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

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

Saturday 30 July 2011

The Foxtrot's Adventure

So, The 5 week 11F expedition has now come to an end.
The staff team, Sally, Hayley, Clare and myself (Christina) arrived back at field base yesterday morning after a very long, but amazing, two and a half day journey back from the adventure challenge down in Kerala. The venturers have all gone their separate ways, some heading back home from Bangalore airport at the early hours of yesterday morning, others continuing their onward adventures.
Here is a quick summary of what the foxtrot groups got up to in their final couple of weeks.

Alice, Isy and Rachel getting ready to set off on the Adventure Challenge

10 days ago, both Foxtrot 1 and Foxtrot 2 left their project sites and headed down to Kerala to take part in the Adventure challenge. All the challenges were kept a secret until the night before, when a friendly secret agent would arrive, delivering a 'mission envelope' to each group, explaining what the following day entailed.

Everyone had lots of fun completing the challenges, which included a mixture of cycling, trekking, rafting and many more activities to keep everyone busy! After a closely fought battle of physical and mental tasks, Foxtrot 2 triumphed, winning the Kalypso Cup.

Sophie & Lucy 


Hayley, JJ and Katie 

Foxtrot 1

Jonathan and Mahima 

Foxtrot 2, ready to raft across the Reservoir 

Skits where also performed by each group at the beginning and end of the challenge- revealing all of the 11F expedition to be very musical (in a unique way!)

Foxtrot 1's Skit - Backstreet Boy's style

Foxtrot 2 - Robbie Williams style

On the final night a special awards ceremony, presented by Mark, took place. As well as the presentation of the Cup to Foxtrot 2, the trophies were awarded as follows;

Foxtrot 1
Best day leader award - Alex
The alarm clock award - Ali
The most improved award - Gowthami
Best Overall Venturer award - Isy

Foxtrot 2
Best Couple/ Bromance award - James and Matt
The Mr Clean award - Pavan
Miss Motivator Award - Chelsey
Raleigh Spirit Award - Lucy

Well done to everyone part of 11F, and thank you for making it such a success. I am sure you will all agree it has been a brilliant 5 weeks, and will never be forgotten!

Friday 29 July 2011

See you later....we're off to see the groups

Just a quick one to let you know that we are off to visit the 10 week groups tomorrow morning. We'll be back late on Monday and will publish all the latest news and pictures as soon as possible. I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that all your lovely messages are getting delivered on our travels (we print them off and hand them over in person). 

I know some of you have mentioned concerns about your blog messages getting through - unfortunately we aren't able to publish all the comments. We're not allowed to publish anything that touches on medical issues, alcohol, other people's behaviour etc etc....we can however still print the messages and give them out, so this is what we do!

So, keep watching and we'll get the updates for you as soon as possible. 

Bye for now xx

Message for Mum, Barry, Alex, Emily Dad and Marlene from Tabitha
Thanks for your messages! The blog messages/ letters are slowly coming through but they take some time as on each 3 week project I don't have access to the internet and they get delivered to us. I've just got back from the trekking phase; saw some absolutely beautiful sights and had a wicked time with my group (once I got over the rain and leeches!). Now about to go on to community phase and build toilets. Got some good plans for after Raleigh too. I will let you know more in a letter I'm writing. Lots of love Tabitha

Thursday 28 July 2011

Malmesbury arrive....

Our bespoke group from Malmesbury School arrived early Wednesday morning at Bangalore and were quickly whisked off to start their induction at MYKAPS headquarters. With so little time and so much to do there was no chance to give in to the jet lag. They had a full day's programme including cultural awareness, comms and medical training, lots of admin, and of course an introduction to Indian food with a sumptuous curry buffet awaiting them for lunch.

It was a particularly special day for one member of the team, Nicole, who was celebrating her birthday. Cake was definitely in order...and what more could you ask for than a giant pink one, complete with a special lotus flower candle?

The group will be moving across to their project site in BD Munti on Friday morning and we wish them the best of luck with their project.

Getting down to some paperwork
What a happy smiley bunch...you'd never guess they'd just come off a plane!
Surprise, surprise.....its someone's  birthday

Happy Birthday Nicole
Birthday cake, Indian style...that's one crazy candle!

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Mud, glorious mud...... St Marks and Gunnersbury in Uluvadu

Welcome to the mud bath!
Our bespoke school group from St Marks and Gunnersbury had a tough challenge....build 7 toilets in just 11 days.  Before the group came to work there, Uluvadu had just one toilet facility for the nine families in the village.

