Saturday, 13 August 2011

Nearing the end...

We have more news from our teams! Here’s some news from Romeo 5 all the way from Yaluca, Nicaragua! Abi reports back…

On Friday we woke up at 5.30 am to another absolute scorcher of a day. And someone told me that Miraflor would be cold. It was a lot of fun to see the fieldbase road trip at work and they didn’t waste any time in grabbing pickaxes and helping us to dig yet a more trenches… and holes… and trenches. After leaving work with deep fatigue (a genuine illness that I may have invented) we got ready for a fiesta being held in our honour by the community at a local house. After several rounds of the limbo, the girls showed us a traditional Nicaraguan dance which we obviously tounted with the hokey kokey which left them a little confused. It was a lovely evening, topped off with good food as well.
Saturday morning rolled around all too soon for our liking and it was back to digging trenches - our spirits raised as we saw the rapid progress we were making. We did a sad farewell to the road trip wishing they could stay for longer, but safe in the knowledge that we were their favorite group.
Sunday was a free day which we spent with a morning visit to Yale, the local town, and an afternoon ‘stroll’ to a lake, past incredible views and culminating a pretty successful fishing trip. We were invited for coffee and cake to the lake owner’s house and once again we were reminded of the ridiculous hospitality offered to us in Yaluca.
The next few days flew by as we worked away in the blazing sun. After finally finishing the foundations, being able to make a start on the brick work was really satisfying. After work on Wednesday, we held a patelote (kite) making session in preparation for Friday’s sports day, and competitiveness was definitely brewing in the air. On Wednesday we also enjoyed learning how to make Atol, one of the many many dishes here that maize manages to find its way in to. I’m pretty sure I speak for everyone when I say that Thursday was the best day here; a combination of Darren’s birthday, a church opening (not two events I’d normally put together but it works), cake, fruit and a drink only referred to as ‘diabetes juice’ meant that we were all sufficiently full of E-numbers, and happy. The effort the local people put into the birthday was very touching and we will be sad to leave such a genuine and kind community.

The Romeo 6 team also has some news for us - Catherine reports...

Today Saturday 13th august will be the opening ceremony of the Los Apantes community centre! Romeo 6 has worked long and hard, digging, cementing, plastering, painting and more digging! The result has been a success though – a bright turquoise community centre complete with a roof, although at one point we wondered if we’d ever finish! It hasn’t all been hard work though. Romeo 6 has had a visit to a baseball game, a waterfall (where those of us with no shower took the opportunity to wash our hair!) and to a cigar factory in Esteli. We’ve also had visits to other Raleigh community projects to see how they have benefitted those communities’ lives and had family days where we had the opportunity to see the daily lives of our host families; to get to know their customs and values, and learn valuable skills like making tortillas, hand washing clothes and clearing fields for planting crops. The highlight of the phase has probably been the Raleigh races sports day which Romeo 6 organized for some numerous, very energetic children of the community. With races like the three-legged race, the dizzy spade race, a parent’s balloon race and the obstacle race which included Romeo members as obstacles at great personal risk. The day finished with the Romeo team breaking the rope in a tug of war and a presentation ceremony with certificates made by Romeo 6. A nine hour party is planned for after the opening ceremony tonight, and then Romeo 6 will be back on the road for the two day coach journey back to Costa Rica.

