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

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

Monday 22 August 2011

The Last Visits!

On Thursday, Tim and myself (Christina), headed out on the loop to visit Tango 5 down in Kerala, and Charlie 1 in Kotapadi.

We met Tango 5 on their rest day, and found them emerging from a river after a morning of rafting.

Donya, Kai and Alex's raft

Tango 5

Ashley, Manpreet and Devon

It was obvious straight away spirits were high, after just 5 days the group had already grown close, and they couldnt wait to tell us what they had been getting up to.

Tango 5 at the top of Amba

First off, the weather has been good to them! They have only seen a little 
bit of rain and had clear skies on the previous day when climbing Amba, one of the most peaceful peaks in the Western Ghats.
Back at Camp Manpreet and Ashley got started on making an amazing rice dinner. Impressive for trek dining! It was followed by banoffee pie made my Sarah, it was soon obvious why everyone was so high spirited! The group obviously all make the most of every opportunity.

Receiving post and stocking up from the shop!


Siva Writing notes to the other groups

Eleri's snacks

Devon Lauren and Sarah

Manpreet stocking up on shower gel!

They all told us their highlights so far, most featuring Devon and his amusing ways - he has certainly been keeping everyone entertained along the way!

The next day we stayed for a day of cycling with Tango 5. The group, happy to leave their rucksacks to one side for the day, once again had another good day of weather. Arriving at camp next to Banasura Dam, everyone set up tents and made dinner before an early night ready for a 13km trek the next day - when we left them to go visit Charlie 1.

Christina and Devon


Alex - slightly windswept!

Lauren on Lunch break


Arriving at Kotapadi just before Lunch the group were all busy working. After a tour of their beautiful village, and introductions to all the local families who are looking after them, we were fed lunch by Luthermary, one of the Local 'Mums' who feeds the group. After a delicous carrot, rice and popadom meal, the rest of the group headed back out to work whilst Ben, Emma and Katia joined me to visit a nearby village called Karthadu.
Some of the children in Kotapadi

Luthermary and Sarah in Charlie 1

Emma and Elvis receiving post!


Raleigh worked in Karthadu back in 2009 building 15 sanitation units. We headed back to evaluate the project, we met the locals and were shown around their lovely village, located in the middle of the tea plantations. The children were delighted to see us, and sang songs that the previous group had taught them 2 years ago!

Ben, Katia and Emma with one of the Locals in Karthadu

Being shown around the village



Charlie 1 have been speeding along with the work, the house is looking fantastic ith its recently completed roof!

Fletch and John are heading out tomorrow morning to visit both Echo 3 and Echo 4, so will update with how they are getting on in a few days.

Here are a few messages from Tango 5 and Charlie 1!

Charlie 1
From Emma Williams
Hi Everyone,
Hope you are all good! I am currently on community phase in Kotapadi – it is beautiful. The community are so friendly and welcoming and they cook us the most delicious food for lunch and dinner. I went to help cook chapattis (like pancakes), it took me a few goes but I finally got it…sort of =P
I am going on an overnight trip to Ooty on Tuesday, lots of shopping and apparently you can get an amazing brownie! I am currently helping to build four toilets and finish a house, lots of hard work – I think my new profession is a builder – haha.
Still loving India but can’t wait to see you all now. Not long to go, can’t believe how fast the time is going.
See you all on 4th September J Love you, Emma xxxxxxxxxxxx

From Elvis Ku
I would come back Hong Kong on 4th September, if you want to know about the details, you can contact Tracey as she helped me to change the flight with the agent.
2 more weeks only in India, I really miss you all and worry about Grandpa’s situation. If there was any emergency please contact fieldbase directly!
I am now working for the community project. Our main duties are building four more toilets and finalizing the housebuilding for the villagers. The meal here is awesome since the villagers cook the traditional Indian food (rice, curry and chappati) for us each day. I am gaining fat now…
For “big” sister, happy birthday (though it is a little bit late to say)! Miss you all! Take care! May God bless all of you!

