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 30 November 2011

Monitoring and Evaluation of Bio-gas and Eco-sanitation Projects

During the 11J expedition, Louise and I, along with a handful of Venturers went out to 3 bio-gas and 4 eco-sanitation projects that Raleigh had done in the past to look at the long term impact of our projects on the communities at hand. It was a hugely rewarding experience for the Venturers who were able to engage on a deeper level with the work that they were doing, whilst enhancing their learning experience about sustainable development in the process. I would like to express a huge thank-you to Alex Rolfe, Claire Doeveren, Dan Rose, Esmee Augustijn, Jamie Manson, Lukas Klautke, Maya Obstfeld, Shafeeque Rahman, Steph Beaumont, Suthakar Munusamy and Zoe Coles for contributing to these efforts. By conducting household questionnaires, surveys and leading community focus group meetings, we found out more about how Raleigh was helping the different communities across India. Below are our findings from these visits…

Eco-sanitation Projects
The venturers saw for themselves how the composting toilets had changed the lives of its users, both socially and economically. Out of the 115 toilets inspected, most had produced organic fertiliser, which not only reduced the amount spent by beneficiaries on expensive chemical fertiliser, but also improved crop quality and yield. Venturers learnt about how the toilets increased personal safety, particularly for the women, and found that the level of health and hygiene had risen as a result.

Bio-gas Projects
Venturers found the visits to be really encouraging as they discovered that 9 bio-gas units were still functioning and being used years later. It was motivating for venturers to see that wood consumption had reduced due to this new renewable source of energy and the cows provided by Raleigh were producing milk which was then being sold to make an income.

Once again, a huge thank-you for your hard work and involvement in moving monitoring and evaluation forward in India.

Marian Sue, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer

Monday 28 November 2011

New Arrival and Return to Little Doctors

Yesterday Fieldbase welcomed Carolyn, Raleigh Head Office Operations Manager, who has come to take the reins from Mark until the end of the expedition.  Mark will be heading back to the UK in 2 days' time for a Country Director pow-wow.  But not before he turns 40 tomorrow - woop woop!

Today Carolyn and I headed to the local school to educate the Little Doctors about eye and ear care.  We started off with an anatomy review - their knowledge was impressive!

It was nice to be able to give them some practical fun with the use of an otoscope and ophthalmascope so that they could peer into the ears and eyes.  The teachers were just as interested to see what the ear drum and retina look like in real life!

I will return next week as they've asked for some teaching on hair and skin care, and the treatment of  some common ailments.  It's a great programme to be involved with.

On Wednesday Helen and I will be heading out on the loop to visit Charlie 1, Echo 3 and Tango 5. So if you have any blog messages for these projects please post them as soon as possible (before Wednesday) and we will take them out to the projects - they are much appreciated!

Hannah, Fieldbase Medic

Friday 25 November 2011

They’re off again!

After a superb extended changeover, the groups left bright and early yesterday for their third and final phases. Seriously, where’s the time going?!

By 5am field base was a hive of activity with last minute packing, gobbling breakfast and making the place spick and span. You could feel the excitement in the air as everyone said their temporary goodbyes and loaded their rucksacks on to the coaches.

Tango 5 and Tango 6 were the first groups to leave at 6am, and by 8am field base was deserted… think I just saw a ball of tumbleweed blow past the office…

As well as the venturers returning to Fieldbase for changeover, we were also treated to a visit by Raleigh’s Head of Operations, Tony Willetts.  Tony visits each country every year to touch base with operations on the ground, and he gave a good speech to the venturers about the importance of Raleigh India to Raleigh overall, and thanked venturers for all their hard work. 

Tony Willetts, Head of Operations, and the Fieldbase team

 As always, we’ve been listening out on the radios and all the groups have arrived at their locations safe and sound, leaving us with a chance to practice our cricket skills. 

We look forward to keeping you updated on all the latest phase 3 goss! 

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Final phase!

They’re back, they’re brown and boy are they excited! Two phases done and one to go...it’s exciting times at Raleigh India Fieldbase that’s for sure!

