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.