From Sarah Whetter
Greetings all,
Having a blast in Kotapadi, a lovely little community on a hillside in Tamil Nadu – yet more toilet building and also finishing off a house. My new found skills are never-ending…!
Can’t believe only 10 more days to go on this crazy adventure, it’s hard to describe it all I must say.
Back to fieldbase on 31st August for a week or so then probably heading to Delhi and a few cheeky trips around the north.
Take care and be good!?
Love, Sarah x

To: The KGP followers aka fans
From: Katia Philip
Yo / Vanakum! Last msg to all you nutcases in the UK. LOVING this project, the village and families are amazing and so warm. Working hard and the rain hasn’t been AS bad yet! My name here is Nalla and I’m slowly transforming into a good Tamil lady! Sooo excited to see you all SO soon! ARGH! Bare Indian Blessings and lovings. See y’all in 13 DAYS! Xxx

To: Ali
From: Katia Philip
Counting down the days until I see your chumpy fashe! Fancy a date on the 3rd Sept? Let a gyal know! Love you loads, Katia xxx
Tango 5
From Manpreet
To Steph, Nicola, Katie, Ness, Karen, Sarah, Shetal, Pauline and Trisia
Heyyy guys miss you loads…thanks for the message guys made my dad; tell Nicole I’ll catch up with her when I get back. Been doing such amazing things out here on last phase now; just finishing off water rafting now; so fun. LOL gutting fish lol love it!!As for the postcard I probably be back before it arrives post is lame!! Also Steph I am back on the 3rd so keep original plans as 11th my first day back and Fanny I’ll be there J xxx

From Ashley Johns
Hello Everyone! Having loads of fun on trek! We’ve just had a rafting day and it was really fun and four days of walking before that. We climbed to the top of Amba mountain yesterday. Stunning view from the top with loads of leeches but they never got me! Hoping they will stay away. We got to our campsite last night and it was a flashback to that time at Costa – probably more insane! And then we moved to another one this morning which was loads better. We have our first biking day tomorrow and then my birthday will be a biking day too J so we’ll get to have a nice meal. Please may I have a haircut for my birthday? Oh and steak for my first meal!! See you all soon! Big kisses – especially to Stinky, Jamie, Parker, Mam and Dad. Xxx
From Lauren Hopkins
Cat! Hi lovely, thank you so, so, much for your lovely parcel – it’s the sweetest thing EVER and I’m going to share it all with the group tonight – they’ll LOVE it! Everyone has read your note – Siva was laughing A LOT! Hope home life is good – we miss you a lot infact I was just speaking with Manpreet, Devon and Donya tonight and we were all saying how lovely you are! You’ll be pleased to hear I’m staying on later! Anyways – keep in touch! Lots and lots of love Lauren xxxx

From Donya
To Soraya
Hey rayadean! How are you? I was so happy when I got your message! I hope Londontown is not too hectic, I’ve heard loads about the riots etc. Sounds CRAZY! Missing you but I’ll be back soon to catch up on the summer. Hope you’re not too bored without me or Anton lol. I’m sure you are working loads and stocking up your bank account so lucky you. I might be back by september 4th, if not september 17th so i will see you soon.
I’m currently trekking through jungles and up mountains so it’s great out here, having loads of fun but I can’t wait to see everyone back home. Take care of yourself! Love Donya xx
To Ishmael (from Donya)
Hey babe, thanks for your message! Trek is actually amazing, I think it’s definitely my best phase. I’ve seen groups of elephants, monkeys etc and the scenery is just so beautiful! However, there are SO many leeches which I HATE, I even cried on day 4 because so many were on me. It’s all worth it though I suppose because I’m really enjoying this phase and it’s only day 6 out of 19. I went rafting today too which was so fun. I’ve been thinking of you loads and loads and I can’t wait to see you! Not long left now! speak to you soon. Love you loads! Donya. xxx

Photographs by Christina Ambrose
and Lauren Hopkins


  1. To Elvis

    I'd already know your new flight time that Tracy told me yesterday. I'll come to airport on that day with Tracy to escort you back home. Haha!

    You should do more enjoy in India on the rest couple of weeks. Cook some India curry for us to taste when you back. Hohoho!!!

