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

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

Thursday 4 August 2011

A quick catch up with all of the groups...

Over the last few days, Tim and I (Donks) have been off on the loop visiting the groups to see how they’re all getting on.

First stop was Tango 5, the trekkers. We picked the right day to visit as it was their day off trekking and we arrived just in time for a chicken curry dinner! The weather and leeches are being slightly kinder to them this phase however that is not to say their presence has vanished all together. The group are all in good spirits and were enjoying their much deserved day off camping next to a beautiful lake. We spent the night with them there before waving them off in the morning as we went our separate ways, the T5 on foot and us in our trusty Bravo.

Then it was on to Charlie 2 in Thirukapatra to see how their toilet construction skills are coming on. They had finished the cesspits for all 14 units and were beginning to brick up the insides. We spent the day with C2 counting and moving bricks carefully avoiding the slippery paths the rain had left behind.
Jason counting out the bricks on site

Ram, Kai and Fahim
Louise and Manpreet

Ashley and Tabby
The group are sleeping in the village community centre and are being cooked fantastic local food twice a day by one of the villagers. During the day a group of children from a neighboring village had come down to visit the team and say hello so it was really nice to see them settling in well. After afternoon tea we got back in the car and headed to the CTRD headquarters for the night.
Dwayne, Kai, Charlie and Ram

Charlie 2 outside their Community centre
The next day we went to visit Charlie 1 down the road in Kotapadi. The group is fully immersed within the community there; the day before we arrived one of the beneficiaries had a baby girl and C1 spent the night celebrating with the family. Amy and Shaq took us on a tour of all of the work sites and the ladies were all very welcoming, plying us with tea and tapioca. Not only have the group made fantastic progress on the 4 toilets they had planned to build this phase they have painted the 4 built during the first phase and they are also continuing work on the house being built. They have a great set up in Kotapadi are they really have become part of the community there. When we arrived half of the group had gone to church with their new neighbours and the village children seem to have taken up permanent residency in their arts and crafts box. After a lovely lunch and some cake with C1 Tim and I headed back to field base for the night.
Amy in Charlie 1's shelter
Charlie 1 Project Managers, Susan & Lou

Alex in Charlie 1

Monday morning arrived and we packed up the car again and headed over to BD Munti to see how Mike 2 (Malmesbury School) were getting on with their eco-sanitation project. On arrival into the village the views of the reservoir were incredible and we all immediately got a really good feeling about this place. This was completely backed up when we met up with the first mini-group who were standing by what looked like an almost finished unit. They are all progressing fantastically and are storming though the workload - It was day 5 when we saw them and they had already finished the bases of all 14 toilet units and were working closely with local masons to make good progress constructing the sides. The group are all sleeping in the village school in a classroom and are being cooked for by the families there. They are settling in really well and were planning chai and chapatti making lessons with the families. After another incredible home cooked lunch with M2 we jumped back in the Bravo and headed over to Huskarhadi to see Echo 3.

We arrived just after E3 had finished their lunch and luckily for us they were having the afternoon off from trenching so we got to have a proper chat and catch up with them all. The group have had a battle on their hands with the rain over the past week or so but it looks like the worst of it has passed and they are getting stuck back into digging the trench. They had to change their plan of attack on the trench and have dug a huge amount length ways and now the weather is back on their side they are able to start digging down. They are spending every other morning at the local school and have undertaken some small restoration projects with them, painting the children’s play area and have plans in place to paint a mural to brighten the place up for them. Echo 3 went to visit The Golden Temple in Bylakuppe yesterday and have been invited to the headmasters’ house for tea this weekend so they have plenty going on.

Celia reads out everyones blog messages at Echo 3
Echo 3 Headquarters

That’s it from us here, all the groups are getting on really well and it was really nice to see each and every one of them getting stuck into their projects. Here are a few messages from some of them to tell you all about it themselves before the 10 week groups arrive back on August 10th. Happy reading!

Tango 5

From Sam Walter.

Hello father, mother and sister. All is good. Sitting in tent on trek at the moment: Day 6. It’s day off, we have been cycling and walking. The cycling has been amazing, and the weather has been moderate…Tell Poppy good luck for A-level results (if they are out yet). I will try and email/phone in a week or 2. Over and Egg.

