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 March 2011

Tango 5 take 5...

The loop visits are still in full swing this phase and we've been heading out to see all the teams. Una, our administrator, has just returned from Kerala where she caught up with Tango 5 on their rest day. Here's what they all got up to...

Trekking in the Cardamom country and tea plantations.

I've just got back from my travels to see the lovely Tango 5 trekking group in Kerala. The 12 hour journey was long and very picturesque. The Western Ghats mountain range comprises of tea plantations, cardamom fields and national reserve parks which contain rare wildlife and varying terrain. The group completed the impressive task of climbing Misappulimala at 8,333 ft, the second highest peak in South India, and double the height of Ben Nevis, on their first day trekking, something they should all be very proud of!

I met Tango 5 on their rest day at the Chaturangappara camp site which has a lake with swans and is surrounded by flowers and thick foliage. 

They decided to make a traditional vegetarian Sambar curry as a local family that lives near to the camp offered to teach them how. During the day the group played card games and were busy reading and writing to their loved ones. We even found a lovely little chai shop that sold cakes and goodies to stop by as Phillip de Koning celebrated his birthday at the camp and we all sang Happy Birthday to him and ate a delicious piece of cake.

The group are having a lovely time trekking and have spoken of their enjoyment of pushing themselves to climb mountains, swim and wash in waterfalls and camp life.

The team of Tango 5
Back row L - R Sachin, Kieran, George, Daan, Elliott, Philip, George, Stuart (PM)
Front row L - R Lisa, Clare, Susan (PM), Bryony, Lauren, Fieke, Anna, Ellie

Susan and Stuart, the Tango 5 project managers enjoying a well earned rest day.

Some of the group were invited into the camp gatekeeper's house to learn how to make sambar curry with his family.
L - R Elliott, Bryony, Susan, Fieke. 

Philip celebrates his birthday with not one but TWO cakes!

Thanks for that Una and we wish Tango 5 all the best for their last few days out in the wilderness of Kerala and look forward to seeing them all back at field base soon. I've just got back from an amazing trip to see Charlie 1 and Tango 6, also in Kerala so I'll be posting all the news from them very soon, promise...

Here are their messages to you at home…

To Penny Evans
From Clare Evans 
Alice is applying to uni? I did not know this. To study what? Wish her the very best of luck from me. Trekking is amazing – the scenery is amazing can’t wait to show the photos. Animal sightings update: loads of monkeys, warthogs, water snakes, numerous kingfishers, eagles and a baby chipmunk. Poor Melly hope she’s ok give her a hug from me! I may travel on afterwards – I’ll email you in just over a week. Love, Clare xxx

From Ellie Burton 
To Mother Burton
Hellooo! Just a quickie to let you know I’m surviving trek in Kerala so far, weather’s very humid, particularly in the thick jungle areas! Half expecting Baloo the Bear floating past us in the river! Climbed the 2nd highest peak in India (shock horror), views were incredible, the slide down on my bum was less incredible. Also built a raft seen kingfishers, showered in waterfalls and regularly get up at 4 am! Very wild. Miss you loads, hope you’re well xxx

From Anna Clarke 
To Sebastian & Famille Clarke
Hello all! Trek is going pretty darn well. Had a touch of the Delhi belly on day one yet still conquered the 2nd highest peak in South India. Quite an achievement I feel. Scenery is absolutely breathtaking so my pictures are fairly epic. Can’t wait for you to see what I’m seeing. At a camp in the jungle today it’s pretty toasty so taking the opportunity to sort out the T-shirt tan. Sorry to hear about Bruney I’m sure he’ll have an amazing time whatever he ends up doing. Hope you’re all well, send my love to everyone. Lots of love xxx

From Biryani your wife 
To Kathy Leeno
Hello gorgepot! Trek is amazing. I think of you a lot when I’m stood sweating my bodyweight in water, and think fondly of the times we attempted any sort of exercise (could I be any hotter?). I think about you a lot and think about the sticky turtle situations you get yourself into. It is the most beautiful place I’ve been to out here, but trekking is so hard. Can’t wait to speak to you properly. Miss you millions. Hope you and J have an amazing holiday and hope to God the patchy belly has made a comeback. Love you xxx

From Stu Vincent 
To All
Hi all, now on trek through stunning Kerala, experiencing forests, roads and a number of mountainous areas. Hardest trekking I’ve ever done. Humid and backpack almost at breaking point. Good job I’ve lost about 10kg since being in India. Not been this light since school. Camp sites are amazing and a great reward after a days trek. Not long till back and catch up with everyone then. Take care Stu

From Lisa Akyol 
To my fellow Akyols and mes amis
Allo allo everybody! I can’t believe how time flies out here, I’m already on day 8 of trekking through the jungle. The scenery is absolutely breath taking – especially the view from the 8,000 ft mother of a mountain we casually ascended on our first day. No biggie Pa, you would love our guide – he too is partial to wearing jeans whilst walking. Lol Timmy has prepared me well and all my D of E skills are defo paying off. All I’m missing is Cauth to recite a bit of hazza p to me as I saunter through the tea plantations and life would be complete! I’m so so excited to travel on afterwards now, but I am properly looking forward to my shower, bed and a cold glass of milk when I get back! Miss and love you all my lovelies, Lisa xxx ps M, will send you plans as soon as I get access to the internet, and it is sweltering J

From Bryony Wilde 
To All the people I love
Hello! Having the most amazing time in Kerala – it’s the most beautiful place I’ve seen! Literally have seen the most fantastic scenes and sights out here, and the weather is amazing so the tan is getting pretty immense! So the actual trekking eek! It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m enjoying it so much! We conquered the second highest peak in South India (8000 metres) on our first day it was so intense. Since then we’ve averaged about 15 km a day, all over the shop, up amazing mountains, down again, through tea plantations, banana fields, cardamom plantations, jungle … the list goes on!! The camp sites each night are getting so amazing – we’ve had some fantastic spots – photos on my return! We get up at 2/3/4/ am each morning which is tough but means we get lots of trekking done in the (relatively) cool! Hope you are all okay and glad to know I’m still alive! We made rafts and rafted too and didn’t sink! It’s a dangerous game out here! Love you all and speak to you so soon, can’t believe there’s only a few weeks left! India love for one and all xxx p.s family you may have to pay my Glastonbury balance for me… I’m not sure when I have to pay the full balance ?!? Please can you check Marcus? Xxx pps Rosie Jones email me the campervan plannage, excited!!

From je liefste zus 
To Willem Haak
Kleine!! Ben zwaar teleurgesteld date k geen blog bericht van je heb ontwangen…horde van pap dat je al berig bent me m’n welkoms spandoek. Maak hem dan maar extra groot en mooi! Kan niet wachten je wee rte zien…et zie je op schophol, geen excuus dit leer!! Xxx tot snel

From Philip de Koning 
To de kline die dit leest
Hoiii heb het naar min zin hier. Trek is zeus zwaar maar ook erg leuk heb zojuist haart gegeten vooz min verjaardag wie over een paar uur begint. Spreek jullie gauw! X Philip

From Fieke Haak 
To Familie Haak
Hee lieve fam! Ik leep nog! Det is echt het waste wat it coit heb gedaan, maar het is echt 20 leuk!! De tweede dag de 2nd highest peak van Z-India beklommen, was echt heel zwaar, maar 20ngoed gevoel toen we op de top waren en het eutracht was echt zoo mooi! Daarna twee rustige dagen gehad en vangag nu lopen we elke dag 10 km tot 22 km in de Bergen. Het is ock heel warm, gister 37 degrees du swat anders dan by jullie! Lik gaan ongeveer elke dag om 8 eur naar bed omop 2 n vroegst om 3 uur op te staan … Helaas na de eerstedag al blaren… En ek maak veel foto’s hoor!! Het nitacht is echt 200 mooi!! Hebook het pakelje met uitricht is echt zoo mooi!! Heb ook het  pakelje met snoep ontvangen, dankje!! Helaas no geen brig… Dikke kus!!