    Thanks for you belated birthday wishes! ^_^ Father bought a cake for me on that day, so awesome!!

    Grandpa still in hospital, but he looks a little bit better than before. Wait for a scanning on 24 August. Don't worry, you better make your journey more memorable with your teammates. Enjoy!

    We all hope to see you back soon!

  2. For Sarah Whetter, Charlie 1
    Halloo Brickie!
    Your talents will come in handy at the farside, more sheep got in the other day via the same naughty gate as last time, people staying next door sent a message that they'd shut the gate but hadn't chased the beasts out first, so at least we wouldn't have to mow the grass. VERY funny. My language was not polite. Maybe we need a good strong brick wall down the side...

    Exciting as always to see your message on the blog, I hope you had lots from us all when the team came to see you and love the beautiful photo of you and Luthermary.

    It's the second glorious day in a row, snowy mountains still and some blossom out in Greytown. I'm trying to concentrate on work with the good doctor but outside is too tempting. It's 2pm so I'll do an hour of each maybe. More in an email so lots of love for now x x x maman

  3. To Kai in Tango 5,

    Hi Kai we´re in Gran Canaria heading to Germany tomorrow, we just looked at some pictures of you and you got a mustache! And is that your scarf? Hope your having an awesome time!


    Whats up Kai, got any grapes? I see that your raft was amazingly built . You look like Leonardo DiCaprio with that mustache. Hope you´re having a great time.


    Everyone in Gran Canaria says HI! and they hope your having a great time!

  4. For Nick Williams, Charlie 1
    Not long now! No photo of you on the blog site as usual!
    Can't wait to see you again and to hear all your tales.
    All well here. Very soggy though - probably not quite a soggy as your trek through the Indian hills...
    Auntie Val has bought a house near to Rachel; she can't wait to be a grandma and wants to be there for Rachel, well as much as Rachel will let her. She hopes to come round on the day you return to hear about all your adventures. She's out of a job though, which took her completely by surprise. Luckily she's been approached by loads of people so I think she'll not need to go on the dole...
    Dad's good - in Frankfurt this week and Paris next.
    Claire's frantic with all the arrangements for the ball.
    We're all dying to see you. (no package this time - Dad would'nt let me!). Much love Mum xx

  5. To Sarah Whetter, Charlie 1

    Wow! 10 days to go - man, that flew by. Can't believe that you are almost done with that journey. So much to hear about, and yet, you're so far away. By the way, our toilet in our spare bathroom seems to be running a bit - perhaps, you could come and use your new found skills to fix it?

    The painting of said apartment is now complete. Jj has managed to stencil a wall, paint a few tables and some bookcases, and adhere to all of my colour wishes.

    Work has been extremely hectic - seems to get busier by the day. The good news is that I've made my first hire, and he seems to be coming along just fine.

    Dogs are also good - The Big D is in better shape than he's ever been in, and is keeping up on all sorts of walks in this heat. Claude still has separating anxiety and issues relating to thunder (there's been a ton of it). I'm thinking about investing in the doggie thunder coat - it apparently eases many different anxities.

    Well, as you can tell, it's been rock n' roll here! We'll give you another update soon. We need to find you on Skype so that we can get in contact when you are back in the land of the living!

    Lots of love from NE,

    Petalargus, JJ, Dexter-dawg & Claudius xx

  6. Joanne Johns (ashleys mum)24 August 2011 at 17:27

    Ashley johns Tango 5
    Hello bairne I,m so pleased your having a fantatstic time,they are all asking about you in the chippy,waiting for their weekly installment.Another birthday in another country one day you,ll celebrate one at home.Keep looking for you in the photo blog I think you hide when the cameras about.Everyone wishes you a Happy birthday and hope you have a fantastic time,Stinky s waiting for his mum to come home.Cant wait to see you love you loads ...yer mamxx oh and the rest of them

  7. Barbara Robinson24 August 2011 at 22:52

    Hi Dwayne,

    Looking great. I see you found a new friend amoung the natives. Are your feet growing out there. I have most of your school supplies and pants. Your school schedule looks really full. You are on the count down (10 days) of returning home.

