Monday, 12 March 2012

X-Ray 8: San Jose

X-Ray 8 arrived in Miraflor after 2 days on the bus from Costa Rica and thus far their time has been filled with cement volcanoes and explosive rivers on the worksite. The roof of their community centre is due to go on this week and the mural has been chosen by the community from our list of suggestions. The boys have taken to enjoying the Shania Twain power hour a little too much, mattocking topless in unison to ‘Man I Feel Like A Woman’. The macho-ness exuded by James, Hanko, Charlie and Andrew is almost overwhelming.

On our second night we were treated to an ‘unexpected’ visit from the X-Ray 3 trekking group, who had taken a wrong turn on their route. We spent the evening sharing tales from life on site but did not wake to say goodbye at 3am...
Groups have rotated work at the local school playing vast quantities of ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ in addition to the legendary ninja – the class of 15 can barely contain their excitement when we show up!

We couldn’t write a blog about our community phase without talking our amazing families. Gee and Azelle have had an eye opening experience following Don Gustavo’s topless Macarena and witnessing the slaughter of a pig! Azelle in particular has attained some firsts in experiencing the taste of eggs, and a drink of coffee (separately) for the premier time in her life. Gee on the other hand has failed miserably to teach her young ‘brothers’ ceilidh dancing, much to the amusement of the rest of the group.

Holly and Rosh have become the long lost daughters of doting Mother Angela, who seems to have a never ending family resembling a Spanish soap opera. They are slowly but surely working out who’s who. Hanko and Fu’s Dad is a Lad and has become the party house whilst James and Michael are cosy in the single bed!

On a honey search one evening, Michael managed to get stung in the mouth, but it was well worth it for the prize. Their Mum keeps them happy with hundreds of tortillas – the smell is seeping out of their pores.
Vicki and Jess are kept busy with communal card games and spending the night’s listening to Janer’s spectacular snoring!Andrew and Charlie met their Dad on the first evening in somewhat bizarre circumstances – having a nap against the garden wall.

On our day off we visited a waterfall which was well worth the walk and the group are taking it in turns to visit the cigar factory in Esteli this week.

Within the first day a quote list was compiled which has grown steadily:

Anna: Guys... Did you know i’ve been on trek (x1000)

Holly: Guys... It’s definitely raining.

Gee: Glasgow is better than Edinburgh
- This rain is really wet

James: I HATE people who think that bakewell tarts are the original bakewell puddings. They’re stupid.

Charlie: I’ve just sacrificed a camera saving a biscuit wrapper from that river (Pilkington’s commitment to Raleigh’s ‘Leave No Trace’ policy continues to impress)


All in all X-Ray 8 are having a banging time in Nicaragua and can’t wait to get started on the mural this week.


  1. George Moody X-Ray 5
    Hi George. Here’s the important news you’ve been waiting for: England beat France, in Paris, 24-22. Tries from Tuilagi, Foden and Croft but it was a nail biter right to the end. Priceless. All were immense and I will really enjoy watching it with you, with a beverage or two, on your return. Looks like the league will go to either Sam or Nige. You are mid-table and I’m just off the bottom. No Credibility was a good name to choose. Apart from that Wales beat Italy and Ireland beat Scotland: Earth still turning, DFS have a sale on etc.
    La Amistad and the Gigantes del Bosque looks amazing and well done for getting into so many photos - Mum was delighted. I understand you saw a monkey – or claim to. Perhaps it was looking for Will! Hopefully you are all managing to relax after your hard days work. Don’t suppose you have much trouble getting off to sleep but it must get interesting when the sun goes down and the forest comes alive to the sounds of night creatures. No doubt you’ll have some tales to tell about the giant bugs.
    Things in Banchory are much as you left them. Spring has sprung but we could always get more snow. Pepper had a minor op but is fine. The usual suspects will all be here for Super Saturday and then we’re off to a ceilidh at Woodend Barn.
    Take care and keep enjoying the adventure.
    Dad x

  2. For Joe Donovan - X Ray 2

    Hi Joe. Just back from my Course, and catching up with your progress. Sorry to hear about the little detour on your Corcovado trek - still a bit of sightseeing never hurt anyone, even if it was a swamp!

