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 10 October 2012

Poised Ready for Deployment – The Venturers Complete Their Induction

The Venturers are just finishing their brief stay at Fieldbase prior to being allocated to their projects ready for deployment early tomorrow.

During the past 4-5 days they’ve had a whirlwind set of sessions including communications, health and hygiene, casualty evacuation, cultural awareness, trekking and camping. To lighten things up, these have been interspersed with ‘getting to know you’ sessions, games and energizers.

They had the chance to put much of their training into practice during trek training on Monday and Tuesday.

This started around 05.30 on Monday with a breakfast of ‘energy bombs’ (nothing illegal - oats, condensed milk and dried fruit). Then came a staggered (staggering?) start of the four teams every 15 minutes from 06.00.

An Expedition 12J team striding out ...
... but surely not being overtaken by a heavily laden local lady??
The 12km trek took them through two villages, where no sooner had they stopped for a breather than they were joined by what seemed like most of the local children and many of the adults!

The local children - happy and camera-friendly
Escorting the Venturers out of the village
 All teams arrived at the campsite before 11.00, just as it was becoming noticeably hot. After a quick burst of relaxation they pitched tents, built long drops, and ‘enjoyed’ the result of their first attempt at cooking using trangias. (If you’re baffled by any terms, just look up RALEIGH LINGO under PAGES down the right hand column.)

'A home in the country'
Building a tent - it starts like this ...
... and (hopefully) ends like this
Trangia-based gastronomy 
Then came the swim test in the river, almost universally welcomed as a great chance to cool down from the by now fairly oppressive heat.

12J Venturers - increasingly cool
After dinner by the campfire, all retired to their tents for a good night’s sleep, only to be disturbed by the finest thunderstorm for several weeks! Remarkably, though, all seemed in fine humour the following morning, when each team had a surprise CASEVAC exercise sprung on them.

Evacuating a 'casualty' - at least one person could sleep after a restless night!
Lives suitably saved, they returned tired but happy to Fieldbase for an afternoon of relaxation and a visit by the local snake expert.

This snake is non-venomous, but then came the cobra ...
After dinner and a couple of evening presentations came the first real opportunity for an early night and a relative lie-in.

As I write this morning, people are eating breakfast and waiting excitedly to learn their new team allocations and where they’ll be going on their first nineteen-day project phase tomorrow. I'll let you know when these are announced.

Meanwhile a couple of comments from the campsite on Monday lunchtime:

‘So far we’ve just done a 12 km trek which was hard work but really good because we all kept each other motivated. I think we’re all really looking forward to jumping in the river quite soon after building the long drop....’

‘I’m really surprised how quickly I fitted in and how quickly I’ve adjusted to the Indian way of life. I’m really enjoying my time here…’


  1. to Jocelyn 12J
    I've just spied you on a picture practicing your tent craft - or were they tent building skills. Your Scilly experiences were obvioulsy useful, especially as someone also organised a thunder storm for you!
    We are se pleased that you are lookig forward to the ecophase starting tomorrow. Enjoy!!
    love from us all xxxxx

  2. Caroline Stoddart11 October 2012 at 01:33

    Message to Rory Stoddart
    Hi Rory - good to see you in the photos. Do you remember the Boa you handled in Penang? Sounds as though you are having a great time. I completed Snowden on Monday - 9.65 miles and a climb/ descent of over 3200 feet - had to make do with treking poles in place of your help over the big rocks!
    We are enjoying the blogs and thinking of you. All love Mum and Dad.

  3. Seth Somers 12J

    Hi Seth, so pleased you are settling in well and that India is everything you hoped it would be. Your visits to the villages sound really special. You will see some amazing sights on your trek in the next few weeks. Keep safe, have fun and try and get in front of a camera so I can see you please . Love & hugs Mum.. Nelson says hello too.

