Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Project Planning Visits - Update

Thanks to Oli and Rachel for doing a superb job looking after the blog! After a few days driving Alpha 1 around their trek route, Bravo 3 dropped them off at Santa Maria to begin trekking through the hills. Bravo 3, Wendell and myself, returned to field base to enjoy nice cup of tea and some delicious Shepherds pie! Here is what all the Alpha groups have been up to -

Alpha 1 have been trekking in Guanacaste through forests with lots of bitting beasties! David and Chloe are in high spirits and heading back to Liberia tonight before getting the bus back to field base tomorrow.Alpha 2 - Have enjoyed some very hot weather in Leon and are currently heading back to Managua before catching the bus back to Costa Rica tomorrow.

Alpha 3 - Have had a very busy few days meeting the locals, project partners and checking out the local hospital facilities. Laura and Alex are tired but happy and looking forward to returning to field base tomorrow.

Alpha 4 - After a hectic few days, Zoe, Gemma and Ben are now traveling back to Managua where they will meet up with Alpha 3 for the night.

Back at field base we have been working and playing hard!

Oli working hard at her desk planning for the arrival of the venturers
Oli and Rachel cooling off in the pool
Sarah and Rachel after a very wet game of tennis!
We’re all looking forward to the return of the rest of team tomorrow, its been a quiet few days without them!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Blog Hijacked

The unofficial photos, you normally wouldn't see!
...and the official one too
After finding out which projects they had been allocated to, and who they were going to be working with, the Project Managers have scattered across Costa Rica and Nicaragua on their Project Planning Visits (PPVs), including Sarah, our communications officer, leaving the Fieldbase staff to take control of her beloved blog – let’s hope she doesn’t regret it!

Feeling sad and lonely, the leftover Fieldbase staff have been consoling ourselves with a well-earned day off at the pool, struggling to fit in a session of sun worshiping, milkshakes at Pop’s and shopping for ‘sparkly things’ in Turrialba. In her distraught state, unable to cope with having nobody to boss around, Oli decided to dye her hair a trendy shade of ‘espresso’, an emotional expression of her pain.

But it’s not all relaxation at Fieldbase. We have now started sharing radio duty, recording two SitReps (Situation Reports) per day from each of the Alpha Teams. Ross took the first 24hr shift, sleeping in the Radio Room – next its Rachel’s turn to be lulled to sleep by the buzzy crackle of the expectant radios. Oli is busy compiling the Project Manager Training Toolkit, and Bec is buried in the Bodega.

Alpha 1, the Guanacaste Trek in Northern Costa Rica, consists of Mountain Leader Chloe and Finance Manager David, accompanied by Wendell and Sarah from Fieldbase in Bravo 3. Their trek passes the Rio Celeste, a stunningly blue river, and climbs the Volcan Rincon de La Vieja. They are currently having lots of fun recceing the trek route, and getting used to using their radio.

Dave playing at being Action-Man
The beautiful Rio Celeste, Costa Rica

On the Nicaraguan Maribios Trek are Paramedic and Wilderness Medical Instructor Lisa and ‘Craaazee’ Carl, chauffeured by Tim and Guy in Bravo 1. The Maribios trek begins in the pine forests of Esteli, skirts around the Volcan San Cristobel and includes an ascent of the Volcan Casita, offering spectacular views. After spending the night in the old colonial town of Granada, Alpha 2 are now checking out the route they will take with the venturers in the first phase.
A smoking Volcan San Cristobel - don't worry it's not going to erupt!
Sarah and Lisa acclimatizing to their packs

Alpha 3, Blue-Chip Project Managers Alex and Laura, have been making their way north to Achuapa in Nicaragua, where they will be constructing a Gravity Feed Water System. After staying overnight in Leon, they are travelling on to La Calera. During their visit they will be meeting with their project partners from the Cooperativa Juan Francisco Paz Silver, finding a good place for their radio and meeting the families with whom they and the Venturers will be living with.
Alex hanging onto one end of the radio dipole
Laura emerging from the river crossing
The Achuapa Valley, Nicaragua

Alpha 4, made up of multi-lingual Interpreter Zoe, Mega-Medic Ben, and our bubbly Essex PM Gemma, are also in Nicaragua. Their project is in cooperation with El Foro, who jointly manage the Miraflor Nature Reserve with the people who live there. They will be building a community centre in Las Palmas, which provides a focal point for the community and allows them to run adult education programs as well as community meetings and celebrate the history and culture of their area

Miraflor Nature Reserve

Here ends the blogging hijack - we're looking forward to the return of our PMs, and I'm sure you'll be looking forward to Sarah's return to the blog, and infinitly superior and more sensible blog entries!