Sunday 27 March 2011

Tales of toilets and trenches...

A few days ago it was time to see how the gang at Charlie 2 were getting on with building 15 eco-sanitation units in BD Munti. And as it turns out they’re getting on really well and are ploughing through the work fueled by the sweet chai provided by the families they're working with. Naomi and I arrived in the morning while they were still hard at work in pairs at some of the houses in the village. Book was the day leader so she took us on a tour of the village to find the team working away and here’s who we found...

Book shows Naomi and I around the houses that the group are working at in BD Munti

Before we meet up with some of the groups, we stop to chat to some of the villagers.

Field base medic, the lovely Naomi and Book from Charlie 2 with some of the villagers of BD Munti.

Becky and Guy working hard on plastering the inside of the eco-sanitation toilet with their mason.

Book and Alex

Ross and Sian at the house where they're building the toilet.

Back to work after a quick chai break.

 Then we joined them for lunch to catch up and hand out everyone’s blog messages and post that had been sent from home much to everyone's enjoyment.

The school where the group are staying.
The group have been busy teaching at the school and have one of the neatest rotas I've seen on any of the camp sites.

Guy and the lady from our project partner MYKAPS share a joke as Becky and Katy read their mail.

Binika, Becky and Katy all reading mail from home. Some more shocking than others...

Katy reading the article about her fundraising efforts in a local newspaper sent from home. Brave lady but we love her new hair.

Charlie 2 on the school volley ball pitch that they've been making the most of.
L - R Phil, Chris, Book, Sian, Celine (PM), Cat (PM), Guy, Binika, Ross, Sophie, Alex, Becky and Katy.

The group are having a lovely time in between all the hard work and everyone there is happy and well and looking forward to attending a local wedding today so hopefully we'll see photos of them in their finery very soon. They gave me some messages for you at home which are all at the bottom of this post.

I also took a trip out to see Echo 4 in Basa Pura two days ago to catch up with them over lunch after their morning shift in the trenches. There was much talk of the thunder storms and the lightening that they'd seen the night before but luckily they didn't get too wet.

They’re all enjoying the digging and the spare time in the afternoon to teach at the local school, decorate their bashas or plan their evening entertainment. While I was there Jonny and Dan were deep in thought preparing a quiz for that night. I think it’s fair to say that Jonny was deeper in thought than Dan as he was more concerned about finding out who’d eaten some of his bread.

Jonny takes a break from preparing the quiz to show us his t-shirt that they were using as a camp flag.

Echo 4's shelter, shower and long drop.

I got a tour of some of the bashas including Ellie's covered in lovely photos.

Emily and Maddy

The group down in the trench with their camp behind them.
Back row L - R Clare, Jonny, Paz, Ed, Ellie, Ameze, Emily
Front row L - R Dan (PM), Mona (PM), David, Sarah, Sunil, Maddy, Andy and Flo.

While Maddy and Flo stayed back to watch the camp, the rest of the group and I headed into Basa Pura for some chai where the group are now pretty well known so get a very warm welcome from the villagers.

Dan waits for chai as many people watch on through the window.

Emily get's a fit of the giggles with the lady who runs the chai shop.

The family that run the chai shop in Basa Pura and some of their regular customers.

Echo 4's chai crew. How we all fitted in there I will never know.
 L - R Mona (PM), David, Jonny, Ed, Dan (PM), Clare, Sunil, Paz, Clare, Ellie, Andy and Emily.
Thanks Echo 4, I had a blast and will be back to see you before the end of the phase.

Then yesterday we ventured out to see the Echo 3 gang on the riverbank at Huskurhaddi which is always a great place to visit. There was a bit of rain while we were there which was actually a welcome change from the searing heat and a chance for everyone to get those ponchos out that haven’t been used much so far. Sophie had been with us at field base for a few days due to illness but she's much better now so has joined the rest of the group back at camp which is great.

They’re continuing to dig the trenches around the camp from sunrise to lunchtime and then making the most of the reservoir in the afternoons or heading into the local village a short walk away. Due to the weather, we spent most of the time under the shelter keeping dry so photo opportunities were limited but here are a few shots of the guys in their camp...

Kannan in his basha

Rob and Nic in the background.

Rob shows us the impressive shelf he's built at the end of his basha to hold all the essentials, a huge book and a torch.
Sophie and Simone

Back row L - R Kannan, Nic, Georgi, Hugh, sam, Alice, Rob, Laura
Front row L - R Ros (PM), Chloe, Scott, Sophie, Simone and Stu (PM)
I'm back on the road tomorrow for a few days as I head south to visit Charlie 1 in Vellary and then Tango 6 at their camp so I'll bring you more news of them soon. Una also took the long trip out to see Tango 5 this week so I'll be back with some news from then in the next few days.

I wanted to update everyone on the 10k fundraising as we've already smashed the target of £1,300.00 thanks to you lot which is 'super' as they would say here in India, with the essential head wobble too of course. So as there's still a week to go until we have to actually do the run (gulp!) we're going to keep fundraising and put the additional money towards other projects that we're working on at the local school in Jayapura and towards installing a model bio-gas unit at field base. Thanks again everyone, your sponsorship really is greatly appreciated.

Here are the messages from the teams to you at home...
Charlie 2
From Katy Star
To Old bloke
Practicing my cement mixing and building up my guns for when i get back!! Am a pro at throwing it at the walls and lifting bricks! Loadsa love, Mouse x x x

From Katy Star
To Mothership
Received the Bridders news, looking forward to a good read!! It’s not Mother’s day til April apparently oops! Loadsa love, Mouse x x x

From Katy Star
To Dommer
Just got some post, yay thanks! Am v muscley from lifting bricks! Love you loads x x x

From Sophie van Dorp
To Robin Petersen
Lieve lieve robin, heb net nellies blog messages gelezen en oh oh oh GAAF. Je gaat het geweldie hebben en we gaan he il veel skypen! Curacao lekker warm, lega je missen (doe ik al) Iliefde en PS: Lieve allemaal: geef het door rechts gaat voor Oranje boven. X Sophie (Soapie)

From Ross Conquest
To The Conquests
Hi, hoe you are all well. Thanks for the messages! I didn’t forget about Grandma’s B-day, wish her a happy birthday and a happy birthday to Dad for the 31st!! No news on work which is frustrating, I’ll email them once I’ve got back. Ahh hope the doggies get better. Really enjoying Charlie 2 now. Fantastic village and people./ Missing you all loads I will call you once I’ve finished Raleigh.
Love you all lots
Ross x x x

From Becky Barnes
To friends and family
Hello all, I am really enjoying community and in a really lovely group. Thanks for all the blogs and post, it makes my day to receive it. Mum – have an amazing time in Venice – take lots of photos. Roz, I received once letter thanks gorgeous girl. Mel – congratulation – how exciting! Am so happy for you. Smoo – I cannot wait to see you again. Ruth – enjoy the last bit of travelling. Amy – your letter made me laugh out loud – it was like speaking to you. I can’t wait to catch up properly with everyone! Please could someone tell Phoebe that I fly into Malaysia on 27th for 2 nights and can contact her from 6th April. Please could someone tell Gina that I finish on 6th April and will be in Bangalore from the 6th. I would quite like to travel north but haven’t decided completely yet so need to talk.. I will be back in the UK on 30th April and can’t wait to see you all, Love you all loads
Bec x x

Echo 4 

From David Gutteridge
To Nigel
Hey Nigel, thanks for dropping me a line, always nice to hear from family over here. Glad that Cris’s party was great, really disappointed that I couldn’t be there to celebrate it with him, please give him all the best from me. Not so good about Sara but I doubt I would have been in a much better state. You will definitely have to come round for a watch when the F1 season starts all I have seen since trekking is cricket.  Glad to hear everything is good with you although I won’t be able to email you soon until I’m back home. Hope to hear from you soon.
PS Sea fishing sounds amazing, the Indian fishing I have done here is truly brutal.