Echo 3 was first off the bus, followed closely by Charlie 1. Tango 5 was next, with Charlie 2 hot on their tail. Echo 4 had the furthest to come so arrived (looking rather tired) just in time for supper.
Like the last change-over, everyone was straight into cleaning their kit and sorting everything out, before jumping on the bus and enjoying some down-time in Mysore for the afternoon. They all got back late afternoon and settled down for an evening of skits, loop competition winners and the world premier of the 11J Raleigh music video.
 Welcome home!
This change over, I was one of the judges for the skits and I have to say they brought tears to my eyes, they were absolutely hilarious and everyone had put so much effort into them. Tango 5 decided to include a few videos in their skit in an “I’m a celebrity get me out of trek” style. Sleeping bag leech attacks, Claire and Ali’s mud fight and some excellent dance moves set a pretty high standard for the rest of the groups. Echo 4 followed with some very creative turtle outfits and a medley of songs describing their time in Velas. Echo 3 also put their time on project to song, while Charlie 2 and showed us how to chat up girls ‘Indian style.’ It was a tough call, but the winners were Charlie 1, who put together a massive mega-mix and told us all about Mallagalli through a mixture of rap and song.
After the skits, Echo 3 was crowned the winner of the loop – with their fantastic hospitality and delicious cooking winning it for them. Next it was time for the music video! Armed with popcorn, our beautiful Fieldbase usherettes, made sure everyone was comfortable before, Hannah, pressed play. Laughter filled Fieldbase as everyone saw themselves releasing their inner pop star to ‘When the going gets tough.’
Charlie 1 with their winning skit

The next day the graduates had the chance to shine as they took the reins and took over Fieldbase to put on ‘Grad Day.’ It was a relaxing start to the day, with Jenni leading a yoga session after breakfast. The grads (with a bit of help from Fieldbase) had arranged two beauty therapists to come in for the day. They set up their pampering rooms on the roof and everyone queued up for a massage, pedicure, manicure, head massage or facial. The boys weren’t left out and the barber from Jaypura came down to give them a shave, hair cut or head massage.

Elsewhere in Fieldbase, the school had been set up as a chill out room for everyone to relax, catch up and listen to music. The caterers also came in to give everyone a lesson in making parotta (Indian bread) and a delicious vegetable curry for lunch. After lunch, there were some more beauty treatments and chilling out continued, before we had an epic BBQ, with chicken, lamb, lots of yummy salads and pretty much anything else you could think of. Everyone helped out with the salads and Andy and Ali did a fantastic job of manning the BBQ. And of course, you couldn’t have a BBQ with pudding, so after the boys had done, the girls took over and filled the BBQ with nutella filled bananas – the perfect end to a yummy meal!
Starting the day with yoga
Preparing a salad for the BBQ
Tucking in to a delicious BBQ

With full tummies and contented smiles, everyone settled down in the chill out room to watch their film of choice, Superbad, before heading to bed to have a good nights sleep after a lovely, chilled out day.
 Chilling out
Movie night!

The next day everyone finally found out where they were going for their third and final phase. So...For the last time, here are the phase three allocations.

Charlie 1 – Malligalli, community  
Kath, Rachel and special guest PM Lee
Gemma, Veerle, Valerie, Will, Victoria, Dan, Shafeeque and Hannah
Echo 3 – Gandathur, environmental
Anthony and Ali
Alex, Lucy S, Robyn, Megan, Victor, Claire and Julie
Echo 4 – Velas, environmental  
Maggie, Jon and Claire
Anna, Aaron, Matt, Anne, Lisa, Maya and Harriet
Tango 5 – Demon Mountain Trek  
Charlie and Johnny
Emma, Steph, Esmee, Jake, Lizzie G, Jamie, Lavina, Leticia and Shruti
Tango 6 – Misspulimala Trek
Ed, Sian – joined by Andy for the first few days
Lucy C, Lukas, Jenni, Kate, Lizzie H, Sterre, Albertine, Stewart and Suthakar

And our Fieldbase medic for phase three is Hannah

After finding out their allocations it was all hands to the decks as, for the last time, bags were packed, kits were checked and the busses were filled with everything they would need to make their last phase the best phase ever!

It’s my last day in Fieldbase today as, unfortunately, I have to head back to the UK early. So, it’s goodbye from me, it’s been lovely writing the blog and keeping you all updated with what everyone’s been up to. But don’t worry, my lovely fellow Fieldbasers will be looking after the blog and letting you know all the gossip from 11J! 

Saturday 19 November 2011

Loop goes to Charlie 2 and Echo 3

Hannah, Lou and Maz on loop to Charlie 2 and Echo 3…

After an exciting journey through national parks and having a tiger run in front of the Bravo (!), we arrived to find Charlie 2 enjoying a day off in the neighbouring village.  We joined in for a cup of chai and then followed a convoy of tuk-tuks back to camp. We were given a tour of the beautiful camp at the home of one of the beneficiaries, which was set on a hill with amazing views over banana plantations.After a delicious home cooked dinner from the family, we settled into a pretty tense game of ‘mafia’. After porridge the next day, Maz and Lou took Maya and Steph to visit a previous biogas project, and I went to work the rest of the group at biogas site two.

