Thursday, 26 June 2008

Expedition 2008 D&E Blog 02: Volunteer Managers arrival and training

Jet lag to jungle: Finding your bearings... Hi, this is Dennis, welcome to the Costa Rica and Nicaragua Expedition where I'll be your blog host for the next twelve weeks!

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;

  1. Click on "comments"
  2. Wait for the " Leave your comments " window to pop up
  3. Type your feedback & publish

Rachel, the Expedition photographer, and I will do our best to respond.

Hasta luego !

Monday, 16 June 2008

Expedition 2008 D&E Blog 01: Advance Field base staff move in


Welcome to Costa Rica/Nicaragua 08D&E expedition blog. The advanced staff have arrived and we are all getting raleighed up to the max getting ready for all other staff and venturers to arrive.

The team so far is:

Julian Olivier
as Country Director (the head honcho)

Ross McKenzie
as Country Programme Manager (dancing queen)

Ale Leon as Host Country Participant Coordinator (Costa Rican princess)

Don Martin as the Legend of Raleigh Field Base (no seriously, the legend)

Anna Tate as Deputy Expedition Leader (totally knowledgeable about all things Raleigh)

Nick Dillion on Logistics (he’s kind of a big deal around here)

Elaine Boyd on more Logistics (hardcore logistical genius)

Kyle Pim on even more Logistics (chief spade counter)

Dave Williams as Advanced Medic (just amazing)

Carolyn Henry as Advanced Medic (chair of fun club)

Sara Rees as Finance Manager (mathematical guru)

Vicky Easton as Administrator (cleaning whiz)

Karen Forrester as our Team Coach (resident mum)

Rachel Codling as the Photographer (always a happy snapper)

We are all very much looking forward to everyone else arriving and starting this awesome expedition. With the ten week and five week running concurrently this is the biggest Raleigh expedition to hit Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The projects are eagerly awaiting staff and participants and look like they will be amazing; we can’t wait for the great memories to begin!

Hasta Pronto!