From Alex Jackman

To Dad, Mum, Mattie and Sarah

Yes, lots of hair and less weight! Had a (wet) shave in Huskurhadi, seems ages ago. So much happening on trek, mainly forests and towns but about to do four days on foot! Cycling has been unbelievably fun , especially downhill. Glad it’s hot, it’s cloudy but not too much rain..yet. Miss you all, hope my letter arrives before I do! Xxx

From Alex Jackman

To C

Hi ! Hope everything ok at home, trek is AMAZING! Really great people and adventure every day, though I’m pretty knackered. Just wanted to also say that I put a joke in response to yours last time – was it censored? LOL Just having brilliant time, had chicken today for first time in months…hope you get my letter, see you soon! Xxx

From Alex Jackman

To Grandad

Antihistamine much appreciated – many bites from many creatures – had first leech bite last night! India is wet but very beautiful, I’ll return with lots of stories. Miss you! Alexander x

From Katia Philip

Big love from a Welsh gyal ina di jungle! This is most definitely an adventure. 10 hours of trek or bike a day through dense, wild jungle to peaks of mountains overlooking clouds and tea plantations, crossing rivers up to our wrists and balancing across 2 foot bamboo bridges, I feel more and more like a female version of Rambo everyday! Times can be very hard but its all worth it as I’m exploring the secrets of India that very few are able to experience. I love and miss you all! The elephants, tigers, snakes, monkeys and spiders all say hi! Love Katia xxx P.s. The bike rides are immensely amazing and the next ride is on my birthday – good times! Wish you could all be with me but I’ll be absolutely dandy!

From Kat Rosen

Hi Dad! 7 days on trek! It’s going great, no trench foot yet. Only leech bites so far. Hope everything is OK at home! Speak to you on the 10th! Love Kat xxx

Charlie 2

From Manpreet Sidhu

Hey guys how are you miss you loads!! On community phase atm really muddy here  and on day 7 of no bath (water’s too cold) lol. Got a new team of people having loads of fun and hard work. Musi and Shannon please look out for email; (only got yours) about changing flights for extra 10 days if it don’t cost too much extra; and details on work dates for Steph; also Mom can you check paper work I left for you. Tell lucky good luck! And have a great trip; be a emotional one and thinking about it a lot; Wish Rajan a happy birthday and mumi; and a happy anniversary to Mumi and Mama. P.s. I have no ginger bits in my hair lol. Also can you email Raleigh with flight details xxxx Mandy xxx got loop today – don’t need waterproofs mum I am cool; found my jacket p.s. didn’t get post today. Sad times xxx

From Tabitha Ha

To Mum, Barry, Alex, Emily, Dad, Marlene and Joey

My group is staying in a tribal community building 13 or 14 toilets. We’ve been digging and bricklaying so far and making good progress! The village is slowly making more contact with us – we’ve been playing cricket with the kids too. It’s nice to have a rest after the break and yes the signs of trekking have cleared up! It’s been better weather too - I definitely underestimated the monsoon rain! I’ve written letters to you both so I hope they get to you soon. Mum, Barry, Alex and Emily, I hope you have a good flight and have a fantastic time in Florida. Dad, Marlene and Joey, I hope you’re enjoying the summer. I should be able to get on the internet soon around the 11th I think, so keep an eye out. Lots of love, Tabitha xx. P.S. Feel free to get me a present from the US!

From Chaitali

To all the West Sussex ladies!

I got your massive essay of a message today, will be a nice bedtime read after work today . On a community phase building toilets and it’s going well. Missing you lots. I got to go on a Facebook but it kept crashing. I wrote you a big message but it didn’t send but will catch up with you all after Raleigh. Can’t wait till you’re out here Vicki! You must be wrapping up work right about now, yay! Maria you must be on summer hols now, hope you’re having sunny fun! Hope Scotland plans are going good Kiani! Catherine, Xavier is cool and you know it, even if he is like Herbert! Love you all long time. Hope Crawley town and The Sham are treating you well! Chaitali xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

From Chaitali

To Mum, May, Amit, Clare & Al,

Wow, Alex sounds like an adorable little alien with his own language and toothy smile! Glad you’re all well, missing you all tons. I’m on community phase building toilets in a tribal village in Tamil Nadu. It’s going well. Keep me updated on news. Lots of love, Chatsy xxxxxxxxxxx

From Ashley Johns

Hello everyone! On community phase at the mo. We’ve been digging lots of cesspits and we have started building inside them – lots of brick laying. I’m a pro! Finally seen some elephants on our drive here which was great! Getting eaten alive by mozzies though, and there’s a huge spider that lives in my stuff. Loads of rain – no need for all that sun cream!!! Hope you are all having a lovely summer. Eru [Editor: sp?] can’t wait for a nandos date!! Love and hugs – Ashley xxxxxxxxx

From Louise McStravick

To everyone – Not bun up – had about 4 days of sunshine in total rest of the time been monsooned on! I presume anonymous message is Nicola – what have I told you about writing your name! When are you due – am I going to miss it? Loads of vegetarian food here and have rice with every meal – my stomach does not like it! Although we have purchased ourselves four chickens from the local town with which we have had to prepare from scratch if you catch my drift – damn tasty though. In a tribal village in Tamil Nadu – middle of nowhere cannot contact until 10th August when I can go on internet am 5 ½ hours ahead so if you go on fb early you can catch me. My phone will be on also. Estelle and Jess – We must go Manchester warehouse project when I am back September times – I’ve hear good things about it. Miss you all. Love you all xxx

