Friday, 2 December 2011

Zulus 4 and 5 - settled in and working hard!

The time is flying by, we’re already almost a week into phase 3 of Expedition 11L and all the groups are truly making the most of their last few weeks with Raleigh. Below are updates from Zulus 4 and 5, who are settled into their homes for the next 19 days and cracking on with the work.

We have been promised a blog from Zulu 2 this afternoon so will post that asap, suffice to say the Nicaraguan Trekkers are safe and well and enjoying much better weather than we are here at fieldbase.

Bravo 1 is meeting up with Zulu 1 for a food drop this afternoon and we will endeavour to return with some photos of their last few days.

Zulu 5 (Clare)
After two long days of travel on the TransNica coach Zulu 5 eventually met their host families and settled in to their homes. An early start on the first day of work was in order as the group were informed of their jobs.
Zulu 5 joined forces with the locals to help repair the main road running through the village. The sun was beating down and enthusiasm surrounded the group as they dug, lifted heavy rocks and shovelled gravel. The venturers and PMs learnt more about the village and inhabitants as thy chatted whilst working.

To celebrate Jasper’s 19th birthday all of the children in the village performed a showed which was dedicated to the birthday boy! Talents were shown all round and the children sang, danced and acted. The show ended with the children singing happy birthday...Jasper was very appreciative.

After much dancing and laughter with the locals, we all had a massive game of ninja. The children even continued when the venturers retreated to bed.

We’re enjoying our experience in Achuapa and eager to complete the work as soon as possible.

Zulu 4 (Alice)
Beach here we come, vamos a la playa!

After a hearty breakfast, we set off on a 4-hour journey to paradise. We arrived at Playa Hermosa with our nine barrels of food and high hopes of saving baby turtles. However we did a slight setback when we had to dig the bus out of the sand. Fourteen strong venturers, four spades and donkey-loads of manpower pushed Don German’s bus onto solid ground.

Our first task was to build basha beds we could trust and rely on for our much needed sleep over the next 19 days – please note some were more stable than others!! After pimping jungle camp complete with kitchen, diner and a group chillout spot, we finished the day off nicely with traditional Raleigh pasta and sauce.

Harneel jump-started the first working day with a serenade for each of us. After delicious porridge, we headed to the ranger station to meet the rangers and were set to the task of clearing the area around the forest. Throughout the next few days we all adjusted to the night patrol and hatchery routines. The rangers are extremely knowledgeable and we spend a lot of time learning about turtles and the importance of protecting them.

Zulu 4 have already started some friendly competition with a beach volleyball game. It is safe to say we all need a lot of practice! Dripping with sweat we finished the day with a paddle in the sea. Under a perfect sunset, Daisy noted that she had not had this much in all her teenage years. Something even the old fogies in the group could relate to!!

The turtles head for the sea.

A Playa Hermosa sunset...a fine reward after a hard day's work!


  1. Clare Jones - Zulu 5
    Hi Clare, your the blogger again then! Excited to hear the news from Zulu 5. Good to read all are settled into homes of those who have welcomed you so freely. I am always amazed those that have so little give so much! You having sun beating down - here we have cold frosty weather. No snow yet! Enjoy the time you have left. Will be in touch again soon. Love Julie and Matthewxxx

  2. Imogen, Annie and Flor - ZULU 2
    Hi Girls!!!! I'm home now, following the blog and missing all of you!!! Hope your trek is going well and your feet are healthy! Immy, I miss your hugs and your scary morning face! Also, you know that little task I set for you at changeover...well I'm setting you the same task for the last days at fieldbase...I hope you know what I'm talking about *hug* ;) ;) ;) Good luck for the rest of your trek girls, you can do it!!! Love Monisha xxx

  3. Alice and Jeanette - ZULU 4
    Hi Girls!!! I'm home now, reading the blog and missing Costa Rica loads!!! Hope you are enjoying Playa Hermosa and working with the turtles. Jeanette, guess what??? They got rid of the eyebrow place in terminal 5...I was SO disappointed!!! Hope your feet are doing better, Alice. I'm liking the blogs :) Take care girls, Monisha xx

  4. Zulu 3 Eleonore Vollebregt

    Well Missy

    diep in het regenwoud zal het wel druk zijn Hopelijk ook wat droogte. Morgen alles inrichten ter voorbereiding kerstontvangst. Sinterklaas had nog niets in je schoen gestopt. Wellicht met de kerstman meer kans. Wanneer het lekker is zal ik er wel voor zorgen. Je bent nu toch gewend aan het lokale voedsel en gebrek aan luxe. Zo zie je maar hoe weinig je nodig hebt en ik help je graag in dat ritme. De P.p......

