Thursday, 10 April 2014

Wilkie's 2 Week Update......Boooooooom!

Here is Wilkie's update from the last 2 weeks in Mindoro and its been Booooooomtastically busy
for both the lovely Laura and I! Laura is well into her seventh week of work with Zoox and Green Fins and is loving it! I have also been working with some organisations photographing some 
amazing projects. The first was with SAS Activities (Sea Adventure School), Reef-World Foundation and The Stairway Foundation. Fiona Childs and Anita Gardener asked me to photograph
a site checking trip around Muelle Bay for grade 6 students from Puerto Galera to learn about
marine ecosystems (mangroves,seagrass and coral reefs). We met the boat captain Nani on the small
island of San Antonio after a boat transfer by his father.
Fiona Childs and Anita Gardener heading to San Antonio Island

Nani checks sites before heading out to sea!

Beautiful Muelle Bay

Muelle Bay
The SAS will soon have their own bangka (boat) which is currently being built just outside of the main city of Calapan. I was invited along with Anita (Reef-World Foundation) and Stairway's owner Lars C. Jorgensen to photograph the boat being built.


Hammer Time!
Boat Builders along side Anita and Lars

Rice fields and blue skies

I recently attended an amazing fire display. It was performed first at The Stairway Foundation where Soren Forsom and his girlfriend Mette Hojland Frisch who work as volunteers teaching circus skills performed a unique and stunning act!!! They followed this up with another display on Earth Hour (March 29th). They are part of The Pyromaniacs who have a Facebook page.

Soren and Mette performing at The Stairway Foundation

Soren Forsom performing at The Stairway Foundation

Mette performing on Earth Hour outside our house

Soren and Mette 


Last Monday with the generous help of Alice and Bjorn of AB Wonderdive, the Stairway children and staff did a try dive under the guidance and instruction of Laura Guy, Abi Colton from Zoox and Green Fins, Fiona Childs and Anita Gardener from Reef-World Foundation, and Alice and Magnus from AB Wonderdive. Thanks also to James Reseigh for the video footage! It was such an AWESOME many happy faces........BOOOOOOOOMTASTIC!

Laura giving a dive brief to the children of Stairway

Remember to equalise on the way down!

Finding Nemo

Dive, Dive, Dive!

Anita and her student

Laura and her Student
Abi and her student

Magnus and his student

Alice and her student

Abi, Magnus and Laura after the dive!

Anita and student after the dive!

Alice and her student
Fiona and student after the dive!
Abi, Laura and Lars take a break!

Big OK to an amazing day!

On Tuesday I went up to the Mangyan village of Baclayan with Jason ((Community Assistance Program Coordinator at Stairway) and Fiona Childs to explain the marine ecosystems project to the parents of the children who are taking part in this project.We also visited Stairway's organic farm which enables a feeding program to promote health and nutrition and encourage children to come to school.  We were shown around by Nonoy.  Growing methods are also shared with the community to teach them how to be more self sufficient.  Regular health clinics are held in the Stairway building.

Jason and Fiona begin their journey up to Baclayan

Stunning views on the way up
Mangyan child climbing tree!!!!
Parents listening to Jason explain the projects
Parents listening to Jason explain the projects
The children also came to listen to Jason speak
The Children also came to listen to Jason speak
The Children also came to listen to Jason speak
Nonoy showed us around his farm

Water Buffalo grazing

The farm produces, vegetables, chickens, pigs and buffalo


While we were up in Baclayan we visited Marilyn Tupas, who with a group of 22 Mangyan women basket weave and share the income.

The Mangyan women basket weaving

The Mangyan women basket weaving

The Mangyan women basket weaving

Little helper

A display of the beautiful baskets!

The lovely Mangyan basket weavers

At the end of last week a small group of us trekked up from Baclayan to Mount Malisimbo and across to Mount Talipanan covering a total of 55km of steep jungle terrain in humid heat lead by our awesome guide Leo and his amazing team! It was a very challenging and rewarding trip with breath taking views!

Guide starts to set up camp at the base of Mount Malisimbo
Our camp site high up in the clouds!
Guide cuts a path way through the thick dense jungle
Taking in the view! Looking towards Mount Talipanan
Selfie!! We are on top of a mountain! Mount Malisimbo
Sunset over Mount Talipanan
Star trails over Mindoro taken from the base of Mount Malisimbo
Leo preparing breakfast!

The guides prepared amazing food for us!
Casper chilling out at the top of Mount Talipanan
Stunning views from Mount Talipanan over looking Mindoro
Peter waving farewell to Mount Talipanan on the very steep descent
James,Peter,Casper,Leo and the awesome guides!
Well that just about covers the last couple of weeks here in Mindoro, will be back soon with another update which will include some more underwater shots! WilkieBooooooooom! x