  4. Seth - 12J - could someone please take a photograph of him occasionally! I would like a picture of you being eaten by a snake or something at least! Good luck on the trek I am sure you will see some incredible sites. Remember lowish ISO in the bright light. All well here, so proud of you. Will try and write a letter this week. Bug hug Dadx

  5. HI Hidde! Wat was ik blij voor je toen ik hoorde dat t goe gaat met je voet!!! Je hebt t wel spannend gemaakt hoor! Ben je al n beetje gewend aan t klimaat en t andere eten en natuurlijk ad mensen? Ik zit nu even uit teblazen op mn hotelkamer van n heerlijk dagje New York!! Zijn bij Marissa op kantoor geweest, kun je t je nog herinneren? Was weer zo leuk om haar terug te zien en je moet heel veel liefs van haar hebben!! Marja en Anne vonden het ook fantastisch om te zien! Daarna superlekkere pizza in t zonnetje gegeten (sorry:)), en teruggewandeld langs de Hudson Rivier over de High Line. Dit is n oude spoorbaan die boven de stad liep, nu niet mr gebruikt wordt en omgebouwd is tot wandelpad met allemaal struiken en bomen, dwars door t meatpacking district, zo gaaf!! K ga nu ng gauw even nr de Uggs winkel vr Caro, vr wie anders haha! Lieverd, jij hebt wel even wat anders aan je hoofd dan shoppen, hoop dat je geniet al zal t best zwaar zijn! Heel veel succes lieverd, ik ben heel trots op je!!! Love you!!! Xxx mam

  6. Seth - Tango 6 - am really hoping the trek is going ok and that the boots are holding out. God knows what your socks must smell like! You are missing terrible weather, and me working all the time. Keep on expecting to see you but am so proud of what you are doing. I too looked on Google maps at your trekking route. It looks 'interesting' - don't forget to not check your pictures too much, eats batteries. My camera came back the day I got back from Rkme - argghh! So glad I got that lens before you left think you would have gone mad by now with just the longer lens. Keep smiling you are very loved xxx

  7. Lieve schat ,wat heerlijk dat je het zo fijn hebt, P en ik kijken iedere morgen of er nog nieuws van jullie is ,;nou ,vrachtwagens vol !!! Wat gezellig ook die groepsfoto.wat zal je het allemaal spannend vinden en wat een lol met elkaar !!Wij hoorden ook dat je 3 leiding mee hebt ,ook heel safe dus. P is vanmiddag weer naar de dialyse ,hij moest net als woensdag een uur wachten tot hij aan de beurt is. Dat komt omdat de mensen die s'morgens komen, veeeel te laat komen en dan loopt het s'middags in het honderd helaas ....!Zondag gaan we thee drinken in Vorden bij een clubgenoot van mij .Zij woont in een echt kasteeltje .Fijn dat jullie aan een meertje zitten ,geeft veel mogelijkheden .Dag lieverd ,mam stuurt dit briefje via haar naar jou toe .DIKKE KUS ,P en M

  8. Carline Mohr Echo 3:
    The message posted on the 12th of October at 21.36 is for Carline Mohr Echo 3 from her grandparents

  9. hello Fiona-greetings from us all!

  10. Jenny Simpson - Charlie One
    Hello Jenny it looks like you're having a fantastic time out there, I especially like your smooth dance moves in that video.
    I hope the project is going really well, I am sure it is.
    I spent most of the afternoon building a flat-pack desk (it just about went up but wrong) so I think toilets would be beyond me!
    Keep smiling and enjoy the fantastic experience.
    Love Ben

  11. Tango 5 - are you receiving me? Hi Harry! PM already eh? Thought it was time for a shake up. Looks like you're having a pretty cool time over there - hope you get some rest in between all the trekking. We enjoyed the first frost last night - you must be missing the home weather! Hope you're well & happy. Lots of love - Fra & Ma xxx

  12. Tango 5 - are you receiving me? Harry (PM!!!) - Looks like you're all having a very cool time. So are we - we enjoyed the first frost last night. Don't be too envious though. Hope you're getting some down time in between all the trekking & it's not all too exhausting! Be safe & well. Lots of love. Fra & Ma xxx

  13. Hey Joris, hoe gaat het jongen?
    Ik zeg respect!!! En natuurlijk heel benieuwd naar je ervaringen straks. Heel bijzonder is vast je verjaardag in India, die vieren ze daar op gepaste wijze. Yes its Joris birthday next friday (gaan ze nu niet vergeten). Iets met een olifant en water geloof ik. Alvast van harte!!! Groet van ons 3'en. Machiel