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

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

Wednesday 31 August 2011

The end is nigh!

10 weeks on expedition in India has flown by and the last couple of days have been full of goodbyes, washing dirty kit and travelling back to field base for the final time. The groups all arrived back this morning in high spirits and ready to spend their last couple of days with all the friends  they have made on expedition.

Yesterday staff from field base set off in three different directions to visit the groups at their closing ceremonies. All the villages that the groups have worked for over the last phase thanked them for all their hard work over the last couple of weeks. The alpha groups have all been overwhelmed with the hospitality friendliness and generosity the villages have shown them while they have been there and this is also their chance to thank everyone for that.

Here are a few photos from their closing ceremonies from Echo 4 and Charlie 1.

Sarah (PM) being dressed in a sari

Yasmin looking very glamorous and ready to go


Tabby and Sam

Tom with one of the project partners from MYKAPS

Packing down Echo 4

Big smile from Ram

Ollie and Struan 

The groups are all happy to be back and Tango 5 brought a surprise back for Mark in the form of three leeches. He had set the a challenge before they left on trek that if they returned with a live leech they would win a large pepperoni pizza. Devon was very quick to cash in on his prize.

Once kit had been clean and maybe some clean clothes had been thrown on everyone headed into Mysore for the final time – hopefully they will have returned with some presents for all you friends and family they have left behind at home for 10 weeks. 

Echo 4 arrive back from the trenches

Ben fresh off the bus from Charlie 1

Shaq and Dwayne - always together 

Kai with his trekking tent

Lauren getting a big welcome back hug from Lindsay (PM)

Siva and Manpreet reading her birthday  blog messages

Mark handing Devon his prize


Everyone one will be up at 5:30am tomorrow morning to be led in a Miss Motivator session by the lovely Emma, who will prepare everyone for their 5 or 10K run which will be commencing at 6:00am. We will be back online tomorrow to let you know how are runners did and by the sounds of it we will have some funny fancy dress pictures to post. If you haven’t already it is not to late to sponsor them. 

Monday 29 August 2011

Monitoring and Evaluating!

Before I tell you about what our Echo groups have been up to I wanted to update you all on the training the different alpha group have been doing for the 10K fun run which will be happening when they return to field base.
 Echo 4 are still in the lead on the training stakes but the Tango groups have been putting the miles in on trek and are feeling at the peak of their fitness. If you haven’t already sponsored your friends and family out here make sure you give them your support, each venturer and PM only need to raise thirty-three pounds for us to reach our target to be able to provide one more family with a bio-gas unit!

Right back to those Echos’.

While they are here the groups not only get involved in the important work they are doing out on their respective project sites but also have the chance to get out and visit past project to see how they have impacted on the communities. This week both Echo 3 and Echo 4 where out and about and with Echo 3 visiting Allanaghally and Echo 4 going to see Telugu Masahali. Both of these previous projects were part of the community phase and looked at improving the sanitation of each community.

Echo 3 were the first group to do a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) visit with Little Manju and I (Fletch) picking five of Echo 3 up from Huskurhaddi in Bravo 1, the M&E team included, Jade, Nick, Charlie, Lindsay (PM) and Louise. The group were welcomed by the head of the village and set about interviewing recipients of the toilets built by a previous Raleigh group. The children in the village were very happy to see us and were very curious about what we were up to and wanted to tell us all about their school. On the way back to Huskurhaddi we had the chance to stop off for a lunch of Masala Dosa and some chai. The rest of the group in Echo 3 were doing really well and since the visit we have heard they have finished the trench and are busily making plans to return to field base for the final time!

Echo 4 had their visit on Saturday and we headed out, stopping first for lunch of fish fry, vegetable curry, parotta and of course chai in one of the surrounding villages near Basva Pura. We arrived at the village of Telugu Masahali at around 1pm. This village was visited by a bespoke Raleigh group in 2010 and ten toilets were built by the venturers. Lots of people wanted to speak to the M&E group (Jason, Tabby, Ollie, Roxy and Sam) and at each house the team was given more chai and biscuits. We were also given a tour of all the toilets which were in tip top condition and had obviously brought a lot of benefits to the village.