  5. Floris Muller; Zulu 5
    Hé lieve Os,
    Nog maar een paar weekjes en dan sta je alweer op Nederlandse koude "luxe" bodem. Geniet nog even van alles om je heen. Wij gaan vanavond met z'n 10en Sint vieren bij ons thuis en daarna klaar maken voor de kerst...(Tanzania!!!!) Dikke kus Fleur

  6. Zulu 2: Geoffrey

    # 6! Wow this is what you call dedication bub. I'll keep my word and write to you daily!
    So excited for uni to start, everything is set in South Africa and I think I'll head down around the 10th and go stay with my family for a bit then down to my friends in Capetown and do some serious partying. Induction will be on the 27th-29th of jan, and uni will start on feb 10th. So thats 10 days of freshers. Fml.
    We're putting the christmas tree up today! :D Its normal goes something like this: My dad gets the heavy boxes out and me and my mom put it together while my dad opens the champagne and watches us decorate hahaa. By the time the tree is up we're pretty sloshed haha.

    Still cant wait to talk to you!

  7. Will Harris Zulu 2 Miraflor Trek

    Hello there
    Hope Nicaragua is treating you well. Looking forward to seeing some photos.
    All good with me. I had a glorious time pottering last weekend, and am getting sorted for Ecuador/Christmas this weekend. It's been pretty wintery here, lots of cold rain in between sunshine. I got absolutely soaked in a storm cycling home the other day. Had some good climbing indoors this week, though I suspect that's more to do with how easy the grades at Stockport are! Unconfirmed sightings of a new Misfits series this week, so you can look forward to that in January.
    Love Amy

  8. Alice Hall Zulu 4
    Altitude sickness, appendicitis...what other exciting ailment beginning with 'a' can you manage to get before you get home? Hope you feel better soon and manage to get back to the turtles soon! Lots of love, Emily xxxx

  9. Millie Pierce Zulu 3,
    Hello Chumling,
    I can't remember when I last 'spoke' to you, so sorry if I'm repeating myself...
    I got your letter :) I now have 2 from you, it's very exciting :)
    I'm still working very hard, its very cold here, I had to find my blanket last night
    Last night was the medics christmas ball in Southampton guildhall, it was a very posh evening, you will have to do some profile stalking when you get to a computer. We had lamb and mash with vegetables for main - the kind of mash Poppy really likes (posh mash). Then CHEESECAKE for pudding :) It was a good night:) Then today I have been in rehersals for concert band christmas concert all day, its next week. I'm feeling quite christmasssy now:)
    I have an advent calendar on my wall, I'm guessing you're missing out on such things in the jungle, you'll just have to open 18 doors all together when you get home!!
    Quick update on the occupants of N-block:
    Mark is playing some jazz on his keyboard, it is really good :)
    Lewis is in bed (I think) he had an interesting night last night... he told me about some indepth conversation he had with me, then I reminded him I had been at the ball so it can't of been me...
    Derek - no clue, but he did spontaneously start a conversation with me on Thursday!!
    Amy - has more work than me - and she does geoggers!!
    Stu - gone to Portsmouth for the day, but needs a haircut
    Meg - probably still recovering from Thursday night... she was a mess
    Oreo - in london!
    Emma and Bethan have gone home too
    Jubrilio is doing maths but also trying to persuade me to cook for him...
    I miss you so so much, its not long now till I see you again!! not going to lie - I am counting down the days,
    Oh - how exciting, I can start packing to come home this weekend because fams are coming up next weeked to collect mes choses.
    Right, this has become fairly epic! I'll message again soon, not long now!
    Miss you.... Hope you're enjoying the jungle - remember to iron your clothes or don't let them dry outside (we learnt about some bug that gets into washing in the jungle....)
    To be honest, this was probably a bit too frank for everyone's ears, but I can't send a letter... too bad! Love you xxxxxx