From Sarah Whetter

Hey all! Charlie 2 are charging along in Thirukapatra and attempting to complete the challenge of building 16 toilets for our little tribal village. So far, so good? It’s so satisfying watching them materialize before our eyes – I think I might become a bricklayer when I get home, definitely a hidden talent there. The locals are now looking less bewildered than when we arrived and we’re learning a few words of Tamil which helps international relations. We are already 1 week into this phase, its flying by. Hope all are healthy and happy. Miss ye! Love Sarah x

From Dwayne Robinson

Dear friends, family and mom. I wrote a previous message to you guys but I am not sure if it got through. It said that I missed you guys. I finished the trek which was great and I have started my next phase. I just want you guys to know I am thinking about you. Mom stop reading other people blogs and feeling bad. LOL. You have one of your own now.  I am having fun and I don’t regret anything. Oh and I just got all the blog messages!! I love you guys and I appreciate the support. I am thinking of you guys over here. P.s.Don’t worry about the braces LOL, they are fine! Love you guys and see you soon. Dwayne Robinson.

From Catherine Playfair

To Lucy Curzon

Hey lovely lady! Thank you so much for your blog message and letter – thinking of you here and reminiscing about our nightly Parle G and peanut binges! I LOVED the trek – Nikhil and Johnson say hi. I’m building toilets in a small tribal village with Charlie 2 now and I’m loving it again – so exciting watching something materialize from the fruits of our labour! I hope all is well with you and I can’t wait to swap stories when I return. Loads of love. Catherine Playfair xxx

From Catherine and Sarah

To Kate Stacey

Vanakum from Thirukapattra! We’re having an awesome time digging cesspits and laying bricks in our little tribal village and obviously the best PM team Charlie 2 could have hoped for…! Hoping to do some teaching at the local school (We thought some Anglo-Kiwi language lessons would go down a treat) No proposals for either of us (yet), probably because we’re rocking the butch look most days. Hope you’re still enjoying being a lady of leisure and the pottery lessons, trips to Wimbledon and champers at the polo aren’t getting too tedious. Miss you heaps, Love Catherine and Sarah x

Charlie 1

From Lou

Harry! Got your message thanks! Having a fabulous time, the community are fantastic and everyone is working hard on the project. Saw an elephant 5 metres away watching through the tea plantations this morning, so exciting. Send my love to everyone. Miss you too. Lou x

From Donya

To Ish, Hi babe, got your blog messages! (two). Really put a massive smile on my face  thanks Bubz. I hope everything is going well. I’ll be back at fieldbase on August 10th so I’ll definitely speak to you then. I’m enjoying this phase, got the BIG, SCARY but wonderful trek next – I think I start that around August 13th or 14th. Miss you like crazy each and everyday! Sent you another letter. That should be the 3rd. Looking forward to receiving your letter! Love you more than ever! Donya xx

From Anon

Hey mom, mae, ebby and New G! I miss u guys so much! A lot a lot! I won’t say much about my experience here but I love you all and I hope you guys miss me lol  Being here makes you really appreciate what you have at home. So anyways love you and please write back!! Write on the blog mom and everybody else!! LOL! P.S. I’ll be in Ooty on Thursday August 4th 2011 so can you be on Facebook to talk to you guys please. O and I had a dream about Ebby (a good one) it was about him singing. O and tell new G I love them and to really love and appreciate what they have there and to love each other and their leaders. Sometimes you don’t see what you have until you’re out in the world by yourself. Also tell papa he would love it here because all they have are bananas, jackfruit which taste like bananas, chocolate, chocolate cookies, wafers covered in chocolate, more assorted types of cookies and chips, which I really hate and would normally not eat at home!! LOL Also tell him I hope he is having fun at home watching all the television he can LOL!!!  Tell Granny that as much as she gave me those “lectures” and “bible studies” that I miss them and even though it seems like I’m not listening I always am, that I always remember her words. Tell Pastors I said hi and that I luv them and hope they are doing well. Tell my Daddy and Clarke side that I said hey whats up. See you in a month and a half.

Echo 3

From Elvis Ku

To my dearest family members: How are you all? I have been living here for more than one month already. Really miss you all! I have finished the whole trekking, nowadays I am working for the environmental project in a village called “Huskurhadi”. Our targets are building a solar fence and a 40 metre feet long EPT “Elephant Preventing Trench”. I quite enjoy doing that kind of “constructive work”. Besides, I’m alright. Don’t worry about me! P.S. Have you received my postcard? With love Elvis Ku.

