Welcome to the official blog for Raleigh India 12I | July - August 2012

Welcome to the Official Blog for Raleigh India 12J September - December 2012.

Tuesday 29 July 2008

Deployment for Adventure Challenge

Things will be a bit quiet on the blog for the next few days, while we get stuck into the Adventure Challenge but I'll try to update you all as soon as possible with news and pictures from all the groups. See you soon!

Opening Ceremonies

Today marks the end of the Projects for our Alpha groups; the tools are packed away, the last walls plastered and painted, the equipment ready to be placed on the mini-buses in the morning as we all head down to Kerala for the Adventure Challenge. Venturers and Project Managers alike said they were excited but nervous, and so they should be - the next week will be jam-packed full of fantastic games, challenges, activities and events!

While Fieldbase staff packed up all the equipment in Mysore, ready to relocate our base for the week ahead, a few of us spent the day with Alpha One and Two as special guests at their opening ceremonies. There was music, speeches, presentations of gifts and floral garlands and then more speeches! It was fantastic to hear such warm words of thanks and kindness from our project partners and members of the communities where the groups have been living and working for the past three weeks.

All groups have been working extremely hard to finish their projects in such a short space of time and they can feel really proud of everything they have achieved. Here are some photos from today's events...

Alpha Two - Hediyala Rainwater Harvesting

The event opened with a Kannada song

The girls looking lovely in their sarees

Iona and Ali give a word of thanks...

and a present to Mr Dasegowda, RC Manager

Completed rainwater harvesting tanks
Country Director Gavin Shelton adds to the artwork

Charlotte and Jess

Time for cake and tea...

Alpha One - Sollepura Community Centre

The ceremony continued despite the rain
Medics Yvette and Jane
Dani and JP prepare for their speech

All are presented with a floral garland

Monday 28 July 2008

The Loop-the-Loop to the Alpha Groups

In the wee hours of Tuesday morning myself (Suzee the photographer) and the Assistant Logs Manager Ian dragged ourselves from the warmth and coziness of our beds into the Raleigh car to set off on our Loop visit of all 3 Alpha groups.

Or first stop was at Alpha 3’s Environmental worksite where we realized that we had left all the creature comforts of Field Base behind. On arrival to the worksite I got to work taking lots of pics and recorded some video footage.
Ian had the work boots and gloves on and jumped straight into work on the site. The building of the Anti Poaching Camp was coming along a treat and the team were working extremely well alongside the local masons. We stayed in the Inspection Bungalow that evening and Alpha 3 cooked up a mini feast for us.

Not too early a start the next morning we were back on the road again and on our way to Nanjangood where we stopped to have a look at the temple and have tea. We carried on through the beautiful rural countryside where the roads may be bumpy but are lined with banyan trees and fields of sunflowers.

Alpha 2 Project Managers gave us a tour of the 25 rain water harvesting units in the village and we got to meet the different teams working with the families and locals. At lunch time the group descended on the community centre where a delicious curry lunch is provided local cooks. Just as we were about to depart again for an afternoon of hard work the monsoon rains kicked in.

Some local village members and masons took this opportunity to entertain us with singing, dancing and wheel barrow racing! Eventually the rain stopped so the fun was postponed and it was back to work. I also visited the school which was definitely an experience like no other – we sang songs with the children and 2 venturers were there to do English lessons with them.

Once the camera appeared I was completely mobbed but loved it just as much as all the kids. That evening we joined a cricket match with the community and later we all sat around a campfire where the group presented us with a cake to welcome us to their new home in Hediyala.

On the road again we were off to Alpha 1 where we were greeted by a hectic scene of building on the worksite and small groups working on their enteries for the fashion show they were putting on that evening. There was a fit of excitement as PM Rich built a runway and stage lit up by our cars headlights.

All the villagers lined both sides of the runway to watch the show. The local children sang songs as we waited for the show to begin and afterwards the local villagers and the Raleigh group sang songs and danced. As our Finance Manager Lorraine doubled as a Project Manager for the first 2 weeks of the phase she had to say her goodbyes to the group and the villagers.

Another early start Friday morning we packed up all of our gear and returned to Fieldbase just in time for the morning meeting where it was back to business as usual – well as usual as it can be here in India on a Raleigh Expedition!!!:)

Leaving, on a jet plane...

Our Welling School group caught their flight back to London in the early hours of this morning, after a fantastic 3 weeks on Raleigh. Despite the heat, rain, exhaustion (and leeches) they all said they'd had an amazing experience.

Team Alpha Four!

They can all return home with a great sense of achievement, having completed their community project in the village of Kandegala in record time and battling their way through the Adventure Challenge in a rather wet and muddy Kerala!