It was a hot morning of carrying sand and cement, sifting the sand and laying bricks for the cowshed. It was hard work, but helped with several chai breaks and the family joining in. Later that day, I joined Lisa and the boys (Andy, Aaron and Matt) who showed me the huge hole they had started, and how to dig!
That evening we were treated to an amazing three course meal cooked by the group then it was off to our tents. The next day we woke bright and early to go to the local church (at the end of the path)  It was a packed service. Everyone was very welcoming and it was interesting to get an insight into a different aspect of the culture.

Echo 3
It was a long hot drive to Echo 3, but we were rewarded by a friendly welcome by the group, and a lovely refreshing swim in the reservoir. Later, we were treated to a delicious meal cooked by Lavinia, and then I got to experience sleeping under the stars in a basha!
Waking the next morning to a breath-taking view of mist over the water and the sun breaking through the trees was a great start to day. Lou and Maz left early with Lukas and Jamie for some M&E, while I joined the others for some biogas work. The 20min walk to site was stunning, and along the way plenty of children ran out to say hi, and I got to meet the group’s adopted puppy that lives with a local family.

Work at the biogas site was in really good progress. We practiced our ‘Raleigh chain’ to move bricks, helped along by the family’s children and lots of singing from Lavinia and Veerie. After an hour or so of work we got given an amazing (second) breakfast of dosa and coconut chutney cooked up by the family, then it was back to work. The boys arrived back in the afternoon, and we all helped at the next site, where the dome of the biogas unit was being lined with bricks and cement and a dome was being constructed out of bamboo.
Back at camp there was just time for a quick dip before PMs Rachel and Jonny cooked up a wonderful dinner and, as a special treat, Hannah and Tita had prepared an amazing banoffi pie.
It turned out there were more surprises in store for us, as Lukas and Jamie led us down to the banks of the reservoir in the dark, and produced handmade coconut shell candle boats to float in the water, while the group then huddled together and sang us a song.

Back at camp the group taught us a new exciting game before we spent our last night under the stars.  Waking early the next day for our journey back to fieldbase, we all agreed what a lovely loop it had been.

Thursday 17 November 2011

The latest from Charlie 1

Hannah and I have just got back from a whirlwind tour of Charlie 1 and, as ever, I’m pleased to report that the group are all doing well.

We arrived in Malligalli just after lunch on Tuesday and found everyone chilling out in the sun after a delicious lunch. The monsoon is certainly over in Malligalli as there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and, looking at everyone’s tans, it seemed to have been that way for a while!
Charlie 1 chilling at camp

After a quick cup of tea, everyone went back to work, while Kim and Lucy gave us a tour of the village and the eco-sanitation units the group had been building. Charlie 1 had been hard at it so they just had three more to complete before they got to the fun part of painting them.

Everyone hard at work!

We then popped into one of the local families home to say hello and have a cup chai, before heading back to camp to find some special surprise decorations put up to celebrate Kim’s third wedding anniversary!

Celebrations for Kim's anniversary 

Next stop was to a house in the village where the group have supper. They’re cooked for by local chef, Ganesh, and we were treated to a special anniversary supper of potato curry, chicken, chapattis and popadoms which was delicious.

We then headed back to camp where Charlie 1 had invited the local band and some villagers for a special party to celebrate Kim’s anniversary! She was in shock when she arrived and saw that pretty much all the village had turned out to help celebrate with us and was delighted when Charlie brought out the chocolate cake that Hannah and I had bought with us for the celebrations. After lots of dancing everyone went home and left us to sit around the fire and enjoy an evening of star gazing. 
Surprise anniversary cake
Fire dancing 

The next morning, Hannah and I cooked porridge for the group and then waved them all off to work. As ever we had to head back to Fieldbase earlier than we would have liked, so spent a few hours with the groups at work before jumping back in the Bravo to head home.

Back at Fieldbase we’ve been busy preparing for change over and can’t quite believe how quickly phase two is going – everyone’s back on Monday! Yikes! We’re planning lots of exciting things to keep everyone entertained and very much looking forward to the premier of the music video!
Make sure you keep your blog comments and post coming as everyone loves getting them and we’ll be handing them out to everyone on Monday.

