After returning from 3 days of hot and humid exploring deep in the jungle that is La Cangreja, your guest Blogger (Jed) can now update you on all our beloved groups' progress.
A bit of background on La Cangreja, where X-Ray 3 are ensconced. La Cangreja translates as 'The Crab' - as the hills are said to resemble a huge crab. I couldn't quite see it myself, but it's a good a name as any! La Cangreja is a national park of preserved pristine jungle. In my 2 nights there I saw beautiful scarlet macaws, giant (and I mean giant) butterflies, bigger than life beetles and the ever-present never-ending hordes of ants.
During this nature-fest I was working hard to set up the water supply project, so I spent my time designing the system that the group will install. It will enable a further project to allow disabled access to the park and assist with the ongoing ecological research. The water supply system is over 850m long and the group will have to dig (by hand!) a 1m trench for this distance over remarkably steep terrain. X-Ray 3 will certainly have their work cut out over the next few weeks, but the results of their hard graft should last for the next 50 years.
The group themselves have now got their jungle camp set up with basher beds, hammocks, long drop, cooking station and even a communal games area. The camp is on the banks of the Rio Negra, which is great for a dip after a hard day's work! I'm sure they will have a unforgettable jungle experience. There's a few pics below (thanks to Anni and Lisa) showing the group in action.
As for the other groups here's today's round-up:
X-Ray 1 - Turrisantos Trek
The field base team have met up with them and they are currently descending Volcan Turrialba as I write this. Hopefully they will have hit the summit and had a chance to smell the sulphur! Tomorrow they head off to Guayabo National Monument, which is the remains from a previous civilisation thought to be over 3,000 years old.
X-Ray 2 - Guanacaste Trek
The trek group are making good progress and will reach Lake Arenal tonight, where they can take in the stunning views of the lake and volcano, and also go for a deserved and refreshing swim.
X-Ray 4 - Playa Hermosa
They are having what I'm told is a 'lovely time at the beach'! They've also managed to collect a huge number of eggs and have already released countless tiny turtles into the Pacific Ocean.
X-Ray 5 - Achuapa
Now fully settled in to the village, the work kicks off today. They will be continuing the work from last phase on the youth centre. They should also be setting up some time with the community to play games of football and baseball with them.
X-Ray 6 - Miraflor
They arrived safely in their community last night and today will be starting work on the water supply project for the village. They'll also get to explore their new home a bit more and get to know the families they are staying with.