From Elvis Ku

My dear Tracy: How are you? Do you enjoy the trip in Yu Nam? I’m now working in Huskurhadi for building solar fence and elephant preventing trench. It is much easier than trekking. The life here is quite regular, wake up at 6am, work between 7 to 4, sleep at 8-9pm. I get lots of time to read bible and to think. That’s awesome! I really miss you, hope you all the best! With love, Elvis Ku.

From Julia Selby

Dear friends and family, I’m having great time in Huskurhadi. I sleep in a basha and wee in a hole. It certainly is putting me out of my comfort zone! Our group are a great bunch of characters and work really hard. I know you won’t quite believe it but I’ve been digging loads, I got out a monster of a rock too, the team were impressed. Mum: I’ll start work on the veg patch if you get a digging pole! Hope you had a nice birthday. Dad & Rhian: Hope you enjoyed your visit from Softia, look forward to updated photos. Nila: Not long now till burger/ chips – yay! Lots of love Julia xxx


  1. Louise,

    Miss ya! I wouldn't be feeling the lack of meat either! Not much occuring down here... ya know how it is lol. When ya come back we will certainly take a trip to manc. you know how i love random trips! Take care

    Estelle x

  2. Celia Craven Echo 3

    Glad to see you reading and smiling. Do you still remember how to write????? Thank goodness for Elvis; we like his blog messages!
    DofE invitation arrived. November 8 with the DofE. Should I call the medical school and ask if you can be excused that day? You have until 17 August to reply so you could write/call when you get home. Might be better coming from you.
    Have you taken lots of photos? Looking forward to seeing you next weekend.
    Washed and ironed your sheets yesterday in anticipation. Will try to keep Murphy off but I guess a bit of cat hair won't bother you after the past few weeks.
    lots of love, mummy

  3. Thoraya Bartawi5 August 2011 at 03:15

    To Yasmin Kanji / Echo 3

    My Dear Yasmin
    I finally get to see your beautiful face on the blog. I am so excited .... Your beautiful smile and radiant face says it all !!!!
    Yay.... I have waited so long ... And finally here you are my precious ...

    I am really looking forward to speaking to you soon when you get back to base camp..

    Well done my love and keep up the good work. You must be so proud of yourself... Such a worthwhile cause....

    Love you lots and lots and lots....

  4. Dwanyne Robinson


    Hey baby cakes me poppa and nanna are here on the patio under the moon and the stars looking at your new pics. You look wonderful and healthy, so I guess you are loving the food over there. Oh get a recipe so that I can try and make the dishes that the natives cook. See if you can get a roti recipe - yeah that sounds good. Poppa said to hang in there and nanna said hi seeing you in the pics with the pretty girls. I just telephoned your mother to say that we saw your recent pics. Your brother was hollering in the phone while I was waiting for your mom to come to the phone - he sounds like a ball of energy. Well my darling continue to have fun and gain all the knowledge you can. Take care, God speed and we love you lots.

    PS How is Shaq doing? We love you too Shaq - be safe.

  5. To Catherine Playfair, Charlie 2

    Dear Catherine,

    Thank you so much for your blog post!! So great hearing that you're having a lovely time. And brilliant about your Charlie 2 PM team (I saw your other blog post underneath)- that's so great that you've been put together after all! I wish I were there with you (OK, sounding like a broken record now).

    Hope my other letters arrive soon, I can't remember how many I've sent but it can't be far off double figures. No wait, that's a bit of an exaggeration. ;) But I'm going to send another one soon, because after that I'm going on holiday with family to Bavaria to go cycling (SO excited :D) and I won't be back until the end of August by which time I won't be able to send any more post to you. I hope none have got lost anyway. And I'll send a Bavarian postcard to Leytonstone, so hopefully it'll have arrived when you get home! Love you lots, Lucy xxxx

  6. Barbara Robinson5 August 2011 at 06:49

    Hi Dwayne Robinson Charlie 1

    It is nice to read a message from you. Saw the pictures, you really look good. It is still strange that you are not here for the summer. The house is really quite (LOL). When you return, it will be an adjustment to get back into the grove of things. I am missing you. Keep up the good work. I am proud of you.

    Love Mom. xxxoooxxx
    PS. Anson is keeping us busy.

