John and I (Fletch) returned from both environmental groups yesterday and you’ll be glad to know they are all doing fantastically – building up some serious muscles too with the metres of trench they are digging. Our first stop was Echo 3 in Huskurhaddi and we found them all finishing off the final touches to the solar fencing. They have also made a further addition to the camp – a scarecrow. Since making an appearance Shaq has not had to sprint after a crow to retrieve a packet of crisps which are a treasured commodity on expedition.
|Charlie, Ganesh and Vandy working on the solar fencing|
|Shaq and Vandy at work|
|Charlie and Lou moving more dirt|
We were treated to a spectacular picnic spread on a tarp with unrivaled views of the reservoir. Shaq and Dwayne were better than the crows at polishing off the leftovers and it is amazing how skinny those boys still are. In the evening John and I cooked up a chili for the hardworking group and some competitive werewolf was played. The group also treated us to an Echo 3 banoffee pie special – yum!
|The view from Echo 3's campsite - nice eh?|
Grandpa (one of the local villagers who watches the camp by night – even though he is 85!) came and joined us for an evening beside the campfire under the stars. That night we had a visit from two elephants but the camp was well protected by the villagers who turned up in force to chase them away with their shouts and firecrackers.
|Grandpa enjoying the campfire|
|Dwayne and Ganesh|
In the morning we waved goodbye to Echo 3 and hit the road once again, this time heading for Echo 4 in Basava Pura. The group were in the trench when we arrived and the progress they have made is remarkable – Ram is apparently the machine of the group. As well as working hard in the trench the group has been training hard for the 5 and 10K run, with PMs Cat and Lou leading the way. On the morning we arrived the group had been up early and had got a 4K run under their belt before getting into the trench.
|John taking the chili initiation test at Echo 4|
|Ollie, Tabby and Sam engaging in a favourite past-time at Echo4 - eating !|
|Struan making friends with the local wildlife|
|Ollie belly tickling a beetle|
|Tom chronlicing his thoughts in his basha|
|Struan building up his muscles|
|PM Donk's Basha|
|Ollie in the trench|
|Rohith, Tom and Ram having some time off|
Here are the messages we picked up from the group while out on the loop.
From: Julia Selby
To: Friends and Family
Dear Friends and Family
Enjoying being back in Huskurhaddi. The basha beds are so comfy, I’m thinking of making one when I’m back home. The trench is coming on alone nicely (even if it’s just rock now). I’ll be sad to leave here but i’m looking forward to coming home now and seeing everyone! Mum, I’ll send you my request for food shopping list when I’m back a fieldbase.
To: Family, Loved Ones and Family
It seems like forever since I have seen you all. I miss you guys! You will be seeing me soon though! I can’t believe how close the end is now. I have had an unforgettable experience over here. I can’t wait to see everyone and tell you all about the experience. Thanks for all the blog messages everybody they really lift my spirits. Mom I can’t wait to eat some pizza with my little bro. Love you guys! Especially Nana and Poppa.
From: Lou Shute
Harry my sweet! Thanks for your packages. Lacking a fridge, the magnets home will be the whiteboard. Tangtastics, whoopee! And the stickers, so useful! Bigger thanks for your words.
Having a great time making camp, building stuff, sleeping in bashas and working hard. The farming family are real characters. I’ve been able to run a few times a week and feet all good so thrilled about that. There is a 5K and 10K fundraising run at the end of expedition so going to enter the 5K so excited! If people want to sponsor me/ donate to Raleigh let everyone know they can do it through the blog http://raleighindia.blogspot.com/. Can you let Mum and Charlie know – firstname.lastname@example.org and James too email@example.com. Thanks.
Looking forward to seeing you and coming home. Definitely going to Beinidorm, hope you and Hugo can come? Speak to Donna.
Speak to you on the 31st! Eeks!
Big love, hugs and Kisses,
From: Lou Shute
To: Nathan Roberts
Thanks for your message. Having a fab time on environmental project. Trying my best to exercise the same PM standard you set all those years ago! Hope to see you in the UK before I head off for the ski season at the end of November.
Love Lou x
Happy 21st Birthday
Happy 21st Birthday
It’s great to hear from you. You know how I like the Dutch/English notes. Environmental is going really well . it’s really chill out here, a good way to wrap up the expedition. At the same time I’ve found it similar to how you described phase two in your note, in more ways than one. I hope you had fun driving up to France with your brother. I’ll give you a shout when we’re back in Mysore, I think that’s the 31st? Could you do me a favour? See if there’s anywhere near your school or in Copenhagen that could fix my camera. Looking forward to Denmark.
(From Fletch – Hey Maria just to let you know Jason got the date correct J. I’m back out to see them on this Saturday in case you want to get a note out)
From: Tabith Ha
To: Mum, Dad and co
To add to my last blog, I’ll be leaving Raleigh on the 3rd September in the morning. So I will give you a call that day or possibly the day after because I will be finding somewhere to stay/party! Haven’t got your first letter yet and yes the water proofs have been useful – it hasn’t been wet but it’s nice to have fresh socks! Glad you managed to see DH mum! Looking forward to seeing photos.
Lots of Love,
From: Tabitha Ha
To: Fahim (a.k.a The Fox)
It’s weird thinking you’re back home! Hope Ramadan is going well and that you’re excited about university! Make the most of it! Environmental is pretty chilled – our trench is less rocky then Huskurhaddi which is nice, and the sun is shinning beautifully! Have a few plans coming together for after Raleigh now, including a possible work placement in Rajasthan.
Thanks for your blog message, blog messages are always a highlight. The others say hi – the mud warriors streak is still going strong in our hearts – Mama Africa too.
Tabby a.ka Walf, a.k.a Fox’s partner in crime
From: Tabby Ha
Maz, my crazy Dutch friend! Indeed I am brown (both mud and a hard earned tan). Will Skype you when I finish, leave your contact details on my facebook? Hope you are LOVING being back. Hope you have a fun trip to France with the old bro. Safe flight to Denmark – you have so much to look forward too! Oh and I’m wearing your trousers everyday – absolute life savers.
Lots of love
The one and only Tabster (Tabitha, obviously)
From: Ashley Johns
From: Ashley Johns
Have a great birthday!!
Lots of love