Mini updates from our other groups are as follows…
Romeo 1's mammoth Turrimacho trek finally came to an end yesterday as they reached their goal and arrived at the beautiful sands of Palo Seco on the Pacific coast. The group are now spending the next couple of days relaxing, recuperating and enjoying some well deserved down time on the beach before they head back to fieldbase. Well done trekkers!
Romeo 2 have got their stomp on this morning as they storm ahead to the finish line at the truly beautiful Junquillal beach. This morning they had already trekked 12km by 6.30am… they certainly have their minds set on the prize. You can do it Romeo 2 – trek… trek!
Romeo 3 have finished filling in holes along the path that were proving a risk to tourists, and continue to work on other ad hoc jobs with the ranger. All are well, happy, healthy and by the sounds of it working hard on those guns ‘n’ buns.
Romeo 4 were left to fend for themselves yesterday as PM’s Tom and Helena left the group for a ‘Dear John’ day (where the Project Managers leave the group for the day without warning and the team has to organize and direct themselves without any instructions from the PM’s). The day was a huge success and the group spent the day clearing the beach of debris, and continued work on the wall they have been building for the last week. The team experienced another very special turtle patrol last night as they came across thirteen different turtle nests where they were able to collect the eggs and take them back to the safety of the hatchery. Something to do with the full moon we think!
Romeo 7 are at the music festival! They have been practicing their big performance and are all ready and raring to take on the Nicaraguan music charts by storm.

Blog written by Dawn Tennant unless otherwise stated.


    My Dear, firstly soooo good to hear your voice two nights ago, I was glad to hear you even if for such a short time. I am also glad that reading the blog you are now going to have a rest at the beach... and wow ! from the mountain trek to the beach, that must have been amazing !!!
    I have been having a good time with Cecco since he has arrived. Nothing like going out or partying, but a lot of sea and excursions, inspired by you of course, I thought I should do interesting discoveries of the island since a little time is left now before leaving for brussels. The day he came the weather wasn't so good but in the evening we went to a nice concert in a really old church in the countryside, it was a Guy from Mali called Ballake Sisiko, playing the kora with a french guy playing the viola... really interesting and relaxing african music, wish you were there!
    The next day, as planned we hopped on the motorbyke and went to the middle of the highest mountains near a vilage called Orgosolo. The people there are really nice although they are a little wild and difficult to deal with, but in the end they are the most environmentally friendly sardinians i have ever met. The village is full of paintings on the buildings, which represent rural life and political events as well as social themes. We did't stay long there though as we decided to go sleep in the woods and so we did, cause the next morning we left early on the motorbyke, down rocky paths, to reach an amazing place called sas baddeses, which is a primary forest. It is a forest which has never ever been touched by man and Tricia I mean never! the trees are enormous and we had to be careful not to loose our bearings. We did get lost on the way there. We too the wrong turn and foud ourselves on a steep slope down another wood... there i fell with the byke, actually the byke fell on me and burned my calf off, the exhaust pipe was 1000 degrees and just sliced it... I am taking care of it. In fact I was more worried to have fucked up the byke and stuck in the middle of nowhere, but fortunately it was ok and we set off back on our tracks to find the right way. The primary forest was truly nice. once we stopped inside it we even fell asleep, the local sausage and wine we brought helped I think.
    Basically after that we couldn't really top it in anyway so we left for the coast there once we ot our stuff together. That was when you called, we had just arrived and were figuring out where to sleep.
    Strong of the experiece in the mountains we found a small sandy beach and set the tent there for the night... full moon was right abouve the sea, illuminating everything. We woke up in a beautiful bay with nobody around, and stayed there the whole day. Cecco burned himself with the sun and is still waking around with a swollen face. I am happy he came cause it was a long time since I had had some time with him, and there aren't many people I miss as him in italy. Easy going and good to travel with.
    Now we are back in porto torres and I am resting my back good cause apart from the leg I fucked my back too with all the off road driving. Tomorrow Mauro from Brussels is coming to visit for 3 days since he was in venice and got a cheap ryanair flight. I think we will take it easy tomorrow too, and then spend a couple of nights in the ex penitentiary island in from here, cause I have never been and it's a beautiful national natural park.... see I want to do all that you do, delve into nature... I love you Tricia and miss you a lot. I hope you are great and enjoying all you are up to.
    baci fortissimi XXX