  7. Georgina Hernandez5 August 2011 at 16:09

    Message for ; Shack Young ( Hamilton, Bermuda) Charlie 1

    Hi Shack,
    Just got your message. So happy that you are really enjoying your stay in India to the max. I am sure you will have great memories and that the people there will forever remember you and all that you have done for them. I also read all that your group has done and I am so amazed at all the dedication you and your group have given to this project and all the accomplishments done in a short period of time. I hope all coninues super for the rest of your stay there, take care and God Bless!! FROM: GEORGINA HERNANDEZ

  8. Hi Elvis,

    That is great to see you now doing exactly what I am doing in last year. We have the same sequence too: Trek--Environmental--Community. I am sure you must enjoy this phase a lot, there would be a lot of free time (probably the most free and leisure time for your own), haha, enjoy this and how is the trench dig so far? Haha, miss the star at night and the crow attack, looking forward to seeing your update in Community Phase!! Add Oil!!

    Stephen Fung


  10. Alex Jackman Tango 5
    So good to hear from you and to know the trek is going well.We are off to Scilly Isles for a few days as we make our way to pick you up from Gatwick.Was the chicken good or have you now got used to a more vegetarian diet? No letter yet -think you might beat it back as only a week to go.Mattie and Sarah really looking forward to seeing you.Enjoy you last week lots of love xx

  11. Emma Williams Echo 3!

    Hi Emma,
    Glad to hear you get our messages even if they don't appear on the blog.

    Arrived home from Menorca yesterday. Had a lovely holiday and Vicky really enjoyed making new friends and joining in with every activity! Weather was superb and the time went very quickly but managed to relax a lot and eat far too much!

    I hope you are enjoying this phase - it sounds like hard work but you all appear to be having lots of fun and entertaining yourselves. I'll post you a letter on Monday so hopefully you will get it before you leave. Hope you enjoyed the chocolate nan sent :). Nan says hi and sends her love xx

    Take care sweetheart and stay safe. We are counting the weeks until September 3rd now :).Miss and love you lots, mum and co xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  12. My dearest Elvis,

    Thanks for your message and update. I have received your postcard when I came back from Yunan. It was very good gift. Did you receive our gift to you? Hope it won't lost.

    It's great to know that you have finished the most difficult part of your journey. This stage seemed to be easier. You said you enjoyed this kind of construction job, then you could also do it more when you come back, haha~~~

    Can you call me when you have time and opportunity? I understand It was very difficult to do that and you had tried your best to keep me updated, thanks for your love~~~~

    It was so unhappy to see you getting much thinner and really missed your belly stomach, of course I missed you too. Hope you will get fat soon when you came back.

    Thanks god for your growth in his words. He is awesome and amazing. keep you in prayer.

  13. Yasmin Kanji(11E)(echo3)
    From Sikander Kanji

    Dear Yasmin,
    Hope you have received my messages . Love the picture of you holding some treats in your hand. Zandie is back tomorrow from SOF and then we leave for Kenya on the 15th Aug. We will miss you on your birthday and have to celibration properly when you get back. Hope you are having fun and would love to get a message back from you as to how you are doing. enjoy and lots of love baba

  14. For: Catriona Duncan Echo 3,

    Hello darling! So after trying and failing to send you a message through your private blogspot eventally make Hannah guide me step-by-step through posting a comment to you... hope it reaches you before you leave. I hear things are going well and you are enjoying yourself very much, although Han told me you are still undecided about whether to do the trek or not. Either way I'm sure you will make the right decision. So how do you like India? Have you managed to explore the cities much outside of Raleigh. How are the living arrangemnts? If you don't do the trek I hear you will be back on the 13th Aug - gosh how it has flown! Will be lovely to see you.

    I'm living with my aunt at the moment, still working at the African Society, trying to get the dissertation finished. It's giving me hell. Not sure how private this is... so won't write too much. But know I'm thinking of you.

    Much love, Vicky xxx

  15. To Julia Selby

    Woo, so you'll have lots of digging to talk about! Time is going my by so fast but it still feels like ages! Glad you're having a fab time. Sorry I didn't get you a letter in the post. Miss you loads and can't wait to go for burger and chips when you back. Love Pila x x x

  16. Brendan donnelly8 August 2011 at 03:03

    Message for Sarah Neale (Unsure of project group, but she is currently a PM leading a trek)

    Hey Tortoise!

    The Game!!!

    Thanks for an amazing expedition, I don't think we could have asked for a better expedition leader. World challenge has been such a great experience, and I cant wait to go on a Raleigh Expedition in the next few years :)

    Have fun on your trek and hope to see you again in the future,
    Love from Brendan

