Wednesday, 3 August 2011

News from Romeo 4!

Updates from 4! Let's hear what the guys have been up to deep in the La Cangreja jungle, courtesy of Christina and Catherine.

On the 31st July Romeo four moved in to their new home La Cangreja National Park, Costa Rica. Deep in the depths of the jungle we are lucky enough to be greeted not only with non long drop toilets but also showers that rival even the luxury of fiedbase. Initially we were disappointed that we wouldn’t be making basha beds as you would in a proper jungle camp, but the PM’s Helena and Tom soon reassured us that we would be required to do this at the second part of our project at Playa Hermosa beach. We’ve been working on our buns ‘n’ guns of steel each day with the very muddy walk to the worksite. Those of us in Romeo 4 who have already completed the trek phase laugh at the idea of this casual amble being challenging. Those of us yet to complete the trek quiver in fear at the thought of it getting any harder. So far, the work we’ve been doing has included clearing and maintaining the trails of the National Park, digging trenches for the run-off water using pickaxes, shovels and machetes. All the work has been coordinated and overseen by the rangers Paulino and Alonzo, aka the Jungle Ninjas. Paulino in particular has been keen to teach us about the wonders of the rainforest from showing us crazy, huge bugs that scream daily at exactly 6am and 6pm, and by cutting down the stem of a plant which de-toxes the kidneys when the sap is drunk as tea. We are looking forward to sampling this later. We’ve been really lucky spotting wildlife and by day three had already seen a pair of toucans nesting above the ranger station where we stayed the first night. By day six we were enjoying the company of a troop of white faced Capachin monkeys whilst devouring our casino biscuits at the morning break (Like Marsell from friends). It is amazing being surrounded by the rainforest. Each day after work on our way home for lunch we pass some beautiful waterfalls that we cool off in. The wildlife did get the better of us on day two when we experienced an attack of the ants in “the bedroom”. Romeo 4 quickly mounted an effective descent of boiling water, a perimeter of bleach and a broom. Sadly the PM’s stepped in before we could implement a Deet flame thrower. Today we returned from work to find the rangers had delivered our bag of goodies including fresh fruit and veg, bread, eggs and salchichon. (spicy sausage). In the next couple of days the Ticos (the Costa Rican members of the group) will be whipping up a traditional Costa Rican meal of beans and rice for Romeo 4 and our honorary guests, the rangers. The excitement at the prospect of seeing turtles at the beach is mounting and it’s the thought of catching the rays that keeps us going through the hard manual labor in the depths of the jungle . We gelled as a group very quickly and we’re getting on very well. Although it’s only two weeks away were already upset at the thought of leaving each other. In our free time we’ve chosen to educate ourselves by embracing the diversity in the group and among our afternoon classes we have Mandarin, Cantonese, English and Spanish lessons, and yoga classes! We are teaching one another guitar and some have been some playing with marshal arts. One of our members has even gone as far as making friendship bracelets out of jungle vine. For those of us who were in community projects last phase we experienced Energy Bombs for the first time last night. This beautiful desert is a concoction of porridge oats, condensed milk, chocolate powder, raisins and nuts. Nothing raises moral quite like an Energy Bomb before bed. The plans for the next couple of days for Romeo 4 is to finish off our work on the trails and relocate to the beach for some turtle action. We can’t wait! We’ll give you the next update on 8th August. Lots of love, Christina and Catherine (and everybody else).

*Blog by Dawn Tennant unless otherwise stated.


  1. Catherine Chatfield-Ball
    Romeo 4.

    Wow, sounds like your having fun. But why no photos?!
    I have been swimming in the sea - it's a barmy 17 degrees C. Brrr. Not as nice as Playa Hermosa I bet.
    The dog and cats are fine, but the neighbours have had a conservatory built and Lottie constantly barks at the builders coming and going.
    Can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks. We've all missed you.
    Love Mum xx

  2. Ryan Austin Romeo 3
    We keep reading updates about the group carrying gravel so we hope your back is doing okay. Be careful with your back! Don't overdo it....and especially don't carry it on your back.
    Love Mom

  3. Claire Davis Romeo 6

    What is your group doing - not much news from you. Raining here again! Off to do the egg & cress bit at Fun Club tonight. Lesley from Cyprus comig tomorrow for 4 days and Brian and Ann for dinner Saturday. So busy weekend.
    Have you got the roof on yet? How are the lessons going? More news from Romeo 6 please.
    Lol Mum xxx

  4. Grace Minns Romeo 2
    Hope you are o.k Have been to the garden center this afternoon with your Mum had coffee and scones.It was a bit dull and wet, but we enjoyed it.Hope we get news and pictures soon.We all miss you very much,but you are doing well.Take great care love you, chicky G G.xxxxxx

  5. Alfie Carapiet, Romeo 1.
    Just walked past Ambrosia and Thursday night is Karioke night. Remember Yesterday!!!!

    Dad is having to take Milo to the vet again tomorrow - he has an ulcer in his eye which is large and quite painful - will let you know what the vet says when he gets back tomorrow evening. I'm not looking forward to 12 hours in the car with a poorly dog!!!

    Hope to have some in-depth news of you and perhaps some pictures soon.....
    Lots of love

  6. Christina Clare
    Romeo 4

    Hi Chrissie, great update and great to hear how you're getting on. Can't wait for the next one.

