Wednesday, 24 August 2011

volcanoes and trekking

Hi to all the parents, family and friends.  The road trips have been off visiting the projects and you will be delighted to hear they have returned with some blog entries written by your loved ones.  Juliette 3 (as Laura, Amy, Wellard and Cathy have decided to be named) met with X-ray 1 who were on good form and collected these words from Joanna Bartlett:
 It was hot, sunny, dry and approaching midday when we, x-ray 1 took our first step of the 250km Turimacho trek across Costa Rica.  From Cimarrones Arriba we glanced at the Caribbean coast a few kilometres in the distance and then headed towards the pacific.  Kelly reminded us frequently that we would be at the beach soon!  While this reward was on all our minds we also took in the waterfalls, stunning views, nature and people we saw on the way.
 The first few days we trekked alongside countryside paths.  Day 2 also brought with it the mystery of the missing salami, which meant a disappointing lunch for the next day, but also amusing jokes regarding the salamis whereabouts.
 We have tackled the muddy slopes in the jungle.  The climb was tough and in some places the mud was so persistent that it sucked our boots into it; claiming Darens boots on numerous occasions.
 Still spirits remained high and we sang and danced our way through the jungle, yelling ‘pompi’ (in Cantonese) when anybody slipped in the mud, which was quite often.
 Our 14 year old jungle guide Juan Louis was very patient with our trudging pace.  We parted with him on day 5.  This was our longest day of trekking yet, taking us 10 hours to reach our destination, San Joaquin.  This was also the day with the best hilltop views and we passed a pulperia (small shop) for the first time, good news for us and the shop keeper!
 Tomorrow, day 6 we have a 21km hike ahead of us, fortunately we have some energy bombs(an oats, chocolate and syrup mix) to start the day!
Written by Joanna Bartlett.  Photos by Cathy Titterton.

Juliette 3, not lost!  Just checking the route....

a rare sighting of the Deputy programme manager Brie out on phase with X-ray 1

some venturers still manage to look glamorous, even on trek!

off they go for a day of trekking 21km!!!

Juliette 3 (Laura, Amy, Wellard and Cathy) then spent last night with x-ray 3 and can confirm the report below from Alfie of an evening of charades with a lively and fun group.

Alfie writes...........

We have been working on Volcan Turrialba (a volcano) and I can speak for the whole group when I say it has been the most enjoyable phase.  The working day is made easier by the rangers who are pretty damn funny.
I would say that the best part of the day is in the afternoon when we return to what must from the outside look like student digs.  This is the part of the day when we chill out and this period of time has been filled with conversations about what everyone is doing when they go home or are travelling on.  This makes it very obvious that it is the last phase.
Also at night we have our daily game of ‘Come dine with me’.  This is where there is stiff competition in what is made for dinner.  Some so far have seen:
Spicy noodles – Francis
Mac & cheese – Hugh
Curry – Kay
Better than normal pasta sauce – Cam
Cheesy mash – Alfie
Guacamole – Cam
Egg fried rice – Kay
But please don’t get the impression we are living luxuriously!
 On our day off we visited a town that had been evacuated due to acid rain and saw a house which had no roof as it had been totally eaten away by acid rain.  Although we are loving working at the volcano that day made us realise the destructive power it has.
In the evenings we have had a fair few games of charades and Mafia...... it has started to get a little competitive!
All in all we are enjoying every moment of this phase.  There always seems to be laughter from when we wake until we go to bed.  There are many different personalities in our group but this helps to bring us together and widen our conversations.  I feel as if x-ray 3 has become a type of family!
 PS.  Keep the blog messages coming, we really appreciate them.

Blog written by Alfie Carapiet.  Photos by Cathy Titterton.

Volcan Turrialba

The Rangers use quad bikes to get the heavy materials up the volcano.

Kiwi Cam building the paths.

The road trips are still out there collecting blog entries from the venturers in the other x-ray groups so check back over the next few days for more updates.
Blog written by Laura Salmon.  Photos by Cathy Titterton.


  1. Charlie Page x-ray 3
    Wonderful news to catch up on all you are doing and so glad you are all enjoying the work and companionship. thought you would like to know your little sister has done really well with 6A*, 3A and 1B - amazing huh! Dad and i are going out for lunch to celebrate our wedding anniversary (ok it is a few months ago but we never got there) and your results! Love Mum xxx

  2. Chris/Alfie Carapiet X ray 3

    Dear Chris,

    God to se you can still write! You are going to be doing a lot of that from September. I am still on a high about the exam results so well done again and well done on the Volcano. If the roof has been eaten away by acid rain how about your clothes. They weren't looking too good in the last pictures I saw so I expect you will be coming home in he buff.

    Just been to Cologne for work and am home now. Milo is at the vet as I write, having a little operation on his eye so Milly is a bit ticked off. Jonny has made a video for St Georges promoting the place. He looks quite normal strangely. If you get a chance to look at YouTube you will probably find it. Alex is enjoying working for the French shoe company and seems to be working late most nights which is a good thing I suppose.

    Anyway all well at home and planning what I am going to feed you with when you get back. Jeff Emma and babe will be on hols in Fouras so he can't be at lunch but all else will be. I am thinking a piece of beef? But that will be Sunday. On the friday you get back perhaps some sushi at Oisi? But I will get plenty of sausages from the butcher and other stuff coz I guess you won't want beans for a few days anyway.

    Anyway smell the roast beef and keep up all the good work in the next phase.

    Love Dad

  3. Iain and Susan Black25 August 2011 at 12:15

    Emma Black X-Ray3
    Hi Emma,
    It sounds like you are having a good time. The deserted village sounds kind of spooky. We are all well here. Michael had a good birthday. It is hard to think thats him 17 now.I know you will be sad to leave but we are looking forward to you coming home. Take care.
    Lots of love mum and Dad
    ps . how do you play mafia?

  4. kelly robinson x ray 1

    hey kell have u got 2 the beach yet ... lol !!!! hope ur feet and shoulders are holding out and not to sore .... am shattered from walking round chester today , shopping !!!! hope ur well and happy ....lots of love and thinking of all the hard work u doing ... u should be so proud of wot u have achieved doll , its amazing,,,, cu soon , carolyn and graham xxxxxx

  5. luke smalley xray 4

    hiii luke ..... not sure wot u up 2 cos there not bin a lot said on the blogs but am sure u having a fab time and really loving it .... as usual am missing u loads and love u lots .... all the customers ask me how u doing and i must admit that i am so proud and happy to talk about u all the way through a hair cut ... they love it to and would love to do wot ur doing .... even at 60 plus !!!! not long till ur home .... so enjoy every minute and day to u with big kisses and hugs ....mum xxxxxxxxxx

  6. Francis Lanuza Ray-X 3
    Hola mi niña linda, estoy muy contenta de recibir noticias de su grupo por el blog. me alegra tanto saber que están bien y que todos la pasan mejor que los otros proyectos, quiero decirle que su papa desde el cielo la esta cuidando y con certeza esta muy orgulloso de ud.como yo lo estoy. La niña esta bien solo que extrañándola mucho igual que nosotros acá en casa. Cuídese Te quiero muchísimo. MAMI

  7. For Christina Clare
    X-ray 1

    Hi beautiful Christina

    Just read the latest blog post on your group. Hope the trek is as amazing as it sound. There's a great picture of you up.

    It's less than two weeks until you get home. I can't wait to be with you again. Make the most of the last few days. Looking forward to you telling me all about it when you get home.

    Love you always




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