  2. Jasmine A.M. Furbert Romeo 3
    Hi honey. Hope all is well. Those pictures look great and you are looking good in them! Nice shot of you at the waterfall. Looks like you guys are enjoying the park. Looking forward to reading about your next adventure. Nana and Rochelle say hi. Ro had her surgery last Wednesday and is recovering well. Eric is in Canada. We may go for lunch today and to the beach when Jaden comes later. I’ve been oiling your bike, but still can’t find the keys. I’ve started on your new bike; I may have some news for you next week or so. I have TCD on my car this month. Work those guns ‘n’ buns baby!
    Love Dad

  3. Not sure if young Waheedah is on this expedition, but if she is, her family all hope she's well. x

  4. Hi Chris T Romeo 1

    Just great to get your call and to know that you've completed the trek and arrived at the Pacific! Well done, what a fantastic achievement!

    Hope that you will be able to put your feet up and enjoy the last few days with the team in such a special country. Have a safe trip home and look forward to seeing you on Friday!
    Much love Mum and Dad xx

  5. Romeo 2 Reggie Lang
    Hi Reg - Hope you've reached the beach and can have a little bit of r and r. It was pride this weekend so glitter up. Kathleen had to do the glitter as you weren't here. Met up with Annie and John for a drink in the Signalman. Rory went to Munich for 4 days on Friday. Spoke to Liam Saturday he's still staying with Angela and Dennis and is working at the moment on a building site. We're looking forward to seeing what your next project will be and most of all hearing from you. look after yourself. lots of love Mum Dad and Kathleen xxxx

  6. Lydia, Romeo 3

    Hi Lydia, we've loved reading the blog and seeing all the photos - it looks like you've all been working really hard. Hope you get a last few days to simply enjoy it all before you head back to rainy UK! Lots of love Auntie Celia xxxx

  7. Grace Minns Romeo 2
    Well done Grace on completing the trek we are all very proud of you how time has flown over the past weeks although it seems an age since I last saw you. Bet you have enjoyed the rest by the sea ! All ok at home Abi had her 3rd driving lesson today going to Bridlington next week so all must be going well. Just been to buy drinks for dads party on 28th all seems to be going to plan. Have spoken to Sally Ann last night please send her love to Katie. Dad and I will be coming to pick you up on Friday cant wait to see you xx we will need to know the terminal when you get in touch. It will be sad saying goodbye to all your team you will have come quite close during the last 7 weeks. Enjoy your last days together. Much love mum and all at no 3. Ps Vickys birthday 16th if you happen to go on line xxxx

  8. To Alfie/Chris Romeo 1
    From Mum/ Minty Boothman
    Great to see all the pictures of you, you look very dirty or very brown.Congratulations on completing the trek, looking forward to hearing all about it. Missing you lots.
    Love Mum xxx

  9. Grace Minns Romeo 2
    Hi Grace been a better after noon,we had a ride out just for a change. You will be nearing the end of your trekking now,what an experience and adventure , seeing all the wonderful views! Soon be home now,take great care. Your loving Grandparents. Chicky. xxxxxx

  10. to , luke smalley romeo 5

    hiya lukie ....seen some great pics of you ,kelly back in camp at the min , she says she loving it and not looking forward to going home ,bet u feel the same and i cant blame u both..... not much is happening here as usual,all work and no play .... tyson has hurt his foot again , he always at it to much energy and bombing round that u lots doll going to sign of got skirting boards to strip!!!!! dont no wen u back in camp , but message me .... byeeefor now big hugs xxxxxxx

  11. Romeo 7 ....Jodie Hastie...
    Hi my lovely.....Hope u enjoy last few days back at base... im sure u will with all those parties and nice new friends u have made....I did enjoy Jack's writing once again it really has given me an insight into the families u stayed with,and makes me think about more simple things in life x
    Maybe it really is about time I had a Gap Year im sure other parents would agree we have been working a long time.!!
    Hope when u find out where your trek will be your a happy girl !!
    Hope to speak later today with u ...
    Keep smiling and laughing....miss u....
    Love and hugs mum xx Gxx Jxx Rxx



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