From David Gutteridge
Hey Mum and Dad
Firstly I would like to thank you guys for all the blog messages you have been sending me, it’s always nice to hear news from home. Also thanks for the car packages, although I haven’t received either as yet (25/3) So far I am having an amazing time although it’s so strange to think that in 2 weeks I will be back home. Echo is amazing and despite the working hard I have so many chances to mix with the community. From teaching at the local school to gate crashing an Indian wedding. Hope to hear from you guys again soon.
PS I am more than happy to talk through my experiences with the heritage foundation when home
PPS I bet Simon is loving his holiday, I will have o think up new material for my return.
PPPS On a more boring note, can you make me an appointment for a new prescription for the 7th or 8th.
Thanks Dave x

From Emily Hodge
To Mum, Tim and Lydia
Just wondering if you are ok? Haven’t heard from you in so long. Emailed you a few weeks ago but haven’t managed to get internet again so if you replied then I haven’t read it. Can’t believe this time in 2 weeks I will be home, going to be so sad to leave here but getting excited to see you now. On Environmental phase now digging elephant trenches. So hot here, about 37 degrees the other day. Finally got ill after 7 weeks here , was horrible but a better now. Blog me if you can, would be nice to hear from you!
Love you loads, Emily x x x

From Emily Hodge
To Lorne
Just got your blog message, made me very happy to hear from you, feel like it’s bene years! On environmental phase now diggint elephant trenches but it’s so hot can only work til 11 then have the rest of the day free, it’s amazing. So crazy I’ll be home in 2 weeks but only going back for a few days from the 6th – 10th so we have to skype yes. Are you in NZ now? Miss you so so much can’t wait to speak to you, hope you’re behaving! Love you x x x x
PS haven’t bumped into BB yet!

From Martyn Parry
To Mum and Dad
All is good on Echo 4. Yes I’m up for a curry when I’m home as long as you’re paying.
See you soon, Martyn x

From Sunil Mistry
To Everyone
Hey guys, Last phase, having loads of fun! Nice to hear from all of you guys, definitely take you up on a nice cold beer when I get back Hinai! (Probably missin that the most on this phase!) Been to teach in a school which was really fun and met the kids and all the locals who all think I speak the local language! Can’t wait to see you all when i get back, wherever that is! I’m going travelling for about 2 weeks after Raleigh so you’re gonna have to wait to see me and hear my stories!
From Sarah Churlish
To Andrew
sorry dude, got your last message just as I was getting on the bys to Echo 4 so this is the first chance I’ve has to reply. So glad to know you’re keeping up with the blog, as you can see the white tights are gradually getting browner – very slowly. No ‘cow’ wasn’t the best I’ve got haha but the kids can’t say Sarah, it’s like Sha-rah ha ha. As for the thai pants – sorry dude guys don’t wear trousers here. I’ve been looking long and hard (mainly coz I want some) but there are none anywhere – maybe because I’m in India, Not Thailand – just a guess! I get back on the 16th now – sort out a Churlish sibling reunion in lancs yeah? It’s the ugly one’s Easter hols I think so as the middle Churlish, that’s your job. Get it sorted! Anyway, missing you lots. Can’t wait for a catch up and to show off my tan! Love you lots x x x

From Clare Lynch
To Yvette
Hey Yvette, Clare here. Am great thanks how are you? Yeah am having an amazing time, so hard but well worth it. I saw pictures of you in the CTRD book LOL al show you sometime back home. God there were so many times I wanted to go home he he, So what you been up to then? You been to fairbridge? Love from Clare x x

Echo 3

From Sophie Lethier To Dad
Happy Birthday! Hope you have a fantastic day. Lots of love, Sophie. Hope all is well.

From Simone Slagboom
To Daphne
Hi Daph! Hier alles gaed behalve dat de d and v door het hele kamp gaat. Ik heb zo veel zin om te kiezen! Ik ga de 15e naar Thailand maar super leuk dat we toch samen reizen! Nog een week en dan stuur ik je een langer bericht! Hoe is Holland? Tot shel! Xx Simone

From Scott Rae
To Andrew
Hello from the elephant trench! OMG I am loving all these posts – my group totally appreciate the celeb updates, the Justin Bieber news went down a treat. Still having a fab old time and for your information, no, I’m not loving curry any more than before. However, chai is probably the best thing in the world. Will give you guys a holler as soon as I’m back. Oh, major congrats to you all on the exam front!!! Scott x
PS – 9th April sounds awesome!
PPS – tell Ruth so sorry no time to reply and hell yes to salsa classes.

From Scott Rae
To Jen, Alan and Jamie
Hey! So nice to receive so many blog messages today. Having fun on environmental phase – manual labour totally isn’t my thing, but for my elephant friends I can compromise. Can’t believe I only have a week left! Hope Jamie’s recovered – looking forward to my welcome home cuddle. Also hope your course went well. See you very soon, Scott x

From Scott Rae
To Pam
Hi Pam! I got your letter! It was so nice to get snail mail amongst my array of blog messages! Having a great time on environmental phase – sadly, not long until it’s all over so enjoying every minute that’s left. I’ll callyou when I’m back to fill you in on my adventures. Hope you’re well. Scott x

From Scott Rae
To Mum
Hi! OK I’m on a tight time schedule so this is very brief – too many blog posts, too little time! Having an awesome time! No battery on mobile so will see you in Glasgow airport unless there’s a problem! So sorry this is brief! Scott x

From Scott Rae
To Nic
So nice to hear from you! Cannot wait to hear this gossip. Oh even reading the word pizza makes me salivate – I look forward to our evening. I have so many posts to respond to so I’m going to stop. Hope you’re well and see you very soon! Scott x

From Alice Corby
To Mum Corby
We have just received the blog. I have 7 messages from you as I think they have been brewing a while. I’m glad the 2 cuties are loving my nice white cushion. It’s getting hotter by the moment and we don’t have a lot of shade. I haven’t burnt though which is good. How did you hear about my camera? Pain in the bum but it’s fixed but it cost me! It would be nice to receive some treats but I don’t feel there is enough time now. It’s hard to know when you receive my letter and messages. Please let me know about train. I’m thinking about getting an internal flight from Goa to Delhi to save time. When I’m travelling I will call if I can. I’ll look into it. Yes I’m travelling with Sam. Blonde and tall. I told you about her before I went out I think. I will write to you again, haven’t really been feeling like writing last week but when next loop comes I will write. Please send me address as I forgot my address book. Sending lots of love. I hope your preparing my 5 course feast for just over a month’s time. Lots of love Alice x x x

From Alice Corby
To Jack Corby and Kjoersti
Thanks for writing to me finally! Ha! I think the hat is the height of fashion, yes trek was goo, really hard but did it. Knee was in a lot of pain. Hardest thing I’ve done and felt like a skank the whole time. It’s really hot here now, 38 degrees I think. It’s hard to dig and build in the heat. You can call me but it will cost so much money I expect but only at field base will be back there in 8 days and nearly the end of Raleigh, I will try and get a sim card to call you. I’m going to try and call Mum too, Send me your address and I will write to you. I went on facebook about 2 weeks ago but in England it was 4 in the morning. My camera broke so not many photos which is disappointing I can’t wait for nice food and my bed. It’s going to be so luxurious. I’m looking forward to travelling too. I will call when I can. Miss you, lots of love and hugs, Alice x x x

