree Hyrax,, which climb the huge high trees and cry the whole night making some scary sounds... Where were worried about these sounds at night, some of the local ventures said they are angry ghosts!!! Huh, I will try to believe.... but after investigating by the help of some rangers, we knew that they are tree hyraxes.... So, noisy!! I recorded their voice to keep it with my memories...... I saw also some animals called Ground Squirrel and Gambian Mongoose,, this one is my friend,, I always see it climbing trees when I go to long-drop at night...... Because I said long drop,, I have to talk about the TOILET MONSTER who invaded our long drop,,, this big creature is a mixture between a SCORPION and a SPIDER,, and everyday from 6pm to the morning,,, you'll find it on the long drop..... One day we tried to see the level of aggression of it,, we put a wooden stick 5cm away from it,,, and suddenly,, it attacked the stick..... it was about 0.5m....... it wasn't friendly... why the toilet!!!! ha............ and we had another friend,, it is the tarantulas (that big hairy spider) which you see it on horror movies.... it was a very nice friend,, and we used to shake our sleeping bags before sleep and shake boots before wearing them and shake everything because of this tarantulas.... I did not sleep at night one day,,, because the tarantulas wasn't   on its place,,, I wasn't worrying about tarantulas, but wondering if it is on my sleeping bag!!

 

 

During my 3 months expedition it was raining everyday, EXCEPT when I was in this phase,,, the rain stopped for 5 days... but why it just stopped here,,,  I think because our water source was the rainfall.....

We had 3 tanks and it filled of water when it rains,, and then we purify it by Water Purification Tablets (Puritabs), based on Chlorine or Iodine. No showers, No shaving for 3 weeks!!! BUT we had a natural shower when it rained 5 days later..

Pic on left shows the rain in the project site.... We were happy...

 

I had a nice time teaching about my UAE and my Dubai, our culture, religion..etc... they were very interested even their real teacher which was a translator..... After that, from geography teacher, I turned to physics teacher, and explained how the plane take-off and land because it was a special request from one of my students......................... 2 days later, we had a visit from some white people "WOW", they were from the European Union (EU)... they were writing reports about flora & fauna in the area....

 

 

<------My friends in Adjufua (the closest village to the rainforest - 10 km)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it noodles or spaghetti??? I don't think so ---------------------->

 

ffddfddsdsd

 

 

c

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first picture from the left shows me looking for bats on a hole of a huge tree in the jungle...

 

The second one is the fastest way of transportation in the jungle, Tarazan Taxi..

 

The 3rd picture shows me asking for some help from field base by the radio, because mice attacked our 3 week food!!!


Community Project

Digging the foundation of an Action Aid Office for the communities in Kwakupanfo, 5 hours from Accra........... By the way, I never cooked before the expedition, and never washed my cloths... One day, I made a very special meal for dinner,, I called it "Volcano Meal",, because it was like the volcanic lava.... Do you want the ingredients? I advise you never do it, you'll know why later,,,  it was Tomato sauce, onion, 15 eggs, cheese, corned beef, tuna, baked beans, pepper, chili powder, sweet corn, mixed vegetables, salt, rice and spaghetti!!!! I mixed everything together and had a fantastic meal... everyone liked it, and when they ask me the ingredients I say it is a secret..... anyway, on the next day,, everyone got diarrhea except me,,, do you know why??!! because I did not eat it....;) because I don't eat sea food, and there is tuna on it..... LUCKY!.............. The snake on the left is called the Green Mamba, it is one of the most poisonous snakes in the world... they were our friends too..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We lived very close to the community and talked to them about ourselves, nationalities and cultures...

 

Ghanaians are very friendly people

 

We made an earth oven which was a nice idea to make bread and cakes..

 

This pic was before climbming Mt.Kwakupanfo.

 

IHelen, Carol, Fergus, Cat, Vicki, Laura, Jo, David and Solomon, I don't think you'll forget me because of the last night ;)


Adventure Project

..The Pictures shows us walking on Laboon River to explore the mysterious waterfall..

 

 

 

 

This was a FANTASTIC phase, we went to a jungle where no one have been before,, so we were the first people to explore the area... we had a 30 years old contour map...... It wasn't easy to survive.... We sadly lost more than 3 team members cz of "Malaria & D.N.V"....

 

Top Picture show the breast mountains top ................     Right & Left pictures show Dubai Waterfalls..................

 

We explored Tarazan Camp, Laboon Camp, Laboon Waterfalls, One-House-Village, The Trap Waterfalls, Steps Waterfalls, Heaven Camp, Bad Leg Man Village, DUBAI WATERFALLS and we climbed  Breast Mountains, Mt. Laboon, One House Mountain, Mount. SSS, Buffalo Mountain, Wicked Mountain and THE NEW HIGHEST PEAK (MT. KYABOBO).......... Our trekking distance was more than 100km...

Sudden Death was close to everyone while climbing, because all mountains are steep and the land is slippy,,,,... if it rains, go and pray!!!

Top Picture is wet!!!

Right Picture is on the top of the highest peak and I am showing the GPS altitude..

Left picture: We were dreaming to have dry boots and socks, No way!

Bottom picture: Dubai Waterfalls again..

I am taking the cordinates of Mt. SSS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left picture: This is where we sleep everyday in the expedition, and I slept in my tent after putting it up in my room in Dubai when I came back!!!! I used to this life...... Right picture: Those are the only survivals in Alpha 9 in our last day.. "We Survived"...

Top Picture: This is (Shiare) the most bizarre village I have ever seen in my life, it is on a mountain on an altitude of more than 2000ft, it is about 10 km from Mt. Kyabobo...

 

 

 

2km after Shiare to Mt. Kyabobo.. Thank god I am alive and at home now!!

I remembered when we stuck in the TRAP waterfalls and we seriously thought that we are in a big trouble..

 

 

 

 

My flag does not want to leave me, because I will NEVER leave it...

Sorry because some pictures are not clear, it is because we were on the cloud level...

This is me, planning to climb Himalaya or trek in Chile next year inshallah... To put my country's flag on all peaks in the world..


That was an atom of my expedition in Ghana

Thank you David Cooper, Caroline Bird, Anna Thomson, Benson, Catherine, Charles, Claire, David Sturgeon, David Mensah, Edward, Fergus, Gerard, Gordon Stead, Graham, Helen Dixon, Issah, Joanna Besty, Kevin, Laura Clark, Martin, Naomi, Nicholas, Oz, Pascal, Sara, Simon Barr, Solomon, Sue Moore, Vicki, Carol, Dr. DAVE, David Palazon, HELEN Stannah, Jim Weir, Murray, Sally, Sara Bain, Scott Gooding, Sharon Ritchie, Zoe and the expedition director Frances Bawden (Tiny)....

We trekked in hard conditions together, cooked for each other, laughed, smiled, helped each other, crossed rivers hand by hand, faced lots of difficulties and passed them together, we climbed mountains together, we lived more than 70 days together, challenging the wild hard wild life and here we are, sad, crying, dropping tears, saying goodbye, hugging and waving... The goodbye day was HARDER than climbing Mt. Kyabobo.. Bye


Thank you for viewing this page

I am more than happy to provide anyone with any information about the trip and I encourage all youth to do something similar, you will learn a lot... I have all GPS coordinates and tracks for the trip, and very happy to send the files....

For any comments or questions please feel free to email me on yasirdubai@hotmail.com or yasirdxb@eim.ae