  17. Amanda Prichard8 August 2011 at 04:23

    To Sarah Whetter, Charlie 2

    Petalatini, howzit? Wow, from the photos, it looks like mud, mud everywhere, and well, everywhere! Shame it doesn't look like the kind that one would want to use for a face mask, as that could have been opportune. I'm sure latrine building is a great new experience, and I'm glad that you may have found a second/third/fourth calling bricklaying! I still believe, however, that your future may still lie in the field of tap dancing, so don't give up that dream!
    Well, we've been experiencing extreme weather here as well. The heat index again got up to 115 degrees - yikes. We also had our first, proper, midwestern storm last night. From my experience, I was certain a tornado was nearby. So, what did JJ do - he stood outside in the middle of it and filmed it - smart! I had a cold all week, so have been 'recovering' from that. We also are FINALLY receiving our furniture on the 11th - yeah!!! Oh, we went to the driving range today - next week is the company golf tournament & i'm playing. Well, most importantly, I bought a SWEET outfit - think Rodney Dangerfield & caddyshack and bright pinks and blues - awesome! It's not how I play, it's how I look, right? Dex & Claude are enjoying their lives and Dex is like a puppy again jumping in and out of the creek. One of their doggie friends has shown them how to catch opposum - not pretty! Did I also tell you that Claude has also learned how to escape from the dog park by swimming up river (up creek, really). It is his own version of prison break & seemingly a fun game for him, not so much for us. Work is absolutely manic, and I am getting into the office every day at about 7.30am - yikes! Needless to say, I'm finding my feet, but feel it is going to take a while. JJ is well, still trying to work out what he's going to do when his lay time is up. For now, he's been perfecting his golden tan & I have him refurbishing some furniture - shabby chic is the way forward. Oh, and of course, cooking for me every day. So, did Cuzz have her baby? What's the scoop on that? I'm hoping you've also heard from your dad & he's doing well. We're all good here, missing England a bit, but really enjoying our space and our time together & exploring our new home. The 4 of us are missing you very much, although, I have to admit that I'd rather it be you than me building toilets (unless I had a cute outfit to do it in, of course - ha!). I can't remember when you finish, but there still could be a chance that I'm in Asia in Sept. Lots of love from the Nebraskans. xxx

  18. Message for Katia PHILIP tango 5

    Hi Kats
    just another quick "word" before my week begins..first off lots of love from Paula and Nan who are off to Britanny on Wednesday to meet up with Donna, Rob, Soph and Frank - they will stay in Rob's brother's Gite. We had a get together at Jo's last night - 9 of us - as it also Dan's birthday today - there were the usual suspects + Jo's sister Sue and her partner Steve - the night was a bit mad like the one we had before you left! Summer seems to have deserted the UK and it's been a very wet weekend tho' I didn't get back from Iceland until early hours Sunday - lots to tell you about that so we can swap war stories. Anyway - just wanted to send you loads of love and to tell you we are thinking of you lots - also got youyr letter - thanks for that - I'll drop you a line later in the week but I'm off to Poland - back Thursday - then hopefully no more travel until the US in September. take care - lots of love Dad xx

  19. For Katia Philip 11E Tango 5
    Hiya Katia
    I may have posted a couple of msgs with Echo 3 instead of Tango 5. Oops! Not one single photo on the blog of Tango 5 the trekkers tho... Disappointing, but nice to get ur msg. U have become a real Jungle Jane, hey? Anyway when u get this msg u will be back at fieldbase & phase 2 will be over. Yay!!! I am so proud of how u are pushing urself and really getting into this. Hope it went well despite the weather, leeches, blisters etc. U can take easy for a couple of days before the last part of ur adventure. We had a nice w/e & went out for a meal with Pam & Co on Sat. Can't wait to hear from u, as u know! Lots of love. Mum xxx

  20. For Tabitha Ha, Tango 5

    Hi Tabitha,
    Good to hear the toilet building is going well and you're having the chance to interact with the local kids a bit.
    Yes we had a good flight thanks and having a great time here so far. Surprisingly lots of rain and thunder.
    Of course will get you a pressie....trying to seek out something suitable, you're not easy to buy for lol :)
    Really, really hope you have got either our letter, parcel or even both by now!
    Looking forward to having a chat when you're back at your field base, don't forget the time diff of course, we're 9 and a half hours behind you in Florida.
    If we don't manage to speak we'll be flying back on 14th and should be home by the afternoon on 15th.
    Mum, Barry, Alex and Emily x x

  21. Paula Fairhurst9 August 2011 at 14:14

    Hi Katia - just dropping you a quick line before your Nan and I shoot off to France for 10 days or so - really looking forward to it but not the drive with Sammy and the mad one they call Chalky! I have sedative tablets for them and gave them a trial run earlier in the week - it was hysterical watching them flop around the place as their legs weren't working! Your Dad has kept me up to date about your trench-building exploits etc - rather you than me! Also thanks for the birthday wishes that he said you had written in a letter to him - I had a fab birthday and got really spoiled by everyone. We went out for dinner at SA3 in Mumbles that used to be Knights next door the chip shop where your Dad worked. Not sure if you got my text message for your birthday and hope you had a great one too! Anyway - gotta fly as still haven't packed a stitch and leaving in 5 hours! Looking forward to seeing you and hearing all about your great adventure! Lots and lots of love Paula x