From Laura Bryce
To Chloe Bryce
Hey huni! Not long now until I’m home, hope you’re behaving. How come you dyed your hair black then lady? How did the dentist go? Just got mum’s letter and photos today (26.03.11) tell Joseph I said hello as I’ve only got enough time for one message. I will be home in 10 days hope the rooms tidy and you haven’t been wearing my clothes. Tell everyone I said hello and send my love.
Love you loads x x x

From Samantha Anderson
To Mum, dad, Tanya and Shelby
Hey guys, thanks for your blogs. Dad I’m glad to hear your eyes are ok! Have been worried. How did Shelby get on at Tina’s Has your cold gone yet? I’m not very well at the moment but everyone is looking after me which is lovely. Really looking forward to seeing you and excited about chilling on the patio. Love and miss you loads,. Big kisses x x x x x x x

From Sam Anderson
To Ellie Snowsill
Hey sweet, glad you’re doing a bit better and that pink is looking after you. Sorry to hear about EFJ
L What’s the new car called? Really missing you! Can’t wait to meet Bella, say hi to Jess for me – looking forward to seeing you and can’t wait ti experience your new CD player. Will ring after this phase nearly finished this phase so not long now until I’ll be back. Love you loads and miss you x x x x x

From Sam Anderson
To Dharmendra Patel
Georgi, did tell me, sorry to hear about it but glad to hear you’re still friends. I have your USB stick from Eeva and I won’t forget to bring them with me when we meet up. Now that trek is over I can see that I enjoyed it but won’t do another one! Will tell you everything when I see you. Missing you. Take care, much love Sam x x x

From Sam Anderson
To Keri
Yes Hun, too late to write me a letter now, there’s only 11 days left of expedition so only 31 days until I’m home! Tell Grahame he’s a moron! Glad you and Gary are ok. Got to keep this short so will text soon, love you x x x x

Tango 6

From Danielle Sharpe
To Jenny Hopton
Hey hun, sorry I didn’t reply sooner – I am currently trekking so makes sending messages harder! That’s okay for your present J what do you mean the earrings are getting stuck? Did you like the purse? Yeah I’ve been really busy but having a great time, I’m home so soon now! Aww bless Rhys, he has talk of a welcome home party in Lboro too! Free fest sounds amazing will be there! I can’t wait to see you! I miss you and love you lots xxx

From Ben Schroeder
To Charlotte Schroeder
Happy 21st! I know this is kinda premature but this is the last I’ll be able to contact you before the 27th. I hope your party is a banger and try not to be sad about the fact you’re nearly dead.
Love Ben x

From James Bell
To Rachel
Hey! I got your message on 19.03.11 and it was really nice to hear from you J. Go ahead with Rdg tickets hopefully people will be persuaded by Grosser. T6 is really good, everyone is having a great time hear even though the first few days were hell with the heat and terrain, but now I’m having so much fun. What was this about my arms? I hope you enjoyed Jodie’s stay over and that you are feeling better! Thinking of you lots, love James xxxx

From Georgia Brooke-Hitching
To Spencers 
Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! It’s amazing here, trekked 15km through thick Indian jungle today which was awesome, we were told to be careful of snakes and spiders but didn’t see any. Belated birthday wishes to Flora and I hope that Tom and Hannah have a great adventure in NYC! Lots of love, Georgia x

From Georgia Brooke-Hitching
To Zahra Sachedine
I’m so sorry I haven’t been in touch! It’s hard when trekking and this blog is the best I can do. Go ahead for Uganda tickets, if you’re still ok for it? As for Coulsons I haven’t been able to contact her again but I would love to help in the orphanage but I’m happy doing either, if you could pass that on I would be most grateful honey bun. We will have covered 300 m by the end of this 3 week phase by walking and cycling. It’s amazing and I can’t wait to see you! Lots of love Georgia xoxo

From Georgia Brooke-Hitching
To Maman et D
Thank you for the message, I got it! I’m now in Tango 6 and very excited about Tuesday. Going for Orphanage and Naivasha if possible. Re: Sophie – I’m happy to fly if Soph already booked it and I don’t know what else she has planned to do – and train might take too long. I’m happy either way. I think I also said we can stay in Bang because I think she wanted to see a few things there. Good luck to Matty I’ll be thinking of him! Scaling a massive mountain tomorrow – trek is amazing but probably the toughest thing I’ve done – very challenging but great! Blog is now my only contact till 3rd April – lots to tell you but I think I may have written too much already. On b-day I’ll be cycling! Rafting on Monday (our rest day) and had an elephant scare earlier, so now we’ve got  two fires going to ward them away. Send my love to bros, lots of love G xoxo miss you all.

From Georgia Brooke-Hitching
To Tilda MacDonald
Thank you for the tiffany birthday watch! It’s fab and goes well with my now very grubby arms. Already got that tattoo. Get drunk again for me, can’t wait to see you sometime. Love your stories honey, keep em coming they’re amazing. Miss you, lots of love Brookie.

From Georgia Brooke-Hitching
To Emily Thiede
Thank you so much for your message, I hope Edin is fun and you had a great b-day. Loving Tilda’s blog banter to you. Only four days into trek and everything’s starting to ache … by day 19 I should be a walking casualty! You’d love the views here but not many rivers as its dry season.  Talk to you soonish, lots of love Brookie xoxo

From Georgia Zervudachi
To Mum, Dad and Seamus
Well this is hardcore…….The views are incredible, and you would not believe the vertical mountains that I’m scaling – 13.5 km tomorrow woo hoop! Luckily we are singing lots to keep us going! Was the mayonnaise comment what I thought it was? Seriously?! Hope all is well – it’s definitely all good in the hood here J lots of love Georgia xxx

From Lottie Verrall
To Dad etc..
Hi, hope everyone is well and missing me lots. Ha just though I would write to tell you trek is incredible and I’m enjoying every day. Spent a whole day in a dense jungle today, was basically Jurassic Park. Yet to see a Dinosaur yet, very upsetting. Doing 13.5 km up a mountain tomorrow which scares me slightly Anyways looking forward to seeing you all in a couple of weeks. Love you Lottie xxxx

From Andrew Richardson
To All
Hi all, hope you’re all well. Now 4 days into trek, it is intense and really tough. Seen some amazing scenery and dense forests. Tomorrow will involve a very steep mountain (bag free yeah!) Then a day off rafting. Mountain biking should be good too. I’m a bit ill with a bad stomach but coping with the walks and looking after muscles. Only 2 weeks till I’m done now. Can’t wait to see Kent life again!

From Becca Hulbert
To Mum, Dad, Bean
Hello…. I’m out on trek and really really loving it. I am in my element. They are a fun group, great views, good exercise, lots of camp fires and washing in streams. I look forward to speaking to you when I get back. I love you very much xxx PS thank you so much for my walking poles Bean. Couldn’t do it without them, I think of you on every hill – can’t wait to see you. I think I’m going to come live with you for more sissa time. When I’m back! Xxx

Charlie 1

From Emily Howell
To Rachel Bradley
Hey my love, thanks so much for blogging me, this is so much easier than 20 min internet every 3 weeks! So my flight home is booked for 8 June from Bangalore to Heathrow so would like to be back in Bangalore about 6th June (not too much longer coz I don’t fancy the monsoon season! A lot of people on Raleigh are travelling until the end of April so I’d be with them till then. Goa, Mumbai, Agra, Hampi etc. Then I guess I’ll be on my own till I meet you! So would you like to do Nepal earlier? Maybe 10th or 5th of May or something? I haven’t had a chance to check flights yet so I have no idea of prices or whether I should try to get there without flying, but I could technically hang around in Delhi till I come to Nepal? Need to find out about visas and stuff. I then need to get back to Bangalore. Gonna have to find some bargains to keep my money supply going! Anyway let me know what you think x PS not sure about the whole trekking thing in Nepal as I’ve just come back from a 19 day trek, so I’m kind of all trekked out!