    Love you


  7. Tricia Ofuono
    ROMEO 1

    Hey !!! i think it was you calling me yesterday night on my belgian phone ... i only saw it this morning damn it !!! thank you so much anyway for trying to call me on my birthday it was ever so sweet. Guess what ? Elena actually came by surprise to stay a few days with us cause i was going sour with the fact that i hadn't seen her for like a year. good isn't it? I really miss you though, really quite badly.
    we haven't done nothing yet in terms of cake and stuff but decided to do it today, I have invited also Paola and Giovanni remember? cause i was so happy Elena had come. Liya has made a great drawing for the occasion, she has become quite an artist... and a fish forever in the water whenever we go to the beach. The temperature is rising higher and higher and in the water is the only place to be. What about you? I have been reading you have reached some beautiful destination after the trecking... i so wish I could have seen you treking for 2 weeks !!! amazing !!!
    Next week Cecco from Genova will be coming over to stay for i don't know how long actually, but it will be good to be doing some excursions too cause now the pace of sleep eat beach eat sleep with Luigi and Pina is becoming a little too tiring and redundant! Also Mauro Martini from brussels is gonna come for 4 days from the 13th to the 17th.
    God I hope you can call again today ! i will keep both phones with me close and i hope i am not on the motorbyke if you call or i won't hear!!! hope you are not too dissapointedthat we haven't spoken yesterday.
    love you always and miss you more

  8. For Corrie Moxon - Romeo 3

    Hiya babes, hope your well. Been reading about you climbing mountains, I bet that was amazing! Apart from the rain.. Don't work too hard building those paths, sounds like tough work!
    I can't believe it's been nearly 5 weeks since you left, only 5 more to go!
    Missing you lots, can't wait to see you again.
    I love you.
    Daniel xxxxx

  9. Jonathan White. Romeo 4.
    The weather forecast for your area is great. Rain, sun and possible lightning every day. Still, I bet it is great fun even with the mud,sweat and hard work. Don't forget you are cooking us some new menus on your return. Enjoy the beach and turtles. Here we are trying to sort out Jo's 21st. Interesting! All our love.

  10. Christina Lane, Charlie 3
    Saw the picture of some of your group in the pit - looks like you've been working hard. We're expecting the same amount of digging in the garden when you get back :-)
    Curry booked for the day you come home!
    Love Mum, Dad, Rosalind and cats

  11. to luke smalley 11g romeo 5

    heyhi ya luke.... seen joel today and he was asking loads about u and wot u bin up 2 ....i did tell all as u would as a proud mum !!!!! he was amazed , and said he would love to be were u are ,instead of going out and getting on it with the mates ... he said to say hi ya and wen u next bak in camp to in box him .... also met 1 of ur raving mates , jade , she says hi .... she of on big worms coach this week end to bristol..... anyroad ur mum is slow at typin so its gray and was gonna say josh is askin were u are and has seen ur photos and is amazed ur on a computer in the jungle......mum loves u lots as u know i miss ya and got a prezzie for ya wen ur bac all the georgie best peace out and stay cool man its a bit hazy sunshine and humid in the uk lol ..... ha ha ha wot is he like ..... love u lots , big kisses mum ....and cant wait 2 here from u xxxxxx

  12. Romeo 5 CHAVA-LAZO

    MAE MAE MAE!!! turun turun turun!!!

    Compita acá estoy desde la computadora de mi casa viendo cada instante el bendito blog y con eso siempre tengo excelentes recuerdos de todo lo que nuestras aventuras nos dejaron /PARAN PARAN PAN PAN... HEY/ ...

    Deseo que todo le esté saliendo de maravilla y ud sabe que el apoyo de todos los pecaditos de la 11-c siempre está con ud.... Métale ese sazón y sabor que ud sabe para que los cheles siempre queden con la sorpresa de que nosotros estamos locos y eso es lo que nos hace feliz!!!

    Dejo esta carta de un lado y me despido!!


  13. Alfie Carapiet, Romeo 1,
    HI there, Dad got back from the vet with milo. The ulcer in his eye has shrunk by about 75% - so all very pleased. Alex flies back tomorrow to start his new job. So all is well here.

    Hope everything is good with you. Miss you lots.
    Love SueXX

  14. Imi Morgan
    Romeo 4

    Its great to hear you're staying busy whilst you're out there; the work actually sounds hard though, I hope that the repellant is keeping the bugs away!! Its been fairly hot in London but surely the weather over in CR must be more bearable. I hope that you've taken lots of photos and if possible get a recording of those 'screamin' insects!! The energy bombs sound delish and I hope your being well-fed !! Much Love Take Care


    PS I hope you have a grea bday planned out !!

  15. Grace Minns. Romeo 2
    Have you got far in the jungle? Is it hard going we have not had any news of Romeo 2 for agesIt has been very wet here today Gpa has been at Brid today it is getting busy.The wedding went well Take great care we miss you very much More tomorrow our love
    G G xxxx

  16. Jordan Carter - 11G Romeo 4: So excited to hear that you're at the beach. And that you're going to go white water rafting. Sounds like you're having a great experience. I'm sure there have been some tough times, but I know the rewards make it worth it! Love you, Jordan. We miss you so much!

    P.S. We'll make sure to bring you a McChurger or two with fries! We think about you all the time!

    Love, Mom and Dad.

  17. Catherine Chatfield-Ball
    Romeo 4

    Jeepers, it sounds like you guys are having a great time. Have you managed to stay veggie ? I doubt it.

    Hope you picked up some of the local lingo and got the chance to sample some of the local jungle juice.

    Miss you and can't wait to see you at Christmas - I must arrange the flights.

    Love from Bangladesh xxxxxx

  18. Catherine Chatfield-Ball
    Romeo 4
    Jeepers, it sounds like you guys are having a great time. Have you managed to stay veggie ? I doubt it.
    Hope you picked up some of the local lingo and got the chance to sample some of the local jungle juice.
    Miss you and can't wait to see you at Christmas - I must arrange the flights.
    Love from Bangladesh xxxxxx



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