Friday, 17 June 2011

All in a day's work!

To celebrate Medic Sheila’s birthday and to give ourselves a little treat, yesterday the team took an early morning trip together to visit Volcan Irazu in Cordillera Central, close to the city of Cartago. At 7.30am sharp the sprightly team of thirteen piled onto the obligatory ‘party bus’, whooped and cheered and thus we were off on our merry way.

After an hour and a half long journey we reached our destination, and after 45 minutes spent haggling with the irritable man at the entrance gate to let us in, we finally managed it. Raleigh 1, man at gate 0 (Yesss!).

So we eventually arrived, parked up and wow what a sight! We spent the morning meandering casually along the beautiful aqua crater lake and all across the organic spread of volcanic dust and ash on this active volcano (a first for many of us). After a while however the clouds began to move in at quite a pace and it seemed we had got there just in time to catch the stunning views. Despite the hazey weather we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves - always good to get some fresh air into your lungs!

Speaking of fresh air, after some time wandering around a few members of the group began to question their level of fitness as they started to huff and puff. Surely we are not this unfit?! Thankfully we soon twigged that at 3432m above sea level, Volcan Irazu is fairly high up, hence the shortness of breath (due to the thin air). Phew! Thank goodness for that.

As the day progressed, so did the party. Later on that evening we all prepared ourselves (mentally and physically) to shake what our mammas gave us and wiggle that booty to the rhythm of the beat… Salsa!!

We started our lesson with a lengthy and very sweaty warm up to get the blood pumping. Luckily for everyone there was no shame to be had; everyone clearly had their carefree hats on that night as we all got well and truly stuck in, including the boys! However, as a consequence of this we then had to take the class outside because we were getting too hot… what was that I was saying about fitness?!

After an hour and half of dropping like its hot and cutting some serious salsa shapes (as above) including a cheeky bit of zumba and even some reggaeton we were ready to eat… Pizza!

But alas the night does not end there. A few days earlier Ross (our Country Programme Manager) who takes his role very serious at Raleigh, challenged Sabrina and Dawn (unfortunately that’s me) to an onion eating challenge. Time limit: 5 minutes, Onion: the biggest in the shop (bigger than a cricket ball might I just add), the reward: pride!! So we took on the challenge.

Ready, steady...go! Ross on time, not letting any second pass unnoticed.

There were tears, laughter and some very speedy chewing but to cut a long story short, we won - hooray! Sabrina and I would just like to thank all of the Raleigh team for supporting and encouraging us throughout the event. Without you it may not have been possible. All in all it was demanding challenge, but a satisfying win. Worth it.

Champions! Congratulations and hugs all round.
Today we’re off to collect all the project managers as they arrive at San Jose airport this evening –
finally, a full team! We’ll be back again soon with more new and events…and hopefully less talk of onions and a few more faces to introduce!

*Blog written by Dawn Tennant and photo’s by Kat Mammone, unless otherwise stated.


  1. So amazing to see pics up already of some of our much loved 11C team. Miss the blog and miss you all even more - even you Ross! Big love to all former 11C-ers and good luck everyone - let the crazy fun times begin!

  2. The Prague Badgers18 June 2011 at 07:48

    For Megan Bowe, PM-in-waiting
    We know you failed to show at the airport last night - preferring instead an unscheduled stopover in the Big Apple with your new friends, but it does look as though you're missing out on some serious fun. So, leave Manhattan to the tourists and get on down to Newark this evening...and try harder, this time. Looking forward to seeing some photos of our girl in serious luunging action - this time in Costa Rica!

  3. I wanna be back! Hope its all going well. Pete

  4. FAO: Carmen Gaskell,

    Hi Carmen! Glad you're there safe! Exotic. Thank you for the birthday card and the earrings (which are gorgeous!). So very excited for you. Well done, love! Will be checking this regularly for updates.

    Lots of love,
    Janine xoxox



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