  22. Paula Fairhurst9 August 2011 at 14:23

    Hi Katia - just dropping you a quick line before your Nan and I shoot off to France for 10 days or so - really looking forward to it but not the drive with Sammy and the mad one they call Chalky! I have sedative tablets for them and gave them a trial run earlier in the week - it was hysterical watching them flop around the place as their legs weren't working! Your Dad has kept me up to date about your trench-building exploits etc - rather you than me! Also thanks for the birthday wishes that he said you had written in a letter to him - I had a fab birthday and got really spoiled by everyone. We went out for dinner at SA3 in Mumbles that used to be Knights next door the chip shop where your Dad worked. Not sure if you got my text message for your birthday and hope you had a great one too! Anyway - gotta fly as still haven't packed a stitch and leaving in 5 hours! Looking forward to seeing you and hearing all about your great adventure! Lots and lots of love Paula x

  23. Paula Fairhurst9 August 2011 at 14:25

    For Katia PHILIP TANGO 5

    Hi Katia - just dropping you a quick line before your Nan and I shoot off to France for 10 days or so - really looking forward to it but not the drive with Sammy and the mad one they call Chalky! I have sedative tablets for them and gave them a trial run earlier in the week - it was hysterical watching them flop around the place as their legs weren't working! Your Dad has kept me up to date about your trench-building exploits etc - rather you than me! Also thanks for the birthday wishes that he said you had written in a letter to him - I had a fab birthday and got really spoiled by everyone. We went out for dinner at SA3 in Mumbles that used to be Knights next door the chip shop where your Dad worked. Not sure if you got my text message for your birthday and hope you had a great one too! Anyway - gotta fly as still haven't packed a stitch and leaving in 5 hours! Looking forward to seeing you and hearing all about your great adventure! Lots and lots of love Paula x

  24. For Katia PHILIP TANGO 5

    Hello my darling little grand-daughter all the way on the other side of the World. Your Dad is typing this for me as you know I don’t know anything about these modern computers! From what your Dad has been teling us you are having a very rewarding time – digging and painting! I said to him that this experience will help shape the person you are and it is a wonderful opportunity and I am so happy you seem to be making the most of it though I bet you are missing Ali who must also be missing you, but time will fly and you will be in London to make your new start together. I am packed and all ready to go to France with Paula and the dogs….I hope Chalky behaves himself or he’ll drive us all mad! I hope too that you managed to enjoy your birthday – seems you are always abroad but this time not in France but in India. I don’t have much news my end except that I have been spending hours and hours in my garden weeding and planting and although it has been hard work I am very pleased with it all when I look at my little garden from the kitchen window. Well that’s all for now Katia and I’m sure your Dad will give us your news when he looks at the computer. Lots of love to you and look after yourself , Nan xx

  25. S Duncan
    To Catriona Duncan Echo3
    Hope you will get the message when you return to base tomorrow.Just to say don't bring anything you won't use again home, and if you still got your sandal may be you want to getrid of your boot, I think you had have enough used
    out of it.Anyway that just a though so to make your load a bit easier. Have a good journey home.See you on Fri. LOL. Mumxxx

  26. To Katia Philip 11E Tango 5
    Hello Kats!
    So ur arriving back at Fieldbase tomorrow & staying til Saturday? Great! Hope u enjoy the break & reading all ur mail etc. G & I drove to Bracknell (near London) to see a Harley last night. It's beautiful. We are hoping to pick it up this w/e. This one is blue - nice change. I'm sure u'll get a ride down to Mumbles next time ur home... Speak very soon then!! Lots of love. Mum xxx

  27. For Katia Philip 11E Tango 5

    Weyy alright Kats - how do mandem? You must be about done with the mega-hike - hoping you survived the leeches! How are the feet?

    Was down in London with the boys this weekend - went to a one-man show, audience of about 12, and where he carried a mackerel around and poured a Muller rice on his head, so the usual stuff OBV. Had visitor from Mancs down last weekend so pretty chilled out punting and dinner etc etc etc.

    Kev's installed in his new flat in Madrid and sounding good - we'll be Skyping this week so he can show me about. I'm possiblement gonna go see Soph and Em and Co in Paris before heading to Barcaca :D

    Check the old FB if you have it there - bit more info on World Events winging its way in a message to you also.

    Big love mersh, keep at it doing the awesome stuff you guys are doing for everyone out there.


