Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Alpha 5 in Barva

Congratulations! Alpha 5 gave birth today, to two beautiful .... pipes! We (PM’s Dani (Flaves), Afsun (Afsana),Caroline (in spirit!) and venturers Amanda, Vivian, Jess, Holly, Georgina (Gee), Josh, Sam M, Sam H, Harvey, Brayan, Fu and Tom) are up in the beautiful Barva Volcano sector of the Braullio National Park laying pipelines to transport water to the lovely rangers (RONALD, Fabio, Andres, Alex and Juan) very important work!
Our bus journey here was bumpy to say the least and no one could have prepared us for Sam H’s singing. Arriving at our accommodation (the old ranger station with a range of MATTRESSES and WARM-ISH showers) was a pleasant surprise until the bat incident. Our own Sam Horbye showed his true colours when a rouge bat flew into the house. Screaming like a girl he fled the room scrambling over Afsun in the process. He is now called ‘Batsam.’ Sam M’s similar reaction to a mouse has now earned him the name ‘Ratsam,’ while his vine swinging skills gave him the name ‘Tarzan.’ Both work!

Our first day on project was ... cold! Who needs woolly hats in Costa Rica? ALPHA 5 do! Batsam, our day leader, found the language barrier a problem as our 17th human chain failed again and Ronald (our favourite ranger) was vocal about its uselessness.... learning the hard way we realised that human chains AREN’T the answer to everything.....

Our teamwork got us through the painful process of saving a buried pipe. Any hikers will have been terrified by Dani screaming “I CAN SEE THE HEAD!” The Red Cross helped us for our first day- a six day job became one! Woo! Our evenings consist of cards, mafia, cards and more mafia! On 12th February half of the group (both Sams, Gee, Josh, Brayan, Amanda and Tom) successfully slept through a 6.0 earthquake and those who did wake up mistook it for wind or Bryan’s snoring (IT’S THAT LOUD!) On 14th February we celebrated Valentines Day in style with Bolognaise and chocolate fondue for dessert. Vivian, our resident artist, decorated our house beautifully – hearts and roses galore! The 15th February brought our biggest achievement so far. Under the leadership of Josh we put together 250 metres of pipe! That’s 1/5 of our total distance! Boom! We also saw Tapir and big cat footprints (spotted by Flaves and Fu). Next time let’s hope it’s the real thing!

Work is quite muddy and cold but visibly seeing our progress is amazing! Not to mention we are in an untouched jungle! Today Amanda and Jess got Jungle Feve; non-stop giggling! Josh banished them with odd jobs haha! Fu’s constant playing of Bob Marley was challenged tonight with an amazing rendition of ‘Rappers delight’ by Holly and ‘Ignition’ by Gee. R.O.C.K.E.D.I.T! Also today Tom ran all the way home from the project site to shower first – DEDICATED TO CLEANLINESS! We found Harvey tonight KO’d on the bedroom floor – no sheets, no mattress, no nothing! Gee’s blister on her leg has become infamous in Alpha 5 and last night something horrible happened.... Josh kicked it under the table by accident and it BURST EVERYWHERE! Eeew!!

Any rules about clothing have gone completely out the window- socks and sandals everywhere, colour clashed layers galore! Our fastastico PMs are keeping us very cheery – Flaves (Dani) dancing (we have videos...), Afsun’s pink fur pinup jacket (which supplies enough warmth and entertainment to keep us going for hours and Caroline – we can’t wait for you to get here and attend to our colds!!

Food-wise we are happy too! Homemade tortillas and Empanadas were a massive hit! There’s a wee bit of resentment concerning peanuts being our daily snack (especially Amanda) and the tinned tuna has caused some problems concerning tuna burps (again especially Amanda haha!) Fresh Carrots caused quite a stir – who knew Costa Rican carrots were so big!?! Our quote of the week is from Batsam – “oh look at that cow, imagine the bacon we could get off that!” Nice one Sammy!

All in all Alpha 5 are a happy bunch! LOADS of singing (ABBA), dancing and laughing. We’ve started preparing a sneaky part for our end of phase skit. “Preview” I hear you scream.... well...
“Its the remix to ignition, ALPHA 5 on a mission...”
Until next blog... Alpha 5 out.

