Monday, 20 February 2012

Alpha 4 - La Amistad

Alpha 4´s Rob, gives a poetically penned account of life in La Amistad

Hello to you all, relatives, friends and family back home. We thought it was time you heard of our trials and tribulations out in the Latin American jungle so you may further appreciate those excessive luxuries of double beds, bidets and other bastions of the ´decadent´ West!

After spending 3 days of crazy paint parties, salsa and a horrendously wet and muddy jungle experience, we set off for our environmental phase in La Amistad National Park.
The bus journey was long, but the banter strong, punctuated with inspired jokes from Jack, the common, frustrating theme being that they lacked an obvious punchline. We continued our journey across what seemed to be the Bridge on the River Kwai and prayed our bus´ herculean efforts up the steep slope at the far end would not be in vain.

They weren´t. We were greeted by the formidable ranger Don Olman who led us to our home for the next three weeks, and the immediate impression was that we were in luck. We took a moment to take in the awesome views across the ethereal hope to Panama and check out our salubrious shower block, complete with resident giant spider and moth!

Alpha 4 set to work with typical energy and efficiency…although now I look at it, Amy, Ciara and Dara´s tent technique has a lot to be desired, as it slowly sags as the days pass.
Despite our impressive work ethic, we have not finished rebuilding the trail by Day Three as Alpha 4 presumed with characteristic optimism. Still we have created some highly attractive stairs and irrigation ditches, and Don Olman is seemingly pleased with our determination and enthusiasm.

A4 has been through so much, in so little time, including the experience of an earthquake (no damage to note), and the inspired creation  from Andrew and Jack of the United States of La Amistad (USL). Our constitution is proudly displayed with our daily elected president wearing an increasingly grimy shirt of power, leading 5 states (tents), five senators and ten congressmen and women. Sunday´s Radio Raleigh was also an event of note – the mock BBC report convincing some that they´d tuned into the World Service, and the tuneful Whitney tribute barely leaving a dry eye in Amistad.

Tomorrow we celebrate Amy´s birthday and sing our national anthemn in her honour, and salute Raleigh Photographer Ale, as she heads north to join the Turrisantos trekkers.

So all the best from Alpha 4 and the USL, we´ll be back in a fortnight.


  1. To Erika Alpha 6

    Erikaaaaaaaa todo tuanis, me imagino el monton de frijoles, arroz y tortilla que estas comiendo y me da risa y al mismo tiempo envidia (de la buena) porque es increible esa experiencia... De fijo lo estas disfrutando muchisimo y dando siempre lo mejor, es claro y ya lo sabes que el trabajo es dificil pero siempre un poco de un Humor y recordar buenos momentos hace que la energia vuelva para continuar breteando... Cantar como loca en medio del silencio del trabajo o gritar o jugar o hacer bromas o cualquier cosa creativa hace que se vaya llenando de recuerdos excelentes esta tu expedición... Siga poniéndole y aquí le seguimos los pasos de cerca... waaaaaa!! :D


  2. Para Jose Alpha 4

    Maeeeeee Jose cuenteme porfavor todas las caidas que va teniendo para después reirme demasiado!! jejeje... digale a alguien que lo grabe para hacer un slideshow y así disfrutar bastante en grupo... jejejeje....

    Excelente rasta me imagino que tuanis la esta pasando en ese paraiso en el que esta que si por mi fuera me quedo viviendo en una de las hamacas que hacemos ahi con una trangia... jejejeje....

    Sigale poniendo bastante sabor, alegría, su seriedad tambien vale y bueno un gran abrazo, le mandamos todas nuestras mejores vibraciones!!!

  3. Para Tavo Alpha 7

    Taviyoooooo rasta cuantos hijos tienes en este momento??? embarace y jale!! jejejejejeje... mae aqui le mandamos todas nuestras buenas energías y que felicidad saber que están pasando una excelente expedición, cada vez que los recuerdo me alegro porque sé que son un excelente grupo que van con todo.... puro Kölbi....

