A rather soggy bunch of venturers and PMs arrived back at Fieldbase this morning. India had shown them the full force of what it was capable, with their night under the stars rudely interrupted by thunder, lightning and rain. And when I say rain...I mean a lot of rain.
The winds rattled through the camp and definitely gave all the shelters a run for their money! I’m happy to report that everyone’s shelters stood tall against the monsoon-like weather. Well...I say everyone’s...it would seem that our very own Deputy Programme Manager, Helen, had a little bit of a fight with the weather, with the weather winning and whisking away her basha! Luckily there was space for her in the girls’ tent so all’s well that ends well!
When everyone got back to camp, they cleaned their tools and kit and then hit the buckets for a much needed wash.
A fresh and, most importantly, dry change of clothes and everyone was in high spirits.
After a delicious and very welcome lunch, it was finally time for everyone to find out where they would be going on projects...drum roll please!
India 1 is now...Charlie 1: Amelia, Lavinia, Lukas, Anna, Megan, Albertine, Jamie, Julie, Suthakar
They’ll be joining Ed, Maggi and Jonny on a community project and building eco-sanitation units in a village called Malligalli. Our venturers will help 30 of the families to build their own eco-sanitation units (or toilets to you and me) which are vital to make sure that all of the families have basic hygienic sanitation units while promoting health and hygiene awareness. The project team will be living in a school, with the locals cooking their meals for them, so it will be a great opportunity to learn some Indian cooking techniques!
India 2 is now...Charlie 2: Roz, Zoe, Leticia, Esmee, Stewart, Sterre, Lizzie, Alex, Shruti
Sian and Kath will be supporting Charlie 2 as they build biogas units for a remote community in a village called Mangoda. Each family who gets a biogas unit will also be given two cows which will fuel the unit and provide them with free gas for cooking. The cattle will live in a shed, which the group will build, and the locals will be able to collect the cow dung to add into the digestion dome, which the groups will also build. The amount of methane produced in the dome in one day will be enough for five hours of gas. The families will also be able to get milk from the cow which they can use for themselves as well as sell – giving them a small income. The venturers will be setting up camp in one of the villagers’ gardens and, according to Sian and Kath, be given lots of chai and tea by the locals!
India 3 is now...Echo 3: Lizzie, Jenni, Kate, Jake, Gemma, Steph, Valerie, Dan, Shafeeque
Charlie and Jon will be showing Echo 3 how to ‘be at one’ with the great outdoors and supporting them as they build biogas units for Gandathur village. The group will be building their own jungle basha beds, doing some al fresco cooking, and swimming in the nearby reservoir. They’re going to be camping on the outskirts of a national park so I’m sure there’ll be plenty of fantastic wildlife-spotting opportunities.
India 4 is now...Tango 5: Lucy, Hannah, Mat, Anne, Claire, Harriet, Will, Firose
Andy and Hannah are super excited about leading their intrepid venturers through the Demon Mountain Trek. It’s going to be absolutely amazing! Tango 4 have got a treat in store for them and will be trekking and mountain biking through rice paddy plantations in the beautiful jungle of the Western Ghats of Kerala.
India 5 is now...Tango 6: Lucy, Aaron, Robyn, Lisa, Veerie, Maya, Victoria, Victor
And last but by no means least...Anthony, Rachel and Kim will be taking Tango 5 and getting them up (and down) Misappulimala peak in the Silent Valley Tea estate. The peak is 2,637m and is the second highest peak in South India, just under double the height of Scotland’s Ben Nevis. The group will also be building bamboo rafts to cross Anaerangal Lake.