PMs Amy and Charlie
When all the venturers returned to fieldbase this time there was a definite air of sadness. But we still had some serious partying to do before we all said our final goodbyes.
The first night back involved some festive skits, the prize of pizzas for lunch the next day went to Tango 7 for their impressive creativity, and the second night, the venturers were invited to a black tie event. Canapes and fruit punch were served as appetisers by fieldbase staff and then everyone was treated to a Christmas dinner of chicken, potato and veggies, followed by Anna's famous energy bombs for dessert.
Andrea, Frankie, Alison and Helen were there to serve
The prestigious Golden Mess Tin Awards followed the meal with awards as follows:
The Human Dustbin Award - Tor
The Casanova Award - Thomas
Expedition Chic - Laura
Best Duo - Alain and Ardu (a goat!)
Digging Machine - Boops
Sunshine on a Rainy Day - Pip
Finest Theatrical Performance - Jamie Green as Ardu
Outstanding Male - Vinay
Outstanding Female - Sam
A festive Boops collects his Golden Mess Tin Award for Human Digging Machine
The final slideshow came next which brought a tear to the eye of everyone thanks to Moycey's good work. Most people stayed up into to the early hours to see her off which meant a lot more tears. We miss you Moycey!
All those tears were good practice for the next day when we saw all the venturers off on the bus. Some staff also went home with them: Neil, Charlie and Davina who will all be sorely missed at the staff party! The few hours before the bus were very subdued with everyone saying their goodbyes, swapping contact details and already planning reunions.
Leti and Claire say goodbye
Mark and Miriam share a moment
John and Vinay
So that brings us to the end of expedition 09J. And it has been amazing. A school has been built, a ranger station renovated, an anti poaching camp improved, two villages have sustainable agriculture and five treks have been completed. The impact the volunteers have had has been immense and it will be an experience to remember for the rest of their lives. So thank you to everyone who gave up their time to come to India, work hard, do a hell of a lot of digging, and make a massive difference. We'll hopefully see you all soon.
This is Zero, listening out.