Samos 12B el grupo de Raleigh y nosotros somos Holly, Amanda, Caroline, Gee,Tom, Sam, Vivian, Brayan, Daniel, Afsana, Fu,Josh, Samcito, Harvey, Jess.

Y somos Alpha 5. En casa de los guarda parques del Volcan Barva. En donde nos encontramos, con risa, mucha alegría en donde también jugamos todo el tiempo, en un lugar donde, compartimos el trabajo donde nos ayudamos, los unos con los otros, donde una sonrisa no falta. Hemos tenido momentos muy buenos y pocos los malos; los cuales no se donde están porque no lo he visto y no los hemos encontrado. Todos aqui somos y vamos mas alla de ser un nombre como Alpha 5….

En el corazón de todos y cada uno de nosotros, recordaremos; nuestras caras y nuestro tiempo compartido.. los llevare en mi mente y corazón que es y será nuestra voz…


  1. For Georgina Webster Alpha 5
    So excited to hear your news. However, concerned about the graphic description of your blister - hope it is healing. Looking forward to you giving us a rendition of your Gee Kelly! Pleased to see that the clothes' washing liquid is working so well!! News from home - you have unconditionals for all your choices - Ruaridh has his op on Wednesday - Leo still trying to decide where to go this summer - Dad was on Coppers - Cesci homeless in two weeks - how do you feel about sharing! Lots of love from all of us XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  2. To: Joshua Bigsy O'May

    BIGGLES! I know it's been too long since I last wrote to you but I've been waiting for the blog to post about your adventures. I don't think I've ever laughed so much at reading one of these posts. You guys seem to be having a really fun time, and for the first time, I actually am jealous that I'm not there with you guys in the jungle. While I don't know the Sams of your group, they sound too funny, and the food your eating, sounds, uh, good? I joke. Anyhow, I hope you're enjoying yourself as much as I enjoy reading about your excursions! xx, Rach

  3. BATSAM ALPHA 5 Its been along time coming but the blog was worth waiting for!!! So much for your love of creatures and knowledge of animals!!!! Reading between the lines you will be looking forward to some warmer weather!!! It wont be long. Well done to you all. Big hugs. Love MumXX

  4. Sam Marsden Alpha 5.

    Hi sammy I love you so much it was nice to see you smiling on the picture!FOR ONCE! I can't wait to see you again love you lots lots and lots and lots love from Molly.

  5. Sam Marsden - Alpha 5

    Hello there Tarzan! It was fantastic to receive an update about Alpha 5 and to find out a bit about your adventures at Barva. Congratulations on the successful pipe installation and also for managing to sleep through the earthquake which had us all at home so worried. You've obviously been working and playing hard and it sounds like you're having an all round fantastic time. I can relax now we've heard and seen that you're ok (picture was fantastic) but I'm really looking forward to having the opportunity to speak to you when you return to base camp. We're all very proud of you and are missing you like mad. Mum x

  6. For Holly Courtier Alpha 5
    Thank goodness for news of Alpha 5! So glad to hear that you are such a happy group. The singing/card playing/laughter is all good news for us here. Glad the food has moved on from rice &beans - the carrots sound amazing. Hope you get some warmer weather soon. Well done with the pipe laying. What's next to do? All's well here - very dreary Feb weather though. Dusty has been in the wars - he took on a badger and got his face bitten. It's healing up well & he is looking for revenge but we have fenced off chalk pit. Marmite's eye slowly getting better. Horses sensing Spring is on the way. Hens laying loads of eggs. Humans ok too!! EVERYONE is asking after you - now I can tell them! Love Mummy xxx PS I hope you are drinking lots of water xx

  7. For Afsana Tahirova Alpha 5
    News of Alpha 5 at last! Excellent stuff and sounds to be going brilliantly. I liked the news of the earthquake! Costa Rica beat Wales 1-0 in last night's soccer match so you should celebrate with the locals!