From Emily Howell
To Mum, Dad, Charlie, Stan
Hi all! Am now in a little village called Vellary in Kerala for community, building a biogas unit, a cowshed and a house! V happy to have got this phase, the biogas units are amazing! We’re staying ina family’s front garden and get lunch and dinner cooked for us by the family, the food is incredible! Recovered from trek now just about, feel very fit and proud of myself for doing it about 250 km walking and cycling through Kerala, even with the dreaded India illness! Am organizing some travel with Rachel so I’ll let you know my plans when I know them. Miss you loads! Haven’t heard from you in a while so hope you’re all okay? X

From Genevieve McAreavey
To John and Liz McAreavey
Heya Daddy and Mummy, was just thinking it is Thursday and you will be having Burger Thursday, wanted to let you know I was thinking about you. It was our first day working the village today. We have done so much. I’m really enjoying being here it’s such a beautiful place. We are living in tents in the front garden of one of the families’ house, so funny because people in Britain would be totally weirded out.  I’m loving the food here it’s really tasty and not too spicy. I feel like the families here really appreciate our presence, they keep on giving us snacks on our breaks and chai. They are all so welcoming and generous. Love you loads, Genevieve xx

From James Hollins
To Ian Burrows
Hello Ian, I am looking forward to playing golf when I get back hopefully the sun will be shining!! The weather here is constantly sunny and around 30 degrees every single day, I’ve got used to it though which is good. Sounds like Spring is on the way in the UK. Bell ringing sounds like it was fun, but it’s a shame about the poor conditions on the ski slopes. Everything here is going well on Charlie 1, it’s so fun, I’m helping build a house and a bio-gas unit for the family, it’s really hands on. Hope everything back home is good, see you in May for golf! James x

From James Hollins
To Sarah Hollins and Tom Wells
Hi Sarah, hope you are well in sunny Hull, I’m disappointed you never sent me a pic of sunny Hull. I’m actually used to the heat, so 40 degrees should be fine, perhaps it’s the beard!! I have recently shaved it off cause it was getting too long, but I’m growing it back, so hopefully will look gypo like you! Also say hi to Demi-god for me, unfortunately no shrines have been erected to me yet but come May there will be lol. Your diet sounds healthy as usual Tom, and I’ve tanned way too much!! Our pirate ship will be fun to finish when I get back. In face the work here will help me with finishing it when I get back. I reckon 40 degrees will be cold as well. Anyway Tom hope the cycling is coming on nicely, and that you’re keeping up with your training regime. Take care and I’ll see you in May. Lots of love, James

From James Hollins
To Mum (Suzie Hollins)
I’m sorry about our short conversation last time, I was in such a rush. Thanks so much for sorting out my flights, 17th May sounds really good. I’m going to Goa and Bangalore and other places too like Hampi. It will be fun!! I will ring you on the 3rd April. When I go into Mysore. I’m on Charlie 1 at the moment and it’s really good. We’re building a house for a man in Kerala whose house got ruined during the Monsoon. It is very humbling a the moment because he lives in a shack at the moment with his wife and 3 kids. He is always so friendly and offers us, tea, coffee and sweets. The weather is beautiful as always and we’re going on a tiger safari next week. The scenery is amazing and there are coconut trees and palm trees everywhere. Anyways thanks so much for everything, I love you lots and lots and see you in May, James x

From James Hollins
To Tom Hollins
Hi Tom, hope everything’s going ok. Sounds good that your exams are over. I hope that you are relaxing and playing on the Xbox. I will ring you on 3rd April, it was really good to hear some actual football scores. Keep me informed on the F1 I heard the first was cancelled. Love from James x

From Sheena Jagjiwan
To Jemini
Hey party people how are you? I’m so glad that Maks did the abseil. Wish I was there for the that and the Bingo night. Well the hair is under control yay! I’m not digging anymore – sad times hehe, I’m building a bio-gas unit, a house and a shed. I can’t wait to come back and show you pictures and tell you stories. When you see Nacita give her my love and say hi to Remi! I can’t wait to find out baby bump’s name! Love you all Sheena x

From Sheena Jagjiwan
To Arti
Hey chick how are you? How are Sital and Roshil? What have you been up to? I’m having such a great time here, but missing you girls. What’s the gossip? What’s been happening? Hope you’re good and the family’s fine, lots of love Sheena x

From Sheena Jagjiwan
To Mum, Nita and Hema
Hey guys how are you? Hope you’re fine I’m on the last phase now, and I love it! The food is great, the family here is so nice and I’m loving it! Got bitten but it’s going down. Speak to you soon, Sheena x

From Laura Oakley
To Paula Oakley
Hey Poo, thank you for your blog message. Glad to hear from you all enjoyed my phone call! Hoping your parcels arrive soon. Out on Charlie 1 now and it’s awesome. Living in a family’s front yard in tents, eating their food, and working next door. We’re building a house, cowshed and biogas units, so lots to do. I’ve been a bit unwell again but really enjoying myself and having an awesome time. Send this message on to Mum and Dad too. Love you all, take care. Oh and don’t worry there’s a cow here I can hug! Lol! xLaurax

From Wieger van Rinkhuyzen
To M, P, D
Lieve 3, community is Fenomenaa!! Je ziet de mensen waarvoor je elke dag staat te zweten. Ze kunnen alle hulp gebruiken! De interactive us zo leuk! Ik stuur geen brieven meer, want ben in minder dan 3 weken thris! Ik kan niet wachten! Volgende loop-visit duurt even, duz zal voorlopig niet kunnen antwoorden. Heel veel liefs, ik hou van jullie, Wieger

From Richard Smith
To Anne Smith
Hey Mum, I’ve just arrived at Charlie 1, it’s amazing the team will be building a house, bio-gas and cow shed. The community are so firnedly and the energy levels of this group are amazing. Raleigh have given the Venturers full power in running the projects, which is a real challenge, and me being me took on the role of chairman haha. All is good check the blog pass it on to friends, the best phase so far! Love Richard x

From Anne-Romee Coebergh
To Familie Coebergh
Lieve allemaal, Dank jullie voor berichten, ooli een erg leuk bericht van oom Tijo! Hier is het fantastisch, helaas nog niet gezond, meer super project! Brief met meer info is onderweg, net als brieven naar B&B, Nonna en vriendinnen. We willen nien. Hoop dat alles goed gaat! Veel liefs xxx Anne-Romee

From Anne-Romee Coebergh
To Julie Coebergh
Lieve Julie, Thanx voor je bericht. Het is hier top! Youw programma lilhlet ooh goed, gerleet ervan en feest voor 2 opalle feesten die ik mis! Houd me op de hoogte over hoe alles was, liefs aan iedereen ook m’n friends, geef liet door! Dikhe xxx Anne-Romee

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Feeling hot hot hot...

So here we are, already few days into the third and final phase. Raleigh life seems to have a clock all of its own and I’m pretty sure it goes a lot quicker than all other time pieces.  The temperatures are still rising and we’re up to about 37degrees now which means the sweat levels for everyone have reached new heights along with the need to seek shade at any opportunity.

Anyway, enough about our sweat problems, I’ll quickly move onto the news you really want to hear which is how much everyone else is sweating... No? Ok then, well instead why don’t I update you on how Charlie 1 and Tango 6 are getting on as Naomi, our field base medic for this phase, headed out on the first loop to catch up with them.

