A new forest conservation and homestay set in 300 hectares of stunning Borneo (Sarawak) rain forest that should be open in late 2016.
The family home is already built and sits on top of a hill with lovely views of the forest and hills in the distance - at 650 m or nearly 2000 ft in altitude give it a perfect climate for the tropics. Average temperatures are 32 during the day and 22 at night.
David has a multinational background and worked overseas all his life, and his wife Jackie is originally from the local village but worked in Kuala Lumpur for many years. The rest of the family consists of a number of dogs, cats and Megan an orphaned Sambar deer and whoever we are giving shelter to at the time.
You will be immersed in the constant sounds of the jungle which vary with time of day and be entertained by the resident monkey troop, watch the hornbills and the many other varieties of birds, mammals, reptiles and bugs that are our neighbors not forgetting the beautiful forest itself. A recent preliminary survey indicated that there are well over 100 species of birds here. Most of the larger mammals like the Gibbons and deer are extremely shy so unless you are very lucky you will have to be content just to hear them and know that you are helping us to keep them safe. Enjoy a weekly jungle walk and cool off in one of the nearby streams. This is a remote but memorable and authentic opportunity to assist in a fulfilling way.
Leki-Lu is 2 hours from the town of Lawas in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Lawas is easily reached by bus, boat and plane - see additional info below.
There is no internet or phone link with the outside world as we are off the radar - for now. If you intend to come get your communications done before you arrive.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Due to the remote location and sparse local population there is not a lot of local cultural exchange but whenever there is an opportunity we include our guests in local events. My wife and her 100 hundred year old mother who is a Bomo (shaman) are the resident cultural representatives of the Lun Bawan tribe.
Help will include but not be limited to all aspects of construction, landscaping, gardening, making trails, cooking, housework, road maintenance and animal care. Occasionally we may need you to house sit for a day or two while we go out of town for supplies. Two weeks is our preferred minimum stay due to the logistics of of traveling to and from Lawas. The climate is hot and humid which makes the work even more demanding so it is not for the feint hearted.
Current projects include building a long house, a pergola, plunge pool,vegetable gardens, fish ponds and generator house. The work routine will vary according to the weather (wet or dry) and changes in priority.
Ideally, volunteers should have some previous experience in labor intensive work especially construction. You will need to provide your own clothing and footwear suitable for doing manual work and exploring the jungle. If you don't like leeches long thick socks or leech socks help on walks. Make sure you have a a few spare sets of clothes (that you will not miss if they don't survive your stay) as you will need to change daily as the work is usually sweaty and often dirty. You must each have your own FLASHLIGHT to avoid stepping on the locals (snakes etc) when moving about at night .
We meet for breakfast at 07:00 and plan the days activities then. We generally work more than five hours per day so if you are not up to that please do not apply. We are flexible and include our guests in other activities that more than compensate for being productive.
As we are very isolated and have virtually no access to emergency services safety is paramount. We will never expect anyone to do anything that we won't do ourselves and if at any time you feel that something is unsafe or you don't feel comfortable doing it or don't understand the job then don't do it! If you have any kind of problem with the work or anything else come and discuss it. When you arrive we will give you a brief induction so you will know your way around before starting work.
Accommodation is a short distance from the house in the workshop/utility building. This comprises two bedrooms a deck and bathroom (cold water and oriental WC). Work is still underway but near completion. The food provided is more than adequate but limited to what is available locally so you will need to provide your own luxury items; alcohol, chocolate, cheese, etc. We are omnivores and as our kitchen is just geared for the the two of us and a couple of guests we cannot comfortably cater for people with special diets such as strict vegetarians. However, we are in the process of setting up a kitchen at the accommodation so this will not be an issue in the near future.
As most of our supplies are brought from Kota Kinablu (a 600km round trip) we have manage them carefully and have a strict policy of no helping yourselves to anything no matter how much you feel the need.
NOTE: Our only water source is harvested rainwater and therefore limited and critical to our existence. Please do not use any more than you absolutely need. Do not leave any water outlet running at any time and ensure that all taps etc are shut when not in use and report any leaks! If water usage is excessive we will have to shorten your stay. This is not a drill.
Most Workawayers travel to Lawas by bus from either Kota Kinabalu or Miri/Brunei which arrive mid day. If we are not at the bus station to meet you cross the road directly in front and wait for us at the Guan Kee coffee shop "Edwards" - mention us and you will be welcomed. Alternatively you can fly to Lawas from Miri and KK or take a speed boat from Brunei or Labuan Island. We usually visit Lawas on Mondays so please plan to arrive and depart on that day. If you choose another day to arrive you may have to make your own way by local transport from the Million Hotel to our access road and walk the remaining two kilometers to the house. (Under no circumstances are you to allow whatever transport you use to bring you up our road.) Give us as much notice as possible of your arrival.
While we are still providing meals at our house we appreciate having our place to ourselves once the meal is over and cleared away. We usually cook and you wash up.
During your free time the only activity that is really available is to go for a walk along one of our many jungle trails to experience it for yourself ie. once you have been given an orientation by me. You are here to experience the amazing rain forest, not to be entertained by us. You will get a chance to come to Lawas with us during your stay so will be able to access the internet.
At the risk of sounding overbearing I have tried to let you know in plain language what to expect at Lekilu and what we expect in return. I feel this only fair as until we get to know each other we are total strangers and this is not a good venue for either of us to start off with misunderstandings. To help in this area please give us as much information in your Workaway profile as possible. We will not respond to requests that are not supported by adequately completed profiles or for friends to accompany them that are not registered with workaway. Looking forward to meeting you and sharing our wonderful place. David and Jackie.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
We work more than 5 hours per day so expect the same. 5-6 days a week