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 2 February 2012

More people = more activities = wayyy more words

You wonder why you didn’t receive any news from Raleigh India fieldbase in the usual timely manner...? There are two reasons:

1.    Individual reason
The already mentioned bunch of just-arrived project managers invaded my front porch office and turned it into their personal entertainment centre. Once a temple of zen, concentration, and creativity, the fieldbase’s cozy outdoor area now resembles London Waterloo Railway station. Talking, browsing, writing, and knitting project managers wiggle their heads (an Indian specialty) over the well-known phenomenon of “What, I have been here for ONLY four days!!?”, a statement that leads us straight to:

2.    Collective reason

Apparently, those four days must have had 48 hours each, as otherwise I do not see any possibility to pack such an overwhelming amount of activities into them. After being lured into our upstairs community area under the false pretext of getting lunch and playing some simple name games, the newly arrived PMs were drowned in an ocean of introductory information and administration forms. “Any questions?” – “When can we go for a nap?” – “No off-topic questions, please.” The cherry on top was served by Country Director Mark, who gave an informative overview of those six projects our PMs will be allocated to. Who exactly will go where is to be figured out in the days to come; Mark, Simon and Petr are very secretive about it. (They love surprises! No, actually they just love the power position of knowing more than anyone else.)
Day #2 saw fieldbase transformed into a hard skills boot camp, which – judging by the tired but knowledgeable faces around me – is still ongoing. Lessons learned (skills acquired):

  • There IS a hipster version of Easter egg hunting (GPS-tracking).
  • Some minutes have 1000 seconds and Westings and Southings do not exist (Map reading).
  • The code word for the letter “U” is not “unicorn”, much to the regret of certain fully grown men (Phonetic alphabet).
  • “Over and out” only exists in Hotel Oscar Lima Lima Yankee Whiskey Oscar Oscar Delta (Voice procedures).
  • Even in the face of life threatening injuries, the British consider making a cup of tea to be indispensable (Casualty evacuation procedure).
  • The standard procedure for communicating gossip from project sites to fieldbase is called “Situational Report” (Situational, incident, trip, and medical reporting).
  • Insufficient handwashing is the root of all evil (Hygiene and Medkits).
  • Snakes are the root of all evil (Medical emergencies).
  • DR ABC is not easy as one two three (Basic life support).
  • Everything and everyone can be a splint (Trauma).
Casual casuality evacuation

The sheer length of the list above may give you an idea about the information overload during the last few days and our current dazzling level of intelligence. But - believe it or not - that was not everything! 
Slightly dissatisfied with our mind-body balance, we also managed to squeeze a 15 Kilometres trek, including swim test and overnight camping, into our busy schedule. Powered by a sweet and sticky morning delight called “energy bombs”, Team India I left fieldbase at 7:30 in the morning, closely followed by Team II. The trek led us through rural villages with happily greeting locals, where we could not only witness a procession (opinions on its nature range from wedding to funeral), but were also treated like A-list celebrities during school breaks. After a long and hot trek, the PM’s swim test was a welcome opportunity to cool down, follow up on those blisters, and recharge our batteries for the second trek section towards the camping site. Having arrived there, the advanced fieldbase team initiated its “knowledge transfer process” with regard to long drops, camp fires and tents also known as “relaxing and letting the new PMs do all the work”. What then followed was a shining example of creative cooking and intense campfire bonding, leading into a late night, followed by a very early morning, followed by the long awaited reward: warm showers at fieldbase and finally some culture plus a top notch dinner in Mysore. 

Stay tuned for news about the upcoming whereabouts of our PMs!  Phase I allocations are due and soon you will find out who exactly will be responsible for installing toilets, constructing bio-gas units, leading treks and other exciting projects.

A taste of India I: Trying to figure out the shortcut.

A taste of India II: Rhys, Izi, Sammy, Matt, Emma, Pete
India II swim test: Jenna, Emma, Harriet, Matt, Izi
Camp group picture - From left to right:
Front row: Amanda, Reggie, Izi, Janet, Cate
Second Row: Bob, Barney, Chris, Harriet, our driver small Manju, Rhys, Stephen
Third row: Simon, our driver Prashanth, Matt, Joe, Pete
Last row: Sam, Natalie, Jenna, Emma, Sammy, Christiane

1 comment:

  1. Hi all you lucky people. Been looking at all the photos, I want to be there and see all the sights of Indian rural life, it looks amazing. I guess I will just have to settle with enjoying the atmospheric photo journey. You all look extremely happy and busy by the whole experience, may it continue. Matt, keep snapping away with that camera. The trekking must have been awesome! X Vicki .