    Is appendicitis your way of avoiding any hard work??? , , , , only kidding ;)
    Thinking of you and hope you feel better soon.
    Lots of love
    Dad xxxxxxxxxxxx

  11. Emma Jacob, Zulu 5. Niecey!!!! Well this is my second go at leaving you a message. No idea what I did wrong previously but fingers crossed I get it right this time round! I've loved reading all the blogs and tracking what you've been up to these past weeks. What an experience!! I've been amazed to read of your feats of endurance. In fact I actually can't quite believe it!! I've spent the last few weeks in recovery from my flat sale and I certainly could've done with just a little bit of your stamina! So my time in Essex has come to an end and I have to say I'm rather enjoying being back in Beckenham - especially sofa time with Pops!! Also the food is pretty good here too (just porridge and cold baked beans occasionally!) . I'm still continuing on with my course which I'm loving and starting to look forward to some time off for Christmas. It seems to've come round ever more quickly and I've done nothing in preparation! Methinks perhaps a trip into Bromley is called for this afternoon to start the shopping ball rolling...As I write this I wonder how you're feeling about the prospect of your time away drawing to a close...? That said you still have a good couple of weeks to max out on it all and judging by what's come before lots of hard work to keep you busy!! Enjoy every precious moment and sooooooooooo looking forward to hearing all about it on your return! With lots of love, Auntie Kxxx


    Hi Gem, i hope this gets to you. Im not realy sure what im doing, u know what im like!!

    We are all missing you loads. Cash is now walking alot of the time, small amounts then resting to start again.... into everything going, even my bin!!
    He is startinh to say muma too, im so excited its taken 9months but its fab to hear him say it.
    His first tooth is also threw, the teething has really started but he is always happy and playing.
    Im good, getting everything ready for Christmas and working part time. Could have some good news will explain all once i know and its taken place. I still havnt heard back from the baby modeling so its their loss!!
    Mum is doing raely well with her hip replacment. She is back driving and the doctors are pleased with her recovery so far, so she is back to being a hands on Grandma!
    Cash is downstairs as im writing u this banging all of the doors in the kitchen screaming with gramps.
    I cant believe how fast the time has gone, i know Mal and Martin cant wait to meet you for Christmas i hope your having a blast and are well. Me and Cash are missing u lots and cant wait untill ur home.
    All or love Laurs and Cash xxx

  13. To Harneel (Zulu 4)

    Back in Singapore! Still jetlagged and all. How are the turtles treating you? My parents couldn't recognise me when they picked me up at the airport cause according to them, I've "tanned beyond recognition". Puerto Viejo and New York were really nice. I drank too much, smoked too much, and spent too much while I was there. Now it's almost 3am and I can't sleep. Because I got high. Because I got high. Because I got high. Hey enjoy the rest of your time there. It won't be too long before you have to get on that 3 (or is it 4?) days flight back home. So make the most of every moment. Mama picha! Huzy.

  14. Harneel Zulu 4 11L
    Hello beta,
    We're all missing you heaps beta and it was lovely to chat to you on skype. The 21st birthday celebrations in Liverpool was great but the journey was very tiring. Everyone at Birmingham was doing well and I chatted with Sunny for ages and he enjoyed looking at all your pictures!!
    We're all so proud of everything you have done so far and i can't wait to hug you so keep safe and keep up all the good work and you haven't told me whether you want me to send any pasa via the London office.
    Not too long until your return so enjoy every single moment and I hope you getting all your thoughts down on paper. Take care and god bless you!!
    lots of luv
    mum and dad and simi

  15. Alice Hall Zulu 4

    YO YO!!

    hope you're feeling a bitty better... don't go getting ill again OK!!those turtles need you!!

    which by the way,,, are you lot doing what miley cyrus does in the last song and staying up all night with tennis racket and torch to scare off the raccoons from eating the turtles? or are there no raccoons? or torches.... or tennis rackets? ....

    hope your okay and get back to the turtles pronto!