We waved goodbye to the village at 4pm and headed back to Basva Pura. Echo 4 has made incredible progress on their trench and when we spoke to them last night they had finished. For today they have planned a celebratory sports day planned for today to work off all the congratulatory 7up they consumed last night. They have also acquired a pet chicken who Jason is very fond of.

I am know all the alpha groups would love to hear from you all when they are back at field base so keep those messages coming in. We have lots of fun planned for them when they are back so I’ll keep you up-to-date about what has been happening here when they are back.

Now here are the messages from the groups:

Tango 5
 From: Kai

To: Thomas Mayer

Happy birthday on the 29th. Hope you have a great day.

Kai x

Echo 4 (Echo 4 had a bit of a mix up with their blog book so some of these messages are a couple of days old, sorry for the confusion).

From: Roxy Simpson
To: Rachel Simpson

Happy Birthday Rachel! 21! Bet you don’t feel any older. Right now I am camped in a place called Basava Pura, doing a whole lot of digging for a trench to stop those pesky elephants from munching on the locals crops. Can’t blame an elephant for being hungry though, they’ve got to eat too!

Not long till I’m back in the Brizzle, really excited but I am going to miss India, it’s quite a place! Will call you when I get back. Hope you are well and all you ladies are taking good care of each other, which I am sure you are .

Love you all so much! So excited to see you all.

Big love little sis xxxx

PS – Sorry it is late big mix up.

From: Roxy Simpson
To: Roxy Morgan

Happy Birthday Ronny gal! Not sure if you’ll be checking this blog but just thought I best do something while I’m so far away from you. I’m missing you so much! Miss my crazy gal Romz . Collecting bits in India to bring back with me for you, you’d love this place. Hope you have a cracking day. Not long now till I come back so we’ll have to go for a Brizzle mash up! It’s been way to long, not had a drink since I left for India. It will be a cheap night for me.

Lots of love and massive hugs. So excited to see you again, yay!

Big love sista xxxx

From: Tabby Ha
To: Mum, Barry, Alex, Emily, Dad, Marlene and Joey

Hey, hope you are all doing well. I guess by now that mum and co are back from Florida – hopefully England’s riots are calming down now. Last phase is going well – it’s a lot sunnier and all we have to do is dig, so it’s pretty chilled really. We are sleeping in bashas (like a properly secure hammock) and it’s so comfy. We are digging an elephant trench around the local village and it’s definitely giving me a bit of a workout. I’ll be sad to leave Raleigh but I’ve got some ideas for after, possibly a place to work too, so I’m pretty excited to move on and have some freedom again.

I’ll call on the 31st I think – if I get some time on the internet.

Lots of love

Tabby xx

Wednesday 24 August 2011

In the trenches

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

Shaq's scarecrow 
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? 

PM Julia 
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 

PM Lindsay 




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 !

PM Cat 

Struan making friends with the local wildlife 

Ollie belly tickling a beetle 

PM Lou 

Tom chronlicing his thoughts in his basha

Roxy's Basha

Struan building up his muscles
 Echo 4 made us feel very welcome, with Donks cooking up an amazing lunch followed by an even better desert – chocolate brownie cake. After making sure Echo 4 were well and truly stocked up on chocolate we headed back to fieldbase and some more competitive training for the 10 and 5K fun run.

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

Echo 3

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.

Love Julia
From: Dwayne
To: Family, Loved Ones and Family

Hey Guys,

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.

Echo 4

From: Lou Shute
To: Harry

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 – chaslimford@yahoo.co.uk and James too shuter89@hotmail.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

Hey Nathan,

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

From: Catherine
To: Sis

Happy 21st Birthday 

Love Cat

From: Jason
To: Maria

Hey Maria,

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.

Miss you.

Jason x

(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.

Take care,

Tabby a.ka Walf, a.k.a Fox’s partner in crime

From: Tabby Ha
To: Maria

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)

Tango 5

From: Ashley Johns 
To: Dad

Hi Dad,

Have a great birthday!!

Lots of love

Ashley xx