Not only will the new toilets help prevent drinking water contamination and the spread of disease, they will also make the lives of the villagers, especially the women, much more comfortable. Currently going to the loo entails walking up to half a kilometer from their homes into the forest at dawn or dusk….a scary thought when you consider that the dense vegetation can hide snakes, scorpions and that there may be elephants in the area.

Home sweet home
The morning commute
Making new friends
Smiles despite the rain

First step to building a toilet is to get digging those foundations.....

Surely the rain is a good thing...it definitely makes the ground softer to dig (although you may end up wearing the mud too!)

Of course when the digging is done, the building work starts and for that you need materials....bring on the Raleigh chain

So after 11 days of digging, carrying materials, cement mixing, bricklaying and painting.... coupled with copious amounts of rain and mud, the group had fully completed 3 toilets (2 were even painted), with the remaining four loos started and all seven cesspits dug. A great achievement by anyone's standards....even more so given the challenging working conditions.

With due cause, celebrations were in order for the inauguration ceremony held on their last day with the villagers and project partners CTRD.

The group deployed early on Monday morning to begin their next challenge... a four day trek through the beautiful tea plantations and forests of Wayanad in north Kerala. On our latest communications with them, they are all safe, well and enjoying themselves....although the stunning scenery hasn't stopped them from asking about the latest cricket scores.

They'll be back at Fieldbase in a couple of days, so keep an eye out for more photos then.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Here they come.....there they go!

So like a whirlwind the 11E expedition has whistled through Fieldbase and left us all lonesome again. Our lovely Comms Officer, Fletch, has been taken away to the Demon Trek, so in her absence I (DPM Jen) am attempting to fill the information void and let you all know the latest news. 

It’s been a frantic few days of reunions, cleaning, packing and showing off Oscar winning acting skills. On Thursday morning we welcomed the safe return of all the groups from far flung corners of Southern India...just to have them duck out on us again shortly afterwards. After just a couple of hours of kit cleaning and project debriefs at Fieldbase, each team spent one last day together frequenting the shops, internet and pizza joints of Mysore City. 

Back to Fieldbase that evening, in time for dinner (although I suspect after the pizza there was little room left for curry), we had a taster of 11E’s theatrical talent with an evening of skits (comedy sketches). Each group had been rehearsing hard out on project and performed their hearts out to the judging panel i.e. the Fieldbase team. The standards were high and results were hard to judge with phenomenal creative writing, rapping, dancing and singing. Unfortunately, Fieldbase were declared of unsound mind and unable to pick a winner after it emerged that they had spent the previous day running around with yellow faces.

Would you trust yellow faced people to pick a winner?

Friday morning was a bright and early start as we all trotted off to the local Shiva temple for our expedition photo. As the sun decided to make an appearance, we also made the most of it and revealed Phase 2 allocations while we were there. Fieldbase staff like to keep everyone on their toes so we introduced an element of competition....each individual had to spell out (phonetically of course!) the name of one other person in their group, go find them and repeat the process until the team was complete. All of the teams got there in the end, but let’s just say some may need to brush up a bit on their phonetic alphabet. So, without further ado, here are the allocation results...

Charlie 1
PM Susan returns to Charlie 1 in Kotapadi to carry on the great work of Phase 1. With her is PM Lou and  lots of  enthusiastic amateur bricklayers!

Charlie 2
Brand new for Phase 2 only.....Charlie 2 is off to Thirukapatra (yes it's bit of a mouthful) but that won't stop this keen lot from building 16 toilets in just 19 days. Guided by the capable hands of PMs Sarah and Catherine.

Echo 3
Returning to Huskarhadi is PM Lindsay accompanied by PMs John and Julia. The team are keen to expand and improve upon the existing basha city, get a good workout with daily trench digging...and also to sample Doug's amazing banoffi pie!

Tango 5

Last, but never least, our trekkers Tango 5. Leading the way are PMs Andrew and Claire (Fletch). Smiling as the sun is out....lets hope it stays that way for them!

Friday afternoon was spent organising food and kit.... and perhaps most importantly getting to know the new friends they will be living with over the next three weeks.

So early Saturday morning we said goodbye once again to our intrepid travellers as we sent them out on their next great big adventure. Just like you, we can’t wait to hear how they are doing and we’ll keep you posted.

See you all later then!