  8. mum dad david samantha1 March 2012 at 04:29

    Message for Caroline Bolt Alpha 5 Have arrived in Melbourne horrible jet lagged but just about getting to feel human again.Walked around the lanes yesterday and the botanical gardens and then went to a fantastic outdoor market with 20,000 other people last night and had some wonderful food and sangria and Sam had a HUGE pancake with nutella and ice cream (after a large souvlaki) and then we came home and she ate the biggest toblerone you have ever seen, so proud of her.Had a lie in today and went food shopping and wine shopping that took all day.Had a lovely BBQ tonight and had roo steak for the first time ever and it was lovely.Uncle Paul arrives tomorrow and the boys are going to a rugby match and the girlies are having a night of videos,wine and dips.Weather not good off to Sydney on 8th.Hope parcel arrived.Love you loads and hope you are well xxxxxx PS Dad says when you get back can you lay a water pipe up to the potting shed please xxxxxx

  9. Roya Tahirli
    for Afsana Tahirova 12B
    We see you are in move every day:)))very happy to see u smile and cheerful:* we miss u a lot,everybody is ok dont worry just miss u:*

  10. For Joshua Biggs O'May
    Josh We are all amazed that you made it back to camp without using your phone's sat nav. Looking at the flora, seems like there is a lot of pollen there - I hope you packed your hay fever tablets. We are working on the basis that you are having a tops time - but it would be nice if you had a good hair day and got in a photo with a smile. So what are you missing? I am still hobbling around on crutches. The only up side is I get a limo into work - I am getting used to it. Rory's wrists have recovered( it wasnt a break) and, well, everyone else is fine. Callum is still talking (but not doing) about moving into your room. I think it will still be the same when you get back although I have extracted all the blue towels.February was grey. Love Dad

    Not much news from Alpha 2 but by now the blood sweat and perhaps tears will have been rewarded by some wonderful beaches. WELL DONE. If at times you have wondered if you could ever go on, you have. YOU HAVE DONE IT!!! Well done, be proud of yourself and enjoy your few days at fieldbase. One word of advice. Should you next be deployed by any chance to Barva, beg steal or borrow some warm clothes. It sounds a bit chilly up there. Biggest of hugs and lots of love from all at White House Farm. FiXx

  12. Holly Courtier - Alpha 5.

    It's good to hear things have gone well so far! There are a few good pictures of you floating around as well which are good to see! I have sent you a letter, although the man in the post office didn't exactly fill me with confidence by asking if Costa Rica was in Asian and then trying to charge me 27p.... I hope you are having a great time whenever you see this, and that your adventure is still going as well as it sounds like it has so far! I can't wait to hear all about it properly! Lots of love and best wishes, Adam xxx

  13. Georgina Webster Alpha 5
    HEY! Emma and I can't believe your still alive and coping out there! Just by looking at the photos it looks like your having an amazing time! Read your mums post and WELL DONE FOR YOUR UNCONDITIONALS! Always knew you would get them! Oh, and I recorded coppers for you to watch when you get back, your dad was the highlight! Everything is fine back home just counting the days until your home! Keep me posted, missing you.
    p.s. My mother says hello
    p.p.s your instructions were useless when trying to post you a message! xxxxxxx

  14. Amanda P/Alpha5 from Ma2 March 2012 at 10:21

    Amanda P Alpha5!

    The other parents and friends have really summed it up well in their blogs so all I want to say is well done to you all. And I must admit I am jealous too reading about your adventure!


  15. For Emma Tivey Alpha 2 12B
    Hi Em,
    Hope your having an amazing time! I've been looking at all the pictures and updates and it looks fantastic out there. The trek looked amazing, hope your not too tired! Everything is absolutely fine here, Mum and Dad say hi and they are missing you. I am at home for the weekend and I rode Harls tonight, he was fantastic but misses you! Mum took him to the beach yesterday and she said he had so much fun! Mum spoke to Jackie a couple of days ago and everything is fine, they are all well! All the family are well too, they are all asking about you!
    Cant wait to see you soon! Love Mary xxxxxx

  16. Louise McIntosh6 March 2012 at 14:59

    Georgina Webster - Alpha 5

    Hey Gee, was really good to hear from you the other day, missing you loads! Looks like you are having an amazing time out there, so jealous of you, apart from the horrific sounding blister! hah. Hope its better now though! Well done for all your unconditional's, that's amazing! Knew you'd do well! :) Hope the rest of your trip is amazing and cannot wait to see you when you get home to hear all your stories :)
    Lots of love, Louise! xxxxxx



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