    Rasta metale esa energia que ud tiene a todos esos blancos que andan por ahí que andan como perdidos tratando de descubrir cosas nuevas y al mismo tiempo ud aprenda de ellos... Ud sabe de su potencial y es hora de explotarlo de siempre más de su 100% y aqui lo apoyamos... Cante, brinque, ríase y haga todo lo que se necesita para estar bien... Enojarse tambien se vale y si le da diarrea tambien disfrutelo... ejejejejje...

    Me despido para contagiarlos de mi risa ¡Que buena vibra!


  4. Para Daniel Alpha 6

    CARTAGOOOOOOOOOO aqui le esta hablando el LIGUISTAAAAA Andrés deseando que esté deacachimba en Nicaraguita que es un país increible como ud ya lo sabe y bueno disfrute siempre al maximo cada día porque un dia más es uno menos y hay que tenerlo claro para tener la mayor actitud cada día... el tiempo va vola'o ya me los imagino todos negros (mas de la cuenta) echos leña, valiendo ni una pz, hediondos, sucios, bueno ni que monton de otras cosas ya les puede estar pasando... jejejejeje... y lo mejor reflexionando cada dia de lo que es necesario y de lo que es vanidad ....

    Metale sabor como ud muy bien sabe y bueno un gran abrazo señor!!

    Se viene la 12b la 12b la 12b!

  5. Eduard & Ypkje Rahusen21 February 2012 at 10:53

    To Sonia, alpha7,
    Eduard & Ypkje tried to mail you for your birthday, without succes. So bij deze: happy birthday to you! With love,
    Eduard and Ypkje who are following the blog as well.

  6. Message for Alex Beaumont (Alpha 4).
    Hello Adventurer Alex. Hope all's good over there. Bet you were one of the ones who managed to sleep through the earthquake! Sorry to hear you've finally found a spider to bother you as well too. Very impressed to hear you'd made such a good start on the project, looking forward to the new super-efficient you when you get back! It's the Brits tonight, so will be thinking of you even more than usual (although I'll be on shift so will get to miss it all). Hope some of your snail mail has started arriving. Looking forward to seeing pictures of all your exploits and catching up in a couple of weeks. Lots of love, Leebass x

  7. to Tim Phoa alpha4
    hi Tim,
    mooie tijd daar? wij hebben flink geschaatst, heb jou wel gemist daarbij hoor!dit weekeind prachtige sport! Kramer, Wüst en Fed waren geweldig, F'oord nog altijd boven 020; lawine ongeluk prins Friso bij off piste skien;
    ik zal de Fellhorn voor je waarnemen!
    ciao kh

  8. Robert Sutton-Mattocks, Alpha 4. Hello Rob, hope you are enjoying life and have managed to prop up the tent. Will the jungle ever recover from your joint Ground Force efforts, I wonder? We all enjoyed your report and look forward to hearing more and even seeing some pics of what you are up to, but preferably not of the spiders. Stay safe, work hard and, above all, have fun. Much love Mum and Dad

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. For Rob (Alpha 4)

    Hi Rob!

    There's no point hoping you're having a great time, because I think it's clear that you are! So glad :)
    I loved your "poetic" account, complete with Kwai references. Not much news here, I'm afraid! Keep enjoying yourself!!

    Julia x

  11. Calling Alpha 5 - where are you! Please, please can you send an update - or are you submerged in pyroclastic flow!! Lots of Love Webster family xxxxxx

  12. To Sam Horbye/Alpha 5
    .. and still no news from Alpha 5! We r hoping u survived the earthquake! DCKE to be replaced by Mr May! Off on Thursday to celebrate ur bro's 16th. Saludos de la familia

  13. Para Daniel Saborio Alpha 5

    ME GANE LA BECA A ESLOVAQUIAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! me voy jalando para el viejo continenteeeeeee!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D ATTE ANDRES! un gran abrazo hermano!