All of us at Fieldbase have been tremendously impressed with their enthusiasm and determination. They have made a real impact on the community at Kandegala and worked extremely well as a team to achieve an enormous amount together in a very short space of time.

Well done Alpha Four!

Meanwhile the other Alpha groups are coming to the end of their Project Phases and will soon be heading down to Kerala themselves to take part in their own Adventure Challenge. The Fieldbase team have been busily preparing for the week ahead and there are plenty of challenges, events and activities, which will continue to remain a secret for now...

Here's a quick update on all the groups:

Alpha One
have finished construction on the site and are plastering the walls of the Community Centre in preparation for the grand opening ceremony on Tuesday. On Friday they said goodbye to Project Manager Lorraine, who has now returned to Fieldbase to catch up on all our finances before we depart on the Adventure Challenge. The whole village gathered together on her final evening and Raleigh participants provided entertainment in the form of a fashion show.

Alpha Two
enjoyed a trip out yesterday despite the rainy weather. All 25 rainwater harvesting systems are built, plastered and whitewashed. As they await the arrival of the plumbing parts, they too are preparing for their opening ceremony to be held on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the end of the project.

Alpha Three
have finished installing the roof on the anti-poaching camp and were busy putting last touches to the plastering and flooring this morning, before heading out to the local town of Chamrajanagar for a day of sightseeing and shopping!

Thursday 24 July 2008

Alpha Group Updates

Alpha One

The group have been working hard on the Community Centre and have now almost completed building the walls. There is a fashion show planned for this evening, so they will be preparing their costumes today. Daily cooking lessons and teaching English in the local school continues.

Alpha Two

They were up early again this morning for their wake-up swim before heading out to the worksites. Only two water-harvesting tanks are left to build now, so they will continue with construction today and have plans to swim again this evening and eat lots of cake from the local bakery as a treat.

Alpha Three

Despite rain and mud yesterday, the team have finished all the walls on the anti-poaching camp building and, weather permitting, will begin with the roof and digging the elephant-proof trench today around the camp, with the help of a large JCB!

Alpha Four

Our Welling School group were suffering from the rain last night but said they were all in great spirits, having completed the first day of their Adventure Challenge. They had cycled an impressive 30 kilometres before setting up their overnight camp. It was an early start for them this morning, as they left for a day of trekking!

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Messages from Alpha Three

Alpha Three have been storming ahead with their anti-poaching camp in the BRT Hills. After finishing the foundations to the building, yesterday they had managed to build up to a height of 3 layers of breezeblock all the way around, as well as finishing the door fitting!

After all this hard work it was declared that they would be preparing a feast of a dinner for themselves that evening, once they had sent out the following messages to you all back home...

Sarah, Mhari and Ella

Hello everyone! Hope you are all well. Having a fantastic time here. Sorry I forgot to sort out your birthday present Dad! Lots of Love, Ella xxx

Hello to Mummy, Daddy and everyone at home. Having an amazing time, working hard, sweating hard and laughing loads. I’m still all together – no major accidents lol. Fingers still in place. Love to everyone. Sarah xxx.

Arun and Ice

Hi my lovely families and Raleigh friends in Hong Kong. I’m now building up an anti poaching camp in an Indian National Reserve. No phone or internet but having fun. Smiles & lots of time for thinking. I’m ok and no worry. Take care! Ice Tang – Hong Kong (India)

PMs - Sharon, Gill and Vijay

Hi All, Hope everyone is having as good a summer as me!! Great group, great project. Fantastic weather! Love Gill xxx.

Hello to Ma, Pa, Gavin, Danni, Mudo and everyone else at home. Having a great time – bucket showers are bliss after a hard days work at the project site, saw elephants in the wild and have many laughs – working with a bunch of great people. Take care, lots of love hugs and kisses, Sharon.

Bill, Ian and Mark P

Hi Folks, Hope everything is going good back home. Bet it’s pouring down! Having an ace time, too much to tell you – haha. Got a few postcards coming. Grew myself a moustache! Well Good! Missing everyone, missing Iron Bru and gasping for a pint. Tell Sandie I love her and I’m missing her loads! Mark Pryde xx

Hello everyone, Having a great time. Pleased I passed my exams so hopefully see you after the 10 weeks. I’ll speak to you when Raleigh finishes. Lots of Love, Bill. PS Hope Jamie hd a good birthday. x

Mhari, Amelia and Ian

Hello, managing to survive without my GHD’s! Having a great time. Loving India! Hope you’re all well, love Mhari.

Having a great time. Working and sweating lots! Embracing the dirt!!! Amelia