logistics of staging a six week expedition in
untamed tropical jungle, miles from the nearest
town, are formidable. The Gunung Buda Project
relies on Tropical
to set up and manage our camp. Without the support
of this able outfitter, each Gunung Buda Project
Expedition could only have achieved a small
fraction of its actual accomplishments. Here then,
is an introduction to that wonderful
Chua Eng Hin
Chua is Expedition's Limbang Coordinator. He
deals with the airlines, the boat company, picks
people up, delivers them, procures supplies, and
generally takes care of all town side organization.
He also drives people to Star Gate in his Land
Cruiser, and occasionally comes all the way to
camp. Without Chua, Buda Camp would not exist.
Jacob Melai, our able camp manager, keeps
everything running smoothly. He maintains
communication by cell phone with town, and can
often be seen standing in the road outside camp
with the cell phone to his ear. He arranges
transportation into and out of camp, orders
supplies, and is in frequent communications with
Jacob is a Barawan, and has been working in the
Gunung Mulu National Park for many years, as a tour
guide. In 1977 & 1978, he worked as a field
assistant with the scientist on the first
expedition to Gunung Mulu National Park, organized
by the Royal Geographical Society.
Papa Gayo is our esteemed cook. He is up every
day before dawn to get breakfast on the table and
pack lunches so that we can get into the field
before the heat of the day. For those who stay in
camp for day, there is often some hot lunch and an
afternoon snack. Dinners are mostly Malay, with an
occasional western dinner. Curries, stir-frys, and
exotic stews, with vegetables over rice. Sometimes
fruits and vegetables are gathered right here in
the jungle, such as wild rambutan or wild fern.
Papa Gayo is also father to five children,
Cheyenne is a "Jack of All Trades" camp helper.
He helps in the kitchen, washes dishes, and
maintains camp equipment such as the generator.
When Cheyenne is not busy supporting expeditions,
he works as a free lance artist. His pictures of
local critters, native peoples and cavers have
captured the imagination of all of us. The drawing
he is holding portrays one of the local lizards,
using an ink-dot techniques (stippling).
Chris is our other "Jack of all Trades". In
addition to his camp responsibilities, Chris has
participated in many cave trips, and is becoming an
accomplished caver. Chris also sports an amazing
collection of tattoos.
Andrew "the Silent"
Andrew is our driver. He and the trusty Toyota
Land Cruiser pickup truck are kept busy hauling
cavers on barely passable logging roads to bring
them as close as possible to their destinations,
and to pick them up wet and muddy at the end of the
day. Andrew also makes the hour plus trip to Star
Gate, to drop off and pick up travelers, and to
haul in fresh supplies.