  14. Message for George Moody Alpha 6
    Hi George hope you're having a great time. All OK at home. Looking forward to hearing the news from Alpha 6 so I keep checking the blog. Can't wait to find out what you're doing & maybe spot you in a photo or two. Hannah & Will are home this week, Hannah leaves tomorrow. She's going to Rob's 18th (finally!) in Glasgow on Sat where you'll be missed. Will's home for a friend's 21st on Sat. He'll be able to watch the rugby with dad too, we'll let you know the scores. Jack is hard at work on his dissertation, only a month 'til the deadline. I'm going to Stony next week, Mon to Wed, so Pepper will be going to CC on Sun evening. Love from us all Mum xxx

  15. For Joe Donovan Alpha 6

    Hey you! We've had some adventures getting around Argentina and into Chile- apparently before we arrived in San Pedro de Atacama they hadn't had rain like it in 70 years which explains all the washed out roads! Hoping to travel back to Salta tomorrow in a less eventful fashion... Still eagerly awaiting blog news and photos from Nicaragua!
    All my love, Anna xx

  16. Alpha 3 Sian Lewis

    Dear Siany :)
    hope all is well in the rainforest and you are enjoying yourselves. Just a quick note to say Mamgu is doing really well and they are considering discharging her tomorrow :)
    Lots and lots of Love
    Bethan xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  17. To: Sian Lewis (Alpha 3)

    Hey Sian, hope you got my other messages. I'm keeping an eye out for you in the photos on the blog!

    The work you guys are doing is really interesting. It must be amazing to be in the jungle. Hope the foods ok.

    Everyone at home is fine. Jen and Ellie asked after you, they hope your having a nice time. Lyndsey rang me up to see how I was the other day which was nice.

    Hopefully talk to you soon, I'll stay on skype.

    missing you, love you loads - Pete xxxxx

  18. Samuel Marsden (Alpha 5) - Hey Sam - it seems like forever since I spoke to you before you went to Barva and it's been over a week since we had a progress report on your group. Just wanted you to know that we're missing you like mad, although Ollie has moved into your room and you're now resigned to the garden shed! (just joking). Grandad was 78 yesterday and we celebrated in the usual style - with chinese food. Molly has been to stay with Charlotte at Center Parcs for a night this week as she is visiting from Alain, so you can imagine how happy she was. Your dad has gone back to Moscow where apparently it's now fairly warm and Ollie is still practicing piano so all is well at home. Thinking about you every day and can't wait to hear about your progress - we love you loads and I'm looking forward to speaking to you soon. Mum x

  19. Patricia Deiters-Rahusen24 February 2012 at 04:37

    Sonia Deiters, Alpha 7,
    Chrissies moeder ScT achter de rug. Is goed gegaan. Nu afwachten. Pap en ik naar Pontresina via Bomi.
    With love, mam

  20. Alpha 7 to Sonia Deiters
    Lieveeeeeeeee Son,
    Hoe is het daar?? Ik snap echt weinig van dit blog en hoop dat ik het dan nu ook goed doe!!! Ben zo benieuwd naar je verhalen please please tell me somethingggggggg!
    Dikke kussen

  21. For Alexi Meghir (Alpha 3)
    Mathame oti mathaineis stous allous Ellinika. Meiazei na exei para pollous Ollandous. Mathaineis Ispanika n ollandika arage? Anypomonw gia photografies, me ta zwa tis zougglas kai gia asteies istories. O babas einai stin California pou kanei zesti, n Clio sxoleio, einai ta genethleia tis tin Deftera. Eixame paei 3 meres stin exohi me tin Clio, alla fetos ekane toso zesti pou sto hunter Mountain eixe mono pseftiko xioni kai den kaname ton kopo na kanoume ski, mono snowtubing me sabreles san elkythra. Oloi kala, o babas doulevei synexeia kai n Clio pera apo to sxoleio paizei poly tennis. Elpizw na pernas kala, sigoura tha einai diaforetika, kati pou den exei kanei kaneis mas kai na mas diigitheis apeires istories otan gyriseis. Wraia tha itan na kanonisoume kapoio taxeidi stin Costa Rica tou xronou, na pame sto parko pou eisai twra na thavmasoume to trail pou ftiaxate. Elpizw na min se exoun faei poly ta kounoupia kai na eisai kala. Poso aneta einai ta krevatia pou ftiaxate?
    Polla filia apo mena, ton baba kai tin Clio.