First stop was the tropical Vellary to see Charlie 1 who are building the bio-gas units and a tribal village house. Once they’d finished the day’s work digging the mammoth hole to house the biogas dome, they headed off to a local tribal festival where there was all sorts of fun and games taking place. 

It was tricky to get everyone in the same spot this time so it we weren't able to get a group photo I’m afraid but we’ll be back out to see them soon when we’ll get more photos, promise. They’re all well though and loving living with the community and getting to know the family that they’re building the unit for. They’re being spoilt with food as the family cooks for them all every day and they’re enjoying the feeling of being in a popular shampoo advert by washing in the local river every day.

The group at the festival.

James and Laura spot something else happening over to the right - unfortunately we never found out what this was...

Sheena, Anne-Romee, Louisa, Thatte, Kate, Holly and Jess look on.

Festival dancing.

Genevieve with her new friend.

Once the tribal party was over, it was time to jump in the car and head down into Kerala to meet the Tango 6 gang at their camp for dinner. The camp was at the bottom of the Amba peak which they would be scaling the next day so they’d had plenty of time to check out the heights they were about to conquer. Lottie and Lucy cooked the group diner of soya balls and rice which I’m sure tasted better than it sounds! The next morning Georgia Z was on porridge duty which also involves the tricky task of waking up the whole team but she did it in the best possible way, by singing a song. We've spoke to them the next night and the whole team made it to the top of the peak which is fantastic.

Lottie, Eeva and Lucy cook up a trangia treat.

Philip keeps the fire going to keep elephants at bay, although I reckon that lunghi would have done the trick...

Catherine getting ready to set off

The group getting ready to leave camp at the bottom of the Amba peak which they were climbing that day.

Tango 6 about to walk up Amba. Back Row L-R - Andy, Georgia, Catherine, Georgia, Lottie, Lucy, Rachel, Danielle, Becca (PM), Ben, Eleri (PM, )Karen, Eeva (PM)
Front row L-R - Philip, Alex, James, Johnson (guide), Nikil (guide), Louis.

The group setting off up to the top of Amba - well done guys.

The latest field base gossip is that Betty the calf and Eddie the egret Edwards seem to have had a bit of a spat as Eddie has been seen hanging out with Gareth the goat. I think Betty is taking it pretty hard as when I woke up yesterday morning the first thing I saw was her trying to get in to our dorm. She must have been after a shoulder to cry on, poor thing. However I was too busy chasing Harry the toad out of the shower to have time to chat.

We’re off to see two more of the teams today, so we’ll be stopping in at BD Munti to see how the toilet building is going at Charlie 2 and then dropping into the trenches to hang out with Echo 4 so we’ll being you news of them very soon. If we manage to climb out of the trench that is...

And a huge thanks again to everyone that has sponsored us for the 10k run, which is getting more and more daunting as the temperatures rise and the start time gets earlier and earlier. We’ve raised over a thousand pounds now which is incredible and everyone is so happy. So thanks, it’s really fantastic to know that you’re all supporting that work that we’re doing out here.

Here are all the messages from the folks to you back home...

From Genevieve McAreavey
To John McAreavey
Happy Birthday Daddy!  I love you so much and hope you have a great day! Let me know what you get up tp. Big kiss and hugs, love Genevieve x x x x x

From Jonathan Williams
To Friends and Family
Hi everyone, thanks for the messages! I’m having an absolutely amazing time out here – seen some quality places, met loads of lovely people. Did my last few days of the community project  which consisted of weddings, cricket mayhem and building the village toilets – pretty fun. Hope everything is going well at home with everyone and missing you all!
Love Jonny x x x
PS I think I may be extending my stay by 2-3 weeks to visit Goa, Mumbai and Hampi so for those of you desperate to see me - sorry!

From Georgi Tandy
Hey Mum, I can’t remember what I said in the last blog message. Wart’s gone again? Crazy dog...! I got your letters, the galaxy was amazing, thank you! I sent another letter so hopefully it will be there soon. The trip to London for James sounds good, he can decide everything , it’ll be cool. I would love to go away again when i get back, it’s hard work here, not a holiday! Somewhere warm? Does James want to come or not? Not long til I’m back home now yey! Am craving normality a bit. That and fish and chips! Can’t wait for our chance to do some shopping, I’ve not got a lot of Indian stuff yet except a sari which is really pretty. I’m going to bring back loads though. The house will be filled with India by April!
See you soon
Georgi x x x x x x

From Kieran Armour
To Sue A and Jan B
Hi everyone, I’m having a great time! We built 15 toilets. How is everyone at home, ok I hope. I’m now on to a trekking phase. Tell everyone I said Hi, miss you all.
Love Kieran
PS – tell mum I want a Sunday roast when I get back cos I’m sick of curry.

From Lisa Akyol
To Ma and Pa and everyone else who’s reading
Bonjour mes amis! How are you all? Hope all is ticking along nicely at home. The time flew at the community phase and we got the 15 toilets completed and I did a class at the school. We had a birthday celebration the other day and got dressed up in tribal gear which was pretty snazzy.
love and miss you all
Lisa x x x
PS – Paula, I proper live your message – I almost wet myself at that martin comment!
PPS – Colin!

From Bryony Wilde
To friends and family
Hello all! Having an amazing time and time has flown, on to trek now eek! Last phase we built 15 loos, good going! Literally am fit for a building site now, career sorted! Thanks for all the messages everyone, so nice to hear! Liv – how’s was eggheads?!? That’s amazing! Will email you the generic message soon. What’s happening with the holiday sitch? All booked? Bangers on hour! Make sure you make yourself known when you write to me on here as I’ve spent days trying to work out who the anonymous messages are from!! Hope everything is brill with everyone! Loads of sunshine and love for all! X x x x
PS – Brother, you better write to me you slacker x News please! X

From James Bell
To Mum, Dad and Rachel
Hey everyone, we’re all having a really good time and I managed to catch some of the cricket here and the results which is good! Have decided to travel on to see more of India for about 2 weeks or so but not sure of details yet. I am thinking about you all and miss you all lots, love James x x x

From Ellie Burton
To Mum Burton, tom Smith
Hello Hello! Hope you are keeping well and that all is good in sleepyshire. Has there been any snow back home yet? It’s getting hotter here by the day as we laid bricks and plastered 8 hours a day in the last phase (something new for the CV) but thankfully there was another reservoir to cool off in and can wash any dirt/tan off! Thinking of you x x x x

From Ellie Burton
To Toby, Mai and friends
Hey guys! Hope job searching/working/studying is being ok?! I hear India is the happening place right now so get inoculated and come and see me? Also I’m planning on travelling for a bit after Raleigh now. Missing you all (naww) send me mail! xxxx

From Andy Jehring
To Mum, Dad and anyone else
Having a very good time out hear and please as I managed to Get ‘D’ recently. In the last phase we went to teach some kids English before picking up by tailored shirt. Starting to feel like it’s all going too fast here now. As much as I want to see everyone I am strongly considering staying on for 10 days travelling afterwards. Right, better go. Speak soon
Andy x

From Andy Jehring
To Dad, Gamie, Grandpa, Rich
Finally had time to work out that the date is and realised I missed your birthday! Glad to see Dad is continuing to cause himself pain on the Spring challenge rather than celebrating his birthday. Gamie and Grandpa - Happy 80th! Sorry I couldn’t make it and you had to put up with the rest of the family, I hope you’ll forgive me. Rich I can’t believe you’re 21, you look awful for your age! I’ve received the 2nd parcel, the sweets went down instantly and were appreciated by all the sports paper is also very popular. My body is aching thanks to the Spaldings getting me that horrible book which has inflicted pain on a few unlucky members of the group. Very excited for a 3rd parcel now, I will be crushed if it is anything less than amazing.
Love from Andy