    I don't have a song to sing you today.. i can't think of any ones you particularly like since you've been gone so long!! haha

    love yaa! :) Jess xxx

  16. TO: Zulu 5, Reinier van Doorn

    SCHATTIN nienke is hier HAHA sinds zaterdagochtend, tot morgenmiddag (maandag middag dus) en het is zooo gezellie!!! zijn gister naar ministry of sound geweest was echt spr leukkkk!!! ik ga morgen lcf bellen om een gesprekkie aan te vragen want dat is er bij in geschoten en dan donderdag al naar huis.... en morgen sinterklaas drakin niet vergeten he!!! nienk heeft pepernoten en een chocoladeletter meegenomen dus ik zit er wel een *beetje* in maar eigenlijk totaal niet haha. heb onwijs gave schoenen gekocht bij acne in liberty afgelopen week had ik dat al verteld?? laat ze wel zien als je terugbent je gaat echt dakken! google anders ff als je weer internet hebt: acne spin brogues black. en gister twee jassen in portobello market haha lekker bezug!!! ok schatien ik spreek je zodra je terugbent! succes in je gastenfamillietje weet zeker dat je binnen mum van tijd die taal onder de knie hebt!!! zoenelsssss xxxx

  17. Geoffrey Kirby - Zulu 2

    Reading through your blogs I think there's an alterior motive for wanting to get to Cape Town! Very public forum, but "Hi Ty (is it?)! Good chance he'll get out there before too long!"

    Not so much news from this end. John delighted with his Lego Camper Van (pretty cool really, 16+ and he made it completely on his own in 2 evenings - lucky you weren't there to take over!)and I've commited myself to having Alec, andrew, Ton and Jack Hinch for a sleep-over at the weekend in lieu of a birthday party. Promises to be noisy!

    Your Mum will be picking you up from Heathrow, but don't get too cosy 'cos I'm dragging you down to Exeter the next week. You can sleep all the way down in the car.

    Still waiting to hear about my job. Can't even apply yet! No matter what I will be travelling to St Helena via Cape Town at the end of the month to help things along. Good to be seeing things moving at last.

    Enjoy your last couple of weeks. Looking forward to seeing you and gettign your news.


    Dad (and Ginny and Philip and John) x

  18. To: Hilmar Heijmans, Zulu 4

    Lieve Broer,
    Wauw! Wat een ontzettend bijzondere en mooie brief heb ik van je gekregen. Het was echt het beste cadeau dat je me had kunnen geven Hilmar! ik moest ook wel even een traantje wegpinken;) Ik draag je armbandje elke dag en zo heb ik het gevoel dat je toch een beetje hier bent.

    Ik zie dat jullie de baby schildpadden de zee in hebben gestuurd! Ben je al wat bruiner geworden op het strand?
    Je komt gelukkig over een paar weekjes alweer thuis! Dan kunnen we eindelijk samen een legaal drankje gaan drinken en ik zie ernaar uit om alle spannende verhalen te horen!:)
    Hil, geniet veel van je laatste weken in RC en tot gauw!!!



  19. Zulu 4, Gemma Fernihough.

    Hi Gems, It all sounds amazing, you also must be so fit now- sounds like it is non stop (don't come back too brown, thin and beautiful!!) Such an experience, and you have really nice comments about your PM skills- well done :) I on the other hand am clearly living the dream driving to work in the dark, working at my desk all day, driving back in the dark , eating and sleeping! Missing home?! Lol - no I am still finding time for usual stuff of drinking (cheltenham races and German market has been awesome), bit of riding and keeping busy with beauty clinic. Its all going really well, we're taking on two more staff members so the team is growing! We also had our christmas meal with the team last week- its al a bit surreal. I am sure you have seen FB, but lastest news here is that Shell is engaged, Claire is having a baby girl, Sarah is jet setting in Zambia with the ex.....

    Right think I've rambled on enough (on a public blog), missing you, have a brilliant birthday and hopefully I'll see you in SA for another Fernihough wedding... xx

  20. To: Hilmar Heijmans, Zulu 4

    Lieve vriend,

    Ik dacht laat ik hetzelfde beginnen als je zusje.
    Maar hoe gaat het daar in Costa Rica? Zeker machtig mooi. Echt vet dat je met die schilpadden mag werken daar op het strand. Ik vul mijn tijd hier met planet earth en als ik dat allemaal zie wordt ik wel een beetje jaloers op je.

