My plane finally touched down at 1am making me the last of the thirty six Volunteer Managers to arrive. Up before dawn the next morning for the bus journey to Field Base, our headquarters, and with barely time to sample the famous Costa Rican coffee, the staff training programme began.
In short the first week here has been an incredibly exhilarating residential training course. I say that given fifteen years experience in an international bank.
The training has covered everything from key interpersonal soft skills to essential jungle survival skills. Risk management, cultural awareness, swim tests, map reading, taking a compass bearing, field radio use and critically, first aid fundamentals, theory & practice. All of this delivered by ex marine officers, social workers, experienced medics, youth workers, Sandhurst and Dartmouth graduates amongst others. Above, Ben Fellows Volunteer Manager, shows his river crossing skills.
Above, Mike Bateman (Mountain Leader) and Carolyn Henry (Medic) walkthru field radio orientation and key health injections.
The intensity and professionalism of the instructors has been first class but soon enough its our turn and we're off to jungle camp to prove we are up to scratch. If that sounds like hard work, it is but as you can see somehow it's been the most amazing fun! Below Amanda Irwin and Oscar Zuniga (Project Managers and Intepreters) carrying logs to build jungle camp.
Essential Jungle skills: Below, Sancia Keogh (Project Manager) and Carolyn Henry (Medic) putting up a hammock.
The one hundred and thirty three Venturers from 9 countries will be arriving in less than a week so the Volunteer Managers are off to their project sites for a couple of days. Our expeditions will be focusing on twelve project sites around Costa Rica & Nicaragua, ranging from community projects to bring clean and safe drinking water to remote communities, and environmental projects working with rangers in the National Parks. Additionally we have two really, really exciting adventure treks; the Guanacaste, our personal favorite, beginning in cloud forest through volcanic hot springs to the Pacific Ocean. However it's the Coast to Coast, starting on the shores of the Caribbean Sea and finishing at the Pacific Ocean that attracts all the attention.
The Project Managers are due back at the weekend so I'll update you on their first impressions then.
Please feel free to post comments or requests below it's really easy;
- Click on "comments"
- Wait for the " Leave your comments " window to pop up
- Type your feedback & publish
Rachel, the Expedition photographer, and I will do our best to respond.
Hasta luego !