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

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

Saturday 1 December 2012

Echo Three in Gandathur - The Infatuation Continues

Simon and David each spent a couple of days at Echo Three last week, helping to dig the large holes needed for the biogas units. Both said the work had been hard but satisfying!

Simon brought back with him the following guest blog from Mel. Thanks again, Mel.

Thanks to David for the photos.

29 November 2012

It’s completely and utterly insane to think that we’ve less than two weeks left of Raleigh India. It feels like we’ve only just arrived in this colourful country and adventures are finally beginning. But, alas, it’s Phase 3 and time is flying here in beautiful Gandathur.

I understand that Gandathur has already been hyped up by the other Echo groups to be this ethereal village where everyone is so forever welcoming and kind. The kind of place where everyone is smiling and continuously feeding you (even when you physically can’t stomach any more). The previous groups immortalized Gandathur as this hospitable heaven to the point of being unbelievable. I am unable to stress to you how right they were. I am completely in love with this place.

Our group has been blessed with a lush, stunning campsite facing the famous Gandathur reservoir, and for our first week we’ve been fortunate enough to have a glowing (almost full) moon to light up our nights.

With some creativity involving bamboo and a lot of rope, we’ve been able to build an extremely comfortable camp and ten very snuggly bashas. It’s a very cool place to be, especially because we are constantly reminded of all the hard work we’ve put in to make this place as homely as possible. I think we all agree that we’ve achieved it.

Chilling in the early evening - Ali, Lennard, Gilles and Mel
Raja on food duty

Oh, and we’ve been digging. In just over a week we’ve dug three complete biogas holes and have even started cementing. It’s been very tough work and the heat has been insane (and that’s coming from an Aussie). Thankfully the chai and second breakfasts / lunches help a lot. Dosas, chapatti, sambar, rice, it never stops coming – to the point where returning to camp for lunch seems redundant.

'Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go' - with the reservoir in the background

Our four beneficiaries all treat us like family, and everyday we girls leave with flowers in our hair and bindis on our foreheads. It’s so lovely. The boys, on the other hand, get force-fed fourth servings of every dish, which they’re not complaining about. Everyone here really has been so beautiful and kind, right from our first day.

Raja, Lennard and Alex bonding with beneficiaries

Hopefully time will slow down just a little bit for us to savour this place. I’m sure it won’t though. Soon enough it’ll be Christmas and we’ll all be having nostalgic thoughts about that endearing village of Gandathur.

It's not time for snow or sleighbells yet! The Movember final update will follow very shortly and I hope to have news from Tango Six soon.


  1. Lindy Richardson3 December 2012 at 03:58

    Mel 12J & Anna Richardson 12J
    Thank you Mel, for such a vivid description of your experiences in Gandathur - a wonderful blog.
    And Anna, hope you survive the hard work and enjoy all the 'extras' supplied by the kind people in Gandathur.
    Kind regards to Mel and Love to Anna,
    Lindy Richardson/Mum

  2. for Ali Logan Love the pants ???!!! your sister is well impressed ???
    hotel details for 12,13,14 December Hopefully some one might be able to print them off for you
    THE CHEVERON HOTELS #147, INFANTRY ROAD (opposite the police commisssioners office)BANGALORE 56001
    PHONE +91 8088921706. they have a laundry and free internet 2,500 rupees per night.(28 quid)
    thanks to everyone for the wonderfull blogs
    much love mum xxxxxxxx

  3. To Jenny Simpson

    Hello Jenny I hope you're really enjoying your last project, it sounds like it is going really well.
    Have you got arms like a builder yet?
    Hope you're surviving the heat. If you feel like you're getting sick of it, it's freezing cold and wet here.
    I'm back at home until Tuesday evening, came home for a long weekend. It was Lyndsey's 25th on Saturday and grandad's birthday yesterday - a weekend of celebrations.
    I got another front page this week so I'm really chuffed and a few inside leads too.
    But I'm going to be struggling when I go back on Wednesday!
    It's freezing up in Penrith at the moment with snow on the mountains. I'm having to take a different route to work because the small roads are very icy.
    Am working Sat and then going to LEP Christmas do afterwards. Hopefully meeting the Browns for Sunday dinner too.
    Anyway enjoy your last project, speak to you soon love Ben

  4. Melissa Viola 12J Echo 3
    Hey Liss,sounds like you really are having the best time and we're all loooking forward to checking out your muscles when you get back!You should also enjoy the weather there because it's truly horrible here,there's snow on Buller and Falls and then meant to be 37 on Saturday!!
    It's Sim's birthday today and Dad's out tonight,Jess is working so it's me and the old loon celebrating with him over noodles poor guy ;) He did go to Sydney last weekend with the boys to watch the soccer so he has had some fun!
    Osc's been in the war's this week. Had to take him to the vet's on Tuesday as he was limping due to a seedhead,yep, stuck in his paw,honestly there goes your Christmas present :)
    Jess is having a garage sale on Sat with a girl from work. She lives in Brunswick near a main road so she's hoping to offload lot's of stuff. It's looked like an op shop here for a week while she's been gatherig junk from everywhere, maybe not that much messier hey?
    Anyhoo, miss you,love you see you soon,
    Mum Dad Jess Sim & Osc xxx

  5. Jenny Simpson Echo 3
    Hello Jen,haven't heard anything from your camp for some time, only one blog, am quite disappointed, don't know how you're all getting on, okay I hope. Anyway I hope to hear from you soon. Loads of love and hugs.

  6. To Jenny Simpson (Echo three)
    Just a quick message tonight to wish you well for your last week in India - enjoy every minute of it, I'm sure you will.
    Not much happening here, it's Friday night and I've been working on Bobbage this evening.
    Got work tomorrow boo.
    Notts County are playing Yeovil too and I am seeing the LEP gang in the evening after they've been for their Christmas Party meal at Duk or Pond (can't remember which).
    Anyway see you soon love Ben