From Mona Shah
To Catherine Playfair
Hi Catherine, I hear your name being echoed as I walked around our beautiful BD Munti and the kids all ask after you. Thank you for your lovely note and hope you are feeling better and making great plans for the future. Take care and sending you the biggest hug ever
Mona x x x

From Alice Corby
To Mum Corby
Hi, don’t know whether you have my letter yet? How are things at home? How’s B and C? What’s Jack’s and Dad’s address? I didn’t bring address which was silly. It’s hot here. Keep writing to me, its nice hearing from someone. I liked the letter a lit, Miss you, give B and L a big kiss from me, Alice x x x
PS  - please send me a parcel of goodies

From Alex Vostanis
To Vostanis family and friends and Emily
Hi! I had such a good birthday, the last group bought a big cake and we had a tribal dress costume party in the evening which was really fun! Miss a lit of you and would be great to speak to you soon. Glad to hear about kiman’s GF, not so glad about Phyllida’s, I’ll meet him when I’m back. Hope everyone is happy and well and that A-levels aren’t stressing Phyllida and Emily out. I’m still loving India but obviously miss home every now and again and especially the Premiership being so good for Arsenal! Speak soon, love to everyone Ganga, Vozzy, Big Al, Alexandros

From Georgia Zervudachi
To Mum and Dad
I got your letter and burst into tears YAY! I’m glad you are all well, have funa t England V Scotland, we’re getting all the scores brought out on the loop! V excited. Tonnes of love to you all x x x
PS – who writes letters inside envelopes?
PPS I found religion and a husband... he he

From Georgia Zervudachi
To Sarah and Jonathan
Thank you so much for your letter – it really made me smile to think of life at Hairlish. Finished all of suitable boy in the first three weeks when ill, it was fantastic. Tonnes of love x x x

From Georgia Zervudachi
To Jamie
I got 2 letters! Definitely made me smile lots! And Kafka – I’d just finished my last book! Have fun being funky! I’ll reply properly soon – I have to go trek now, but I am doing so with big smiles. Love Georgia 

From Becky Barnes
To Family and friends.
Hello! I hope you are all very well and I will be online and able to catch up with you properly in 3 weeks. Thanks Monica, Mum, Pat, Roz and Ben for your letters. I am pleased I survived trek and can’t wait to tell you about it! Onto Community now – what a fab way to finish. I am in good spirits and health.
Speak soon! Lots of love, Becky xxx

From Becky Barnes
To Amy Grace Fellowes
Thank you so much for your blog message darling girl. I cannot wait to see you and love the amount you squeezed in! I am so proud of you and Smoo, well done! I think about you always and it’s hard to not be in touch but I can get online from 6th April and see you 30th April! Love you so much xxx.

From Robert Nolan
To Peter and Vicki Nolan
Hello! Having a great time; visited field base after finishing an amazing community project! I won’t explain what I’ve done as I haven’t the time, the space or the energy.  I can tell you all the details when I get back. Off to work on environmental project and looking forward to building bashers and tents with bamboo. Is it possible in your next blog message to tell me Kathryn’s address in Tanzania? Obviously I need this in the next week. Hope you had fun in Canada, Love Rob

From Scott Rae
To Marjorie Rae
Visited field base and just had changeover. Trek was amazing - I’ve just sent another letter with all the details. The environmental phase is next and I’m really excited. Hope you’re both enjoying your hols. Won’t be long until I’m back (please have lots of Heat ready for my return – I’m craving it!). Happy Mother’s Day in advance! Scott xx

From Scott Rae
To Jamie Boyd
Hello little one! So nice to receive a blog message from a 6 month old. You’re developing at some speed! I can’t believe you have a tooth – that’s so exciting! I’ve just done trekking and now I’m on environmental. Won’t be long until I visit you – can’t wait! Keep eating your solids and wish Mummy a Happy Mother’s Day! Uncle Scott xx

From Andrew Richardson
To All
Now I’m in my 7th weeks out here and I am tanning fast and powering hard. Finished the elephant trenches and got used to the 6 am wake up and midday naps. Also found some time to teach English to the kids (unfortunately this natural talent does not run in the blood). I’m trekking now J. The lakes will feel easy next trip. Then I will be back within 4 weeks. Looking forward to seeing you all!

From Katy Star
To Abibob
Bob! Thanks for the blogs! Was so lovely to receive two after having none from any of you guys, but I understand all the same we are all the same: disorganized forgetful. In fact have the other Bobs noticed I’m gone?! Have just completed an epic trek… was everything I thought it would be and more. It will haunt my dreams for the rest of my life. But now it’s over, done, finto. Off to build some eco-snitation units now, aka compost bogs! Can’t believe hoq quickly time has flown by… Am gonne be back in 6ish weeks, mental! Hope you had the most awesome time in Sri-Lanka, are keeping upbeat and looking forward to the summer – flowers are blooing (apparently!), the birds are singing (both here and there) and life is full of dreams and love and whatever you want it to be J Keep smiling mate, eating jelly and being ridiculous! Love you loads x x x x x
PS get the other bobs to blog me!

From Katy Star
To Janio Moo
Braaaaain! Thnx for the blog, about bleddy time! Am going to plan our trip of joy – will involve sun, jelly and curry! EXCITEDS! Love you moo xxx Yes!
PS Are we there yet?

From Katy Star
To Aunty Sue
Thank you so much for the blog message, kept me powering on through trek which is over now thank goodness!  Off to build toilets now and play with millions of small Indian children hurrah! Have sent a postcard so you’ll probably receive it in about 4 years! Hope all is good ala Brids, and the spring bulbs are blooming beautifully! Loads of love, Katy x x x

From Katy Star
To Dommer
Dommer! Home in 6 weeks! (Prob) Hope I have a semi-tan by then, as am just dirty at the mo! Keep practicing cooking for me! Love you loads xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Jelly

From Katy Star
To Mothership
Happy Mother’s day! For last Sunday? or this Sunday? Where am I?!.... Anyway, I love you loads! Xxxxx
PS Coach holiday this summer?!

From Katy Star
To Old bloke
Ate 8 (!) crème eggs in 3 days!! Best parcel ever, thanks Daddio! Sadly you can’t send any more after now as may not receive it L off to build some toilets now – how is your plot loo?! Hot looks,,, very unique! Am building up muscles for the grand design! Love you loads xxx
PS Jebs smells

From Sarah Churlish
To John Churlish
Hey broseph, brilliant to hear from you. I’m missing your ugly little face but it’s ok because there’s loads of really ugly toads here so I can just pretend they’re you. Yeah I’m working on the white tights issue., my arms are pretty brown, not normal brown but just brown for me. Let me know how the capturing goes ha ha I can just image you two running around in the dark with rope, bin bags and kitchen knives haha. But yeah, go easy on him, no loud noises. Wow a choreographed barber shop – you are just too cool, make sure you get a video. How come it’s in the DSU? You may be cook but you’re not that cool. I’ll get Rochie to bring his mates and abuse your little dance haha. Missing you loads, hope home is cool, lots of love ‘Stuart the cowagous one’ x x x x

From Sarah Churlish
To Bex
It’s so good to hear from you! Yeah the blog messages are really nice to get. Yeah the work is hard but really rewarding, like I actually knew the family we were building the biogas unit for. They cooked our meals every day, we lived on their doorstep and we played with the kids every day. I’m back at field base at the moment for changeover and I’m heading off to the environmental phase next so digging elephant trenches for 18 days. And YES!! I’d come to Vietnam and the rest of Asia – I’m broke but we’ll work it out ha ha! Your travels sound amazing, wish I could have done it with you. I reckon you’d love it here, except all the Raleigh rules ha ah. So when will you be back in the UK, mid April? Will I get to see you at all before you disappear again? Also as if you’ve named your itinerary!!! Oh Bex I miss you! Wishing you were here too. Trying to plan my trip after and I need your organisation! I’ll try and blog back soon, love you x x x x x
PS keep having an awesome time and have 5 beers for me ha ha!