In the meantime, here are a few replies to some of the messages you’ve sent:

From Lukas – Echo 3
Hi Mama and Papa,
Mir geht es gut. Ich habe eure Nachricht en behommen. Nachste Woche ist Phase 2 schon zu Ende und wir gehen wardern. Das Wetter ist super und wir sehen die besten sonnen aufgange. Ich hoffe es geht euch gut.

From Steph – Charlie 2  
Famalams, how art thou? Thanks for all the messages. They’ve kept me entertained. Tony dude, stop getting sucked into her game. By the sounds of things she’s playing a very good one, (smh). Did you get the carmex? Have you chilled out? And Caz, well done to Broy. He’s growing up so fast. Give him a big kiss from me. Also, tell my Godson to hang on a while longer. I’ll be back soon, so ease up on the spicy food. And to Sab, thanks for the message. I don’t remember 4shire, but I’ll be sure to catch up when I’m back. Loll Kim K? Shocker! Shocker! So predictable.
Look after each other, love and miss you all, Steph xxx

From Lisa Marshall, Charlie 2
Hi Bernie it’s Lisa,
Miss you loads and can’t wait to come home and catch up, only five weeks now. Can’t believe how much Robyn’s doing now, give her a big hug and kiss off me xxx. I’m going to wait till I get your letter and then will write back to you and tell you about everything. Xxxxxxxx

From Lucy Coleman, Charlie 1
To Mom, Dad, Clea, Greta, Marina, Nick, Mary, Stu and Sissy,
I miss you all so much! Everything is going well and time is just flying by. I can’t wait to see you all at Christmas time! Keep reading the blog and sending messages, they make me smile. Love you all so much, can’t wait to hear what’s going on at home. All my love, Lucy
From Anne Schouten, Charlie 1

Message to Melanie Verdam
Lieve mellie, wat leuk am van je te horen! How zijn je tamens gegaran? Over 6 dagen ben ik klaar met de eco-sanitation en ga ik aan m’n laatste project beginnen, het is hirecht super maar mis je wel hoor! Hoop data alles goes gaat! Dikke kus.

Messages to Familie Schouten
Lieve papa, mama en Robin,
Super bedankt voor al het nievlus en lekkers van thuis! Ben nu nog bezig met het eco-sanitation project maar over ongeveer een week ga ik aan de laatste fase beginnen. Hoop dat alles goed gaat thuis. Love you, dike kus Anne

From Charlotte Ali, Charlie 1
Message for Mariah
Hiya sis, thanks for your blog message. Glad you’re getting your kitchen; I’m so excited to see Travis when I get back. Well sis, it’s 8.15am and it’s boiling hot. Just gonna get ready for work after a session of yoga. We’ve got three more toilets to plaster and then that’s all ten done – then it’s a bit of painting. The Charlie 1 group are great we work hard and play hard. We had a fire last night and did dancing around the fire with the community. It’s an amazing village and community. Anyway sis, I’ll give you a ring when I’m back at Fieldbase – love you loads, your twiny twin twin J

Message for John Nicholson
WATP? How’s it going? Hope you’re well, suppose, you’ve been following the blog – Phase 2’s going well. Charlie 1 is a great group, lots of banta going on. We have three more toilets to plaster then all ten are done, we just have to paint them. Sat with me are these boys from the village who are playing a gambling game – it’s great out here! Anyways, chat soon. Love you loads, Charlie

Message for the family
Mum, Dad, Fran, Al, Jenny and gang, Leanne and gang, Gareth and gang and anyone else reading. All good with me, the second phase is going great. Build all ten eco-sanitation units with Charlie 1. The group is amazing, some good banta going on. I’m off on Demon Trek next – wish me luck! Been doing some yoga – Jenny would love it. I hope everything is good at home and I don’t miss the snow. Hope Buster’s OK and you’re not feeding him too much – well Hilda lol.
Love you all and miss you sooo much, doing it for the Ali family. Got to go an elephant’s just come into camp.
Charlie Ali xxxx

From Kim Sparks, Charlie 1
Happy Anniversary Morgan! Please call Raleigh Fieldbase. Kim xxx

From Lizzy Haywood, Charlie 1
To Mum and Dad,
Thanks for my messages, more please and care packages! Having an awesome time and made lots of new friends. Can’t wait until Christmas, I’m going to stuff my face with all the food and drink I’ve been missing. Looking forward to seeing you at the airport and showing off my tan. Please me warm clothes, I’ll try to call over change-over.
Love Lizzy