  28. For Alex Clarke 11e, Charlie 1
    Hi Alex, Well that's another phase finished! It sounds as if you had a great time with the villagers. Hope you enjoy your few days at the field base before the trek. Thinking about you and your adventure and missing you lots. Love Mum and Dad x

  29. Chessie Clarke, Echo 3

    Hi Chess,
    How are those elephant trenches coming along and is sleeping in a basha still comfortable? Can hardly believe that nearly 7 weeks have passed and you will be home on Saturday - really looking forward to seeing you. I am sure you will be sad to leave India, but come away knowing that you have made a difference and have stretched yourself beyond what you thought capable of - well done, we are all really proud of you.
    We have just returned from a few days in Scotland - Edinburgh and Glasgow; tagged this on to the end of Martin's golf week. Poppy has returned from the cattery and is enjoying the peace and quiet before your return (the dance routine awaits her)!
    All is well in Cornwall, Ollie has enjoyed a week's surfing and is looking forward to your visit - something to plan on your return.
    Lots of love, Mummy and Martin (and Pops), Ollie and Julie xxxx

  30. Sarah Whetter, Charlie 2

    Howdy Queeb!! How are those toilets coming on? I'm guessing your back from phase in the next day or two. Well I have been back at work for a week and it really is that rubbish that I have told them to stick it where the sun dont shine!! Sooooooooo.....I'll be coming out to join you travelling if thats ok?! My contract doesnt finish until Nov 26th but I have 4 weeks leave to take and so I can get away at the end of Oct!! How exciting!! Cant wait to see you again and find out out how you have got on - looks as though you hvae had a fab fab time. Thinking of you all lots, Baby QueebXX

  31. Catherine Playfield C2

    Hey Princess!! How are you doing? Loving the toilet building? So glad to hear about the dreamteam PM team - bet you have both had a ball:) You deserve it girl! Oh and a medal for getting through phase 1!!! Well done you. Well I have handed my notice in and so am looking at moving down to London in the new year so definately lots of chance to catch up and reinact the karaoke broom singing in sahri's! Best of luck for phase 3 - you'll have a cracker I'm sure!! Lots and lots of love, SallyXX

  32. Susan,

    Looks like you are doing an amazing job and that the community are fully embraced in your presence - big well done to you! So the Kotapadi love is flowing and the new arrival must have been so exciting. Well, work back here couldnt be more different, the army didnt embrace me back once bit, there is unfortunsately no love flowing and rather than a new arrival there is shortly going to be a sharp exit!! Have a fantastic time on your 3rd phase. Thinking of you lots, SallyXX

  33. Celia Craven Echo 3

    I guess you are back from the trenches now. Daddy and I returned home from the Isle of Wight yesterday where we had a really good break with Tony and Ann. Sailing, walking, lots of very fresh air. Brixton a mess with Morleys and H&M boarded up after attacks by rioting looters. Tube station and high street were closed on Monday.
    We'll see you at Heathrow on Saturday lunchtime unless we hear anything to the contrary. Have a safe flight home.
    lots of love, mummy

  34. Chaitali Desai Charlie 2

    Hey Chaitali!

    Hope you are ok! Just to let you know your mum got in touch with me about bringing some stuff for you. So will be picking that up on Saturday! My leaving do is tomorrow eeeek! Leaving on Sunday!!!! So excited! So expect another West Sussex Newsletter in the next couple of weeks because we'll be writing one on Friday :)

    Hope you are having an amazing time and see you in just under 4 weeks!

    Oh and I'll have my phone with me so if you have yours send me a text when you are in Sydney and I'll let you know when I'm on my way to the hostel :)

    Lots of Love

    Vicki (vic-would) xxx



    Hi again sunshine - just wanted to let you know that the Organization here in Bermuda did an interview on the evening news and they showed pictures of you and some others. We got excited cause you are a super star and I did my woooooo hooooo happy holler for you - lol. Otherwise all is well here - take care and I will catch up with you later. Love you lots.

    Aunie Sybbie

  36. To Katia Philip 11E Tango5/Charlie1
    Hi Kats
    Don't know if ur Charlie 1 yet.. Anyway, really enjoyed our quick chat. U sound so happy. I bet ur all excited about the community project. Hope u get to meet lots of lovely people and take loads of photos. Went out for a posh meal last night which was great and we're invited to a BBQ tomorrow but the weather's awful. Driving to Bracknell on Sun to pick up the Harley. So a full weekend for us. Enjoy ur last day in Mysore. Ge would love a photo of u at the Mysore flower market. He wd be thrilled, if that can be arranged. Good luck for the last phase and look after urself, ok? Make the most as u won't be back in India for a while hey? Take care. Lots of love. Mum xxx
    PS: Bet u looked fabulous in ur sari....

  37. Dwayne Robinson

    Hello this is on behalf of the facebook family or the clan LOL we all love you and miss you so very much but we all know your having the time of your life. But tell Shaquille we all said Hi.

    Arianne & Facebook Family

    Kalea ask you to inbox her..LoL XOXO

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