From Sarah Churlish
To Mum and Dad
It’s goot to hear what you’ve been up to at home. I can’t even imagine snow at the moment – it’s baking hot here and getting hotter, not actually burnt yet but I’m developing the t-shirt tan nicely! Charlie 1 was really good. It was amazing to be so close to the people we were building the houses and biogas units for. It makes it so real and even more rewarding. Off to Echo 4 now so I’ll be digging elephant trenches and putting solar fencing up so hopefully I’ll spot an elephant. Yeah it’s a shame about the tigers but they’re notoriously hard to spot in the south so we didn’t expect much really. There was a sign inside the bus saying ‘Animal sightings are purely luck’ so there we go. The food was amazing in the community but now it’s back to trekking food so rice bags and noodles… yum! Looking forward to the fry-ups! Speak to you all soon x x x x

From Sarah Churlish
To Laura Botteley
Hey, not sure if you still check this but thanks for my card/letter/essay ha ha, it’s brilliant to hear from you!! I’ll write one back so you’ll get it eventually. Good luck with the job hunt, don’t lose faith. Missing you, lots of love, Sarah x x x

From Elliott Leishman
To Mum and Dad
Hey, just got the package, thanks so much, will come in handy for trek. Thanks for the awesome letters mum you made me laugh lots and dad got me all emotional. Appreciating even more just how good parents you guys are, I’ll say happy mother’s day now to the best mum in the world, sorry to not get you a card or pressie but haven’t been able to, I will make sure I make it up to you when I get back. Dad, don’t worry about that picture of me looking sad, it was because I felt rubbish at that moment, I’ve been having a great time and will send another letter soon. Mum, could you do me a massive favour, it’s Andy’s birthday soon, could you please ring his mum or Kieran’s mum to pass on a happy birthday messageand that I miss him lots. Thanks and talk soon, Elliott.

From Binika Liu
Hey hunny, just got your message – (anders) ha ha, I miss yous all! Hope uz haven’t forgotten me?!? I’ve only got like 3 ½ weeks left so it’s flown by like I said. I’m loving every minute – the first part was fab – trekking and mountain biking for three weeks, your ideal holiday anders! Just been doing elephant trench digging and solar fences – was sooo hot – that’s how I’ve got my tan! LOL, don’t know if it’s going to last. Hope everyone is well and a get together is a must when I get back. Any goss I’ve missed out on then> I’e seen you got a job> What you doing then missy? Miss ya, Binika x x x x
PS – Your inspirational quotes have definitely come in handy! Missed home more than I thought, then I read Mel’s  - if you notice this notice – say no to drugs, creased thinking about it! I’m sure you look lush as usual with your brunette hair now.

From Clare Evans
To Penny Evans
Hey Mum! Received your message in the last phase, wish Grandad a very happy birthday from me! I can’t wait to see Molly again. I may have to come back earlier than planned due to financial reasons so I might come home and chill for a week after the 7th April. Really looking forward to trek even if it’s daunting! Send my love to everyone, especially the animals, Love Clare x x x

From Danielle Sharpe
To Samijo Hewlett
Hey, that’s ok, I love getting any type of mail, post or blog messages, it’s such a good feeling! I got a lovely package from my sister with chocolate, crisps, mints and haribo – like a dream come true! I miss the simple things so much… running water, a fridge, being clean! I’m rocking a great dirt tan that rubs off every night!! Ha ha so I actually need a holiday after this! Plus I’ve been quite ill over the last week, I recovered and then came down with it again, not fun! I did get your letter and energy tables, thank you soo much! I have sent you another letter so hopefully you’ll get it soon. It’s weird knowing I’ve been away from home for so long and I do miss everyone a lot, but I’m home soon so we’ll have to arrange to so something – I think I said in my letter a night in with a takeaway, wine and photos! I hope everything is ok at home. I’m trekking for my final phase so I’ll be in need of a chill out and pamper once I’m hope ha ha book is in at the spa! I miss you lots and can’t wait to see you!! X x x

From Florine Boer
To Anke Vershoen
 Hi anke, ik vill je alvast heel erg feliciteren met je verjoordag oonkomende zaterdag. Ik hoop dat je nag wat famille boer ontvangt op je verjaardag gezien de helft het land ult is. Ik kom snel een keer met een vriendinnetje of met mama in Vlissingen lugeren als het mag xxx Flo veel liefs ook aon piet natulrlijk

From Florine Boer
To Matthijs
Hi Lieve Matthijs
Je bent al opgemerkt alu ea opvallent voak aenwezige blogger door al mijn famille gewoon omdat je die blug niet begrijpt haha. Hoe is het doer op laurie? De trek is niet zo erg als ie dacht en red het prima zo het is ool zo super mooi hier ech genieten! liefs Flo xxx

From Louisa Mohsen
To Chiara
Can’t believe you’ve only JUST written me a blog message, so slack! I received your letter, so lovely on that Cath Kidson paper, made me feel very special ha ha. Good present, you need to give me your address in Madrid mate! Can’t believe you’re going, I am DEFINITELY visiting don’t you worry! Call about Bristol by the way, shame I wasn’t there to exchange your and Lucy’s life stories ha. Miss you lots and good luck in Madrid, you’ll make a really good nanny! X x x

From Louisa Mohsen
TO Lucy and Rachel
Thanks for your messages my loves! Hope you are both well. Tomorrow I leave for my last phase so not too long until I see your faces! Lucy – Bristol sounds fab but that was mean to describe the café’s food when the only option I see here is curry! Oh and the milkshake part was in your words ‘ the cherry on the icing on the cake’!! I’m glad you were thinking of me though. Rachel, you are such a doughnut (nom!) I would have suggested asking Lucy for my address but it’s too late to send post to me now. Write me a massive email of pure golden gossip instead! Attach some photos banter too… hilair! I’ll see you in a few weeks hopefully. MISS YOU BOTH, KEEP WRITING! Xxx PS lost 3 kilos yes! Hahaha.

From Louisa Mohsen
To Vincent
Thanks for your message, trekking was challenging but I’m so glad I did it. I’m embarking on a new adventure tomorrow, I’m going to be working with some tribal families and building them a toilet, I’m on my last phase already, it’s all gone so quickly! Hope wedding prep is going well, love to you all! X xx

From Louisa Mohsen
To Aunty Geraldine
I received your letter yesterday and it made my day! Not to worry, I have recovered from being ill and feel like my energy has been renewed after trekking!! Yes, LOVED dressing in the sari on Echo, surreal experience! They kept trying to put bracelets on us too but most of our wrists are too big! They’re so petite here. I leave for my community phase tomorrow so will write back to you then and fill you in on my experience of trek (nothing like I expected!) and community. I’m in the middle of reading Robby’s  ‘The Killer inside me’ at the moment. Hope Ales gives you a great mother’s day, talk soon x x x

From Louisa Mohsen
To Mum
Thanks for your regular blogs and the package! I sent you a card and a very long letter today, I was in a massive rush so please excuse the mess! I tried to cram in as much as possible. I will write again when I settle in on my next phase. I couldn’t send my mother’s day present to you from field base so ignore what I said in the card/letter. I can hopefully send it on my next phase. I’m happy you miss my cooking... I miss my cooking too! I’m excited for my next phase, have great PMs and looking forward to meeting the tribal families and eating their food. I recommend you read the book ‘White tiger@ if you want to know what life is like here, it’s a very popular read. Wish Nan a happy birthday from me and that I’ll be thinking of her. Miss you lots too, not long now! X x x
Ps – hope the coffee morning went well!