To Megan Purdie,  
Thanks for keeping me updated.  I despair for the state of the flat when I return. Excited about Christmas now, I’ve started to sing Christmas songs already and have taken great pleasure in teaching people the lyrics to Fairytale in New York. See you soon, Lizzy.
To Alex Beer
I miss my wife! There is a whole lot of offensive nature here – enjoying it though!
Love, Beefy

From Jenni Codd, Charlie 1
To everyone
Hello everyone! Thanks again for your messages, I am getting them slowly but surely so keep them coming! Glad you’re having a good time Sarah, woop woop! And can’t wait to come to Bournemouth. Mummy Codd; am really involved with the community and learnt a bit more of the language. To everyone else, I’m on community phase in Malligalli. Sleeping in a school and building eco-sanitation units. So much work, but having an awesome time. They have parties at the temple and have been dancing so much dancing to the drums. Temple rave! Love it. Never want this experience to end. Met the most amazing people out here. Love you all xxx

From Kate Holmes, Charlie 1
Hi everyone, thank you for your blog messages, they brightened my day! Dad and Granddad your letters have reached me (finally!) It was great hearing how things are back home. Weather is beautiful; I’m going to have a fab Christmas tan. I am so happy here; don’t want this experience to end. Sending you all my love hugs and smiles.
Kate x

From Lucy Shipp, Charlie 1
To Mum,
Really excited to see your letter arrive last night when the loop brought it round. Glad to hear everything is OK back home and Reuben is still up to his mischievous tricks. Only have 6 days left on Charlie 1, has gone very quickly! Just a bit of plastering to finish, lots of painting which I’m looking forward to. I’ve already painted one with three of the other girls. Been having a great time in the village, playing games and drawing henna on the children (once you start they all want some). Missing you lots now I have more time than on trek, especially spending so much time with the families in Maligalli. Please send love to Emily, hope I hear from her soon! Have sent an ‘earthmail’ and will write another soon. Lots of love x

To Sarah Ward
Made me smile so much when I saw your letter after coming back from trek. I keep the grey London postcard in my journal and the kids make a funny disgusted face when they see it (I’ve been letting them run wild with paints in my journal and on everyone’s faces). Hope Brighton is bringing you great things. Xxx
Ps I’ve forgotten if I’ve written to you already, but will write again soon

To Ekta Patel
India is amazing, having lots of fun hanging around with families in the village and drinking lots of chai. Haven’t had a shower for ages, and some part of me misses lugging a bag around on trek. Strange. Love you  xx

To Grace, Lesley and CQP gang,
Hope you’re keeping the spirit alive with lots of pub visits and Christmas party planning is going well. I’m living in a village where we are cooked for everyday by a man called Ganesh who bears an incredible likeness to Dan. Perhaps we can start a fund to send him to the Christmas party. Hope London isn’t too grey. Love, Lucy

To Alice, Jane and Martin
Seems like forever ago we were partying down in London. Hope all is going well, India is full of amazing colours. Looking forward to talking about ideas and photos when I get back. Missing all your music and singing. xx

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Little Doctors

A wee guest blog from fieldbase Medic Maggie!

Raleigh has been making regular visits to the local school in Jayapura for just over a year. We’ve been recruiting and teaching ‘Little Doctors’ about health and hygiene skills. The ‘Little Doctors’ can then pass on their new skills to their classmates and family. 
Lou and Maggie off to find some Little Doctors

Louise, Hannah and I visited the school earlier this week and were met by an enthusiastic Maths teacher, who had been at the same school for 20 years and involved in Little Doctors from the start. We started off the session with a bit of a recap and quickly discovered that, thanks to previous teaching sessions, the children were all experts already at the seven stages of effective hand washing, teeth brushing and how bacteria can cause disease.
 Maggie teaching about hand washing
Lots of eager students 
After our revision session, we went outside and introduced the children to some famous Raleigh energiser games. They then taught us a few new games to add to our extending repertoire!
A few games 

During the second half of the teaching session, I taught the children how to treat cuts, scrapes and burns and how to keep an eye out for signs of infection.  At the end, we had a little question and answer session about general medical problems, what we did at Raleigh and what life was like in the UK.

We then gave out a toothbrush and some toothpaste to each ‘little doctor’.  We left the school really impressed at how bright the kids were, and looking forward to returning later in the phase with some new and exciting material!