Alpha 1 - Maribios Trek
We met up with the trekkers at a school in Colonia Santa Cruz, Nicaragua - right at the base of Volcan Casita. It was Steve's birthday, so a special 'cake' was improvised using the camping trangias and we celebrated in style until the late hour of 9pm (very late for trekkers who are usually tucked up in bed by 7pm!). We were up at 3am the following morning and climbed to the top of Volcan Casita (1383m) with the group to enjoy the spectacular views.
Since the Bravo 1 team left Alpha 1 they have continued to cover the miles and are currently on their final day of walking, heading towards their final destination - Mechapa beach, where they will enjoy a well earned day of rest.
Alpha 1 enjoying a rest at the top of Volcan Casita
The view from the top (when the cloud lifted)
The view from the top
Alpha 7 - El Rodeo
Next stop was Alpha 7 who are living in El Rodeo in Miraflor and are making great progress with their Community Centre. This project will take two phases to complete but this group have made a cracking start. They have levelled the ground, taking out lots of trees and rocks that were in the way, built the foundations and are now building the walls. Everyone is settled into their host families and enjoying being immersed in a totally different culture. Three meals a day are cooked by their new Nicaraguan 'Mums' and the whole group are getting very used to rice and beans! The group have split into smaller groups to ensure that everyone gets a chance to work on the Community Centre, so each day four people have a 'day off' and have been heading off trekking to explore the local area and enjoying the stunning views of the Miraflor Reserve. They have also been heading down to the local school to help teach English to the children - 'Heads, shoulders, knees and toes' was very popular!
Alpha 7 getting the blocks over to the worksite
Felix shows us how to do brickwork the Belgian way
Gary teaching new games to the local children
This will soon be a wonderful Community Centre
Teaching English in the local school
Rachel and Erika building up the walls
Alpha 6 - Las Tablas
Finally we stopped off to visit Alpha 6 in Las Tablas, Achuapa. They have made fantastic progress with the new water system for the community. They have successfully capped the water source at the top of the hill and put in place two new tanks to ensure that the water is stored and a continuous supply will be delivered to the houses in the community below. They are now building up huge muscles with hours of trench digging in the heat - getting the pipes laid all the way down to the village. This project will also be finished by the next group in Phase 2, but Alpha 6 have worked super hard alongside the local community to get as much done as possible before the head back to Costa Rica. It was PM Pamela's birthday during our visit and she enjoyed a serenade at 4am from the local people and then a special party in the evening with most of the community showing up to celebrate with her. Alpha 6 are also loving living with their new Nicaraguan families and we suspect there will be tears on Tuesday when the time comes to say goodbye.
Adri and Yali ready for work
Mixing cement to make the water tank
So Bravo 1 is safely back at Fieldbase, unpacked and the mud has been washed off ready for some more adventures in Phase 2. The Fieldbase team are now all working hard to get ready for Changeover and we're really looking forward to having everyone back for a few days of fun and catching up.