  22. Rob Sutton-Mattocks Alpha 4 La Amistad. Quick message before we set off to India - we are hoping for better luck on the Immodium front and hope this is true for you too! I may get round to writing you a proper letter before you come home, but don't hold me to this. The weather here has gone from -12 two weeks ago to +17 yesterday - I wonder what it is like for you? We already have a drought order in place here. Biddy has sent you a little present for when you get back, by the way. Got to go now as I have to do the school run yet again - Julia has a meeting with Theresa and is worried she will be put in detention if she doesn't do it properly. Much love from Mum

  23. Amanda Peterson, Alpha 5
    Mossan Anne has arrived and will stay with us for 4 weeks. Spring is here for a few days and then it is back to normal probably.
    It sound fantastic what you all do and I hope the whole group have a great time together. Makes me envious and I wish I could go on an adventure too. Mamma xx

  24. Louis Manders (alpha 6)
    Where are you!!?? Still eagerly awaiting an update on the blog from El Portillo. Hope you have settled in to life there although I know it's not long before you head back to fieldbase. It's very strange without you here, really miss my lunchtime chats! - even Joe said 'it's weird without Louis - which I think is his way of saying he misses you.
    Looking forward to hearing from you soon - lots of Love mum

  25. Amy Craddock, Alpha 4
    Dear Georgie
    Enjoyed the update, it was worth the wait. Rob told the 'story' well. Hope you are keeping track of your stories and getting time to write in your journal. Planning a visit to Aunt Rebbe's so it will be good to have some photos to show.
    Keeping an eye on your post -nothing significant to report. We are in drought alert so have to be careful with water usage. Bet it is the same with you in the jungle. Make the most of your last few days of phase 1.
    Love from all of us


  26. Max de Kroon (Alpha 7): hi Max, een belangrijk bericht: voor je inschrijving IBA aan de VU moet een motivatie worden geschreven voor 1 april (!) kun je ons a.s.a.p. hierover bellen? voor de rest heel veel plezier. benieuwd naar foto's waarvwe jou op kunnen ontdeken, wees voorzichtig vent. XXX M+S+W

  27. To Maria Gerono Alpha 6
    Hi Sweetie! Missing you loads. Where are you Alpha 6? Hoping you're getting messages at least.
    Action packed weekend as 3 Peaks training continues. Snowdon tomorrow early start - in February - expect it to be grim and certainly not the tropical weather you must be enjoying or dealing with.
    Big match on Sunday - I'll give the boys shout for you and send match report.
    Looking forward to hearing your news soon.
    Love Mum xxxx

  28. Roisin Carson (Alpha 1)
    Hey Sis, me and Iv sending you love and lots of Buddhist crew, here is tomorrows daily guidance (from today& tomorrow) for you, I will try to send regularly :)
    "Gandhi taught people to live with lion-like courage, impressing upon them that they could not afford to leave things up to others, that they had to stand up for themselves and fight for justice. Ultimately, the only way forward is by developing self-reliance, forging a stand-alone spirit. That is the only path to victory."
    Iv and are also doing morning Gongyo on alternate days for you in case you are unable to. Sending you lots of love and more moon messages xxx Big love from Dad too, he's doing great :) Kiss X

  29. For Azelle Egbe Alpha 1
    We hope you are enjoying yourself and did not find the last trek too exhausting. All's well over here and in the bonga-bonga.
    It's been a nice and quiet week on chorley new road because of the half-term.
    Paul was here the other day doing his thing. And...the ginger cat turned up, much like a bad penny, and stationed itself behind the Range Rover as mum drove in from D1 the other night.Dooohhh!!
    Tommi sends his love. He is enjoying himself.
    Take care of your self and don't forget your GNJ.
    Lots and lots of love from Mum and Dad

  30. Harvey Burgess - Alpha 5 - Hi Harvey - we have been all thinking of you so much and hoping that the blog would be updated with news of your group but not yet ....So looking forward to your news but in the meantime big hugs from us all Love Mumx

  31. To Fleur Jansen

    Ha Fleur, hoop dat dit bericht je bereikt. Ondanks dat wij er ervaring mee hebben is het toch wer puzzelen. Heb je een leuke tijd daar? Bevalt je hangmatje? We zijn erg benieuwd hier naar je ervaringen!!Ga straks even de fotos bekijken. Ik was dit weekend heerlijk in Adam, gezellig gewinkeld en heerlijk gegeten. Groeten ook van T en W en E en T. Sytske