    Love Mom.

  8. To Shiva,Tango5

    hi,how are you??..hope you doing well,i am back home long back.njoy last days expedition..:):)

  9. to manpreet tango 5
    hi preet sending u early birthday wishes dont know when u are going to get it, wish u were here so i give u a big hug and sloppy kiss(whoever delivers this message give my baby a big really wet sloppy kiss for me ).not long to go see u next week ,jinder and the jata party have gone off on their hols ,watched luckys engagement party and he did well ,will fit right in the family ,just like another one of u girls. before u come home pls pls have a good shower.
    love u mum and sandy

  10. hai Siva,
    this is super siva from madurai, enna thambi epdi poguthu, ethavathu meenu thundilil mattiyiruka, varumbothu nalla ponnaiyum, paiyanaiyum maduraikum kootitu vanga.
    fieldbase vandavudan avasiyam phone pannavum.

  11. enna ram,
    epdi iruka, field base vanthavudan phone pannu,

  12. To Sarah Whetter, Charlie 1

    Hey Big Sis. I can't believe your Raleigh adventure is coming to an end! We have so loved reading the blog and finding mention of you and your escapades. Looking forward to an email on your return. All well in Englefield Green. Alby growing by the minute - 6 months old on the 8th... Sheesh where did that time go?! He misses his Aunty Sarah - and so do I. Happy touring around India and your next adventure. Skype us if you have a minute... Love you. Little Sis xo

  13. Cedallia cartwright30 August 2011 at 00:38

    To Najee Clarke

    Hi Sweetheart time has gone by quickly and everyone is excited to have you come back. ma's b/d is today - 88 years old and it won't be the same not having you here to celebrate mine.

    There has been a MAJOR shift/wave at NEW G especially as it pertains to P&W team and the teens. You are MISSED By ALL!!

    Love you dearly Sweetheart Saturday HURRY UP - bring my girl home :) XOOOOOO

  14. For Alex Clarke Tango 5
    Hi Alex,- Can't believe you've only got a few days left on the expedition. Have you planned what you are going to do on your two weeks holiday? Would love to hear your plans sometime and I'll keep checking my emails.
    We've had a pretty hectic weekend - Jayne's made her birthday celebrations stretch out from Friday to Sunday, so we are all exhausted. You were missed!
    So not long 'til we see you - I'll be starting the official countdown on 1 Sept!
    Lots of love from Mum, Dad and Emma xx

  15. To Katia Philip Charlie 1
    aka 'Nalla'.... (I like it). Fab photos of u on the blog, looking happy & confident. Very proud of what u have achieved, girl! Great stuff...
    Anyway I just can't wait to see u. G & I will be at the airport bright & early, Damo and Ali will go straight to the hotel. Ali's parents have invited us all for a BBQ on Sunday (how nice is that?) so it will be a fun packed weekend and I am so looking forward to it! Enjoy ur last few days in India and have a safe trip home Kats. Take care. Lots of love. Mum xxx

  16. Barbara Robinson30 August 2011 at 18:15

    Hi Dwayne Robinson - Echo 3

    Your time is coming to an end fast and your adventure is almost over. I hope you learn alot with every group adventure you were in. Coming home is going to be an adjustment from India life. I know you will bounce back fast. See you on Sunday.

    Love Mom. xxxxooooxxxx

    PS. If you can, could you bring me some salt & vignear chips at the UK airport.

  17. For Sam - Echo 4

    Hi Sam,
    Good to see youve been eating well - blog..

    Hope that you are well & have plans for travelling? Please do keep us in touch with your plans & movements after Raleigh.

    Will sponser your run - good luck for that....

    Poppys got a place to live in london - just across the road from the anthropoly department close to British Museum etc.

    Am watching film writing this set in India - just seen an organ - larger version of Shruti.

    Iska has finished her degree now - and she is at home - but does nt know what to do next - Megan got a first, i hear.

    Have you any plans to follow up in Bangalore??

    Good luck,