    Met mij gaat alles heel erg goed. Ik heb vandaag net mijn CAE examen gehad. Ging heel erg goed, met een beetje geluk een A. Dan heb ik morgen nog mijn CPE examen, wordt wel moeilijker, maar moet ik ook wel kunnen halen. En dan nog even een avondje feesten hier in Cambridge en dan zit het er ook al weer op voor mij.

    Heb ik je trouwens al verteld dat ik naar Ministry of Sound ben geweest met gast hier buit Cambridge, Derk Bottema? Anders vertel ik het gewoon nog een keer. Het was zo ontzettend vet. Niet normaal! Als je thuis ben laat ik je alle filmpjes en zooi zien.

    Ik ben nu ook druk bezig met zaken voor Oxford, testen maken en essays schrijven. Maar het is allemaal heel erg leuk.

    Ik heb er weer zin in om met je een biertje te doen in de kearlsclub of in das pleintje. Oalewetse gezelligheid.

    I'm out!

    Deine liebe,


  21. to: Hilmar Heijmans, Zulu 4

    Yo pikkie! Hoe overleef je het zo lang zonder je lieve vriendjes uit hengelo? Wij missen je heel erg, ik in het bijzonder. Ik heb me nl al een paar keer in slaap gehuild van verdriet! Hier in Leiden gaat alles van z'n leien dakje. Morgen, 9 december, vertrek ik naar brussel met mijn date en club met hun dates. En zaterdag, de 10e, gaan we naar het sempre gala in het Odeon in Amsterdam. Duur grapje, maar ik heb het er voor over!
    Zijn de babyschildpadjes net zulke goede chickmagnets als ik denk? En ben je nog wel een beetje soepel buiten hengelo of durf je nog steeds niet naar meisjes toe te stappen? Ik hoor het wel met kerst!

    Later schatje! xoxo eric

  22. To Hilmar Heijmans, Zulu 4

    Dag lieve beste jongen,
    Ik zal mijn zwakker smoesjes en slechte excuses maar snel achterweg laten, maar het spijt me ab imo pectore dat ik nog niets van me heb laten weten. Om eerlijk te zijn ben ik ook superdruk, maar vast niet zo druk als jou om de wereld te redden. Onze Superhilmar!
    Tof trouwens dat je alsnog de babyschildpadjes mag helpen om in de zware zeeen van deze edoch mooie aarde een begin van hun fantastische leven mag geven! Welke baardaap heb je daar voor moeten pijpen? :) Nee, even alle gekheid op een stokje...
    Hier in Hengelo, je luistert naar de enige echte DIE-HARD van je vrienden die hier nog daadwerkelijk woont, gaat alles met kip ook goed. Hij heb zelfs zijn eigen kipje gevonden, mag jij raden wie!
    Juist ja, toch Yvonne. Alles gaat soepel, en we zien uit naar je komst terug! Ja, zelfs meisjes met een relatie missen je!
    Geniet nog van het mooie weer en de pittoreske zonsondergangen, want hier in Nederland zul je er lang voor moeten wachten, het is hier KUT weer.
    Ik hoop je zeer spoedig weer te spreken.
    Liefs en kusjes van mij
    x Kip

  23. Hilmar Heijmans, Zulu 4

    p.s. Neem je wel een lievv schildpadje voor me mee, je weet maar nooit wanneer die van pas komt!

    x Kip

  24. Molly Sandquest - Zulu 4

    Molly my lovely!

    It feels like forever I am SO excited to see you and hear all about it!

    The turtle pics are beautiful as are the ones of you, your looking very brown! I can't believe you had to make a full on camp, you really are a wild woman, we'll go camping in Wales this summer so you don't forget your newly found skills!

    Catherine is home from uni now and we have discovered that the arc angel makes THE best hot chocs ever, and I am perfecting mulled wine and cup cakes for your return. Wear lots of clothes to come home, we woke up to snow today, very chilly.

    Enjoy your final week, I'm sure it will be so sad to leave your group and costa rica but we need you too! See you so soon!Lots and lots of love Lx x x x xx

  25. Zulu 4 - Molly Sandquest
    Hey Mollina!

    I think you maybe home on saturday, which excites me ridiculously much! I hope you are having a fantastic time still I have 10 million stories to tell you and can't wait to hear all yours!!

    Hurry up and come home! Lots of Love Catherine <3 <3 xxxxxxxxxx



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