Meanwhile, Andrew’s mother, Datin Maria Jose Muniozguren, 60, admitted that she initially had her concerns of letting Andrew join the expedition.
“As a mother, I was worried of a lot of things. For one thing, it was the first time I had to let him go on a trip so long without any relatives around. Andrew had travelled to a lot of places including my home country, Spain, and to other parts of Europe, but always with relatives.
“And the only time he had been away without relatives was to join the Mount Kinabalu Challenge with the Special Olympics team but that was only about four days max.
“I worried about how he would cope with the hard work that he would have to do, about the stability of his emotions whether or not he’s going to be able to control it, and so on. I worried about leeches (laughs), and about him going into waters because he cannot swim,” said Maria.
“But in the end I’m safely back home,” retorted Andrew with a smile for his mother, to which she gave back a consoled mother’s smile, as both thanked Rita for her guidance and caretaking throughout the expedition.
“Well that’s Andrew. He’s always willing to learn, experience new things, go places, and meet people. He’s always open to possibilities and I’m thankful for both Special Olympics and Raleigh Borneo for giving him this opportunity. It’s given him a good experience,” added Maria.
Port Sdn Bhd has made generous sponsorship to Special Olympics Sabah
athletes and their escorts in terms of attire (T- shirts, working shoes,
gears, etc) as well as transportation cost for Man Man and mother from
Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu return flight tickets.
returned to the Raleigh Borneo’s base camp at Kiulu on March 11, 2014,
where a homecoming event was organised to welcome the venturers back,
which culminated with a presentation of an appreciation token from
Special Olympics Sabah chairman, Datuk Safari Manan to Raleigh Borneo
Country Programme Manager, Phili Newell.