  32. hola Dara alpha 4
    como estas? espero que disfrutando de tu experiencia, nos alegramos mucho de saber que tu carpa esta un poco... relajada! y que tenes la suerte de ducharte con aranias .. con lo que te gustan! aca todos estamos disfrutando de tus aventuras.
    te queremos muchisimo y te mandamos un abrazo gigante ma, pa y alec

  33. Lieve Fleur alpha 4:ik vrees dat al mijn berichten je niet hebben bereikt of toch?Fieke heeft nu een directe link gemaakt.Opi en Joya hebben je gemaild via je email.Is er post aangekomen?Met Syts in Amsterdam was heel gezellig, natuurlijk geshopt , oa voor huwelijk van C en M.De spullen voor Groningen zijn op de bus.Ik kijk op veel fotos en videofilmpjes van Raleigh maar ik kan je niet ontdekken.As zondag nog even naar de sneeuw, Ada gaat met ons mee en de laptop ook, ik hoop dan met jou te kunnen skypen.Het weer is daar zeker genieten, op de fotos zie ik een prachtige natuur.Tot as weekend, brasa mama

  34. Jose acabo de leer lo del blog que tuanis que esten en el parque la amistad , se ve muy tuanis el trabajo que estaban haciendo , se sintio fuerte el temblor verdad, mae que bueno que estés bien, ahi vi las fotos

  35. Louis Manders (Alpha 6)

    Hi Louis, Just a quick message, I did post a message to you 3 days ago but it hasn't come up on the blog yet so I am not sure if you got it or not. Just wanted to let you know we are all still thinking about you and hope the project is everything you wanted it to be. I saw Charlotte on Saturday and she is missing you. We are desperate for some news on the blog from your Group - Alpha 6 look as though they are missing in action!! Take Care and hope we hear some news soon. Lots of Love Mum

  36. to Fleur Jansen alpha 4. Ha Fleur, op een of andere manier lukt het niet om een bericht te sturen. En dat terwijl ik ervaring heb, maar met Fieke was het ook even zoeken.. Hoe is het? Hoe bevalt de basha? Mooie fotos, smaapt naar meer, misschien met Kerst? Dit weekend gezellig in Amsterdam geweest. Smaakt ook naar meer. Lekker gewinkeld met je moeder en bijgekletst. We zijn erg benieuwd naar je ervaringen. Wat een challenge!!! Groetjes namens ons allen, Sytske

  37. To Diana Hindle Fisher (Alpha 3)

    Hi di!!
    Hope you're having an amazing time. Very jealous, i'm sitting in medschool working!
    Hope you are getting nice and bronzed and trajjed out!
    Looking forward to hearing about it when you get some internet
    Alls good here, had a fun week last week, went out lots and now im starting working hardcore!
    Wore your short pink dress to medball and it went down very well, got lots of comments! Also got a fake tan so was nice and orange to match it!
    Also hope your getting nice and tubs on all the rice!
    Missing you lots
    Email me when you can
    lots of love xxxxx

  38. Jemma Grundon (Alpha 3)

    Squemble! Hope you're having the time of your life and not doing anything I wouldn't!

    Remember you can smile in photographs grumpy bum! And some people like to keep their eyes open too...!

    Hopefully speak to you soon, can't wait to hear all about your adventures!

    Mike xx

  39. Fosca Meyjes Alpha 6-- Fosc--you must be heading to base by now--spring slowly gaining a foothold here--"the artist"won all the big nominations(zzz)as did miss streep for iron lady--saw Ben C at T&B the other night he sends you his very best thought you did a great job as did his partner--mum went into the field he other day to visit sas only to be told by claire she'd been talking to the wrong horse--miss you loads d dog

  40. Amy (Alpha 4)

    O.M.G - resident GIANT spider - how did you cope?? So proud of you (if you did ever use the shower) lol!!!
    Sorting my visa atm - so long. Having a frap party next week :)
    Miss u (emailed ur gmail btw)
    Make sure you're taking lots of pics
    Loveeee xxx



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