    You'll be pleased to know my Course was successful, and I am now better qualified than before - which may come in useful.

    You sound as though you are getting ever more intrepid, with your jungle forays. I bet you're having the time of your life.

    I'm looking forward to the new F1 season starting next weekend, and although it won't all be covered on the Beeb, there will be extensive highlights. With Räikkönen driving for the new Lotus (Renault) team, there'll be 6 world champions on the grid - should be interesting.

    Take care out there. We're all thinking of you, and are enjoying following your exploits.


  3. Danielle Dowding (Xray 1). Hi my angel, just wondering how your trek is going and hoping you are having an amazing time. You must be so fit by now that my little 10k run would be 'a walk in the park'. Shell played four pieces at the eisteddfod today; piano solo, violin solo and duets in violin and piano - all went well. She has one more piano solo on Saturday and then the Strings Orchestra and the Full Orchestra on the 24th. If this message had volume you would hear the yapping, with Molly on full volume as always. Oh yes, the Sharks won this weekend against the Lions but have to play the Reds next. Also, Man U is now topping the log. Keep smiling your beautiful smile angel and enjoy not being at school in that gorgeous uniform! Shell was on litter for her skirt being too short, they just don't make the leaders the same anymore! We all love and miss you so much. God bless, Mom, Dad and Shell xxx

  4. Holly Courtier - Xray-8.


    It's so good to hear things are going well!

    Things are all good back home. If you got my letter, the camp went really well, no (serious!) injuries, and incredibly it stayed dry!

    We also beat Southampton 24 - 0 the weekend before, so all in all a good few weeks!

    I hope things are still going great whenever you hear this! It's your birthday soon as well! I don't know if you have recieved it yet, but the team have sent you a whole load of cards and letters for your birthday.

    As you will be off on your little walk in the jungle I'm sure we can let you off opening them before you leave though!

    Hope all is well my dear, and you are still having a great time when you see this. I can't wait to hear all about it properly!


  5. Charlie Rombaut X Ray 4 - Hi Ratface, delighted everything going well, miss you lots but happy you are having an amazing time. Love Bampa xxxx

  6. Sharon Granville13 March 2012 at 16:06

    Maria Gerono XRay 6
    Liverpool 3 Everton 0 a hat trick for Stevie! Still 7th... Love Mum xxxx

  7. For Georgina X Ray 8
    Delighted to hear your update - sounds wonderful. I cannot wait to see your mural. Thanks for thinking of Ruaridh - Scott phoned up from RI to find out how he was on your behalf. He is fine, but very stiff and I think a little disheartened that the improvement has not been immediate. Leo has got into St Andrews and is therefore in dilemma. He is working nights at the Old Mill and days in the Butchers at Bruar! Very excited at learning all things gory - would have loved your pig slaying. I think he has decided to fly to Bali and travel up through Indonesia, ending in Borneo - on his own - terrified by Foreign Office website with high terrorism alerts - but will have to let go - again! Cesci trying to build up her repertoire of interviews and spent yesterday lunchtime at the dining table with Fraser, coming up with a dream list - which included Keith Chegwin!!! Dad still being recognised from Coppers and I am officially his agent! Fe came last weekend and is feeling v homesick. Jasper had 7 teeth out two days ago and so he will be on nursery food from now on - baby rice and mushed up stuff! Missing you loads little lou - hope to hear from you soon when you touch base again.
    Lots of love from all Websters XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  8. james wildgoose xray 8
    Darling James, Im so pleased you feel like a woman.! shania Twain is obvs much better than Paradise ! Coldplay.- or have you been away for too long.. im glad that your all having a great time,Harriet is coming home this weekend for the holidays she is really looking forward to the rest from uni etc,Johnny is also coming home for the night , which is lovely. so two out of three is not bad...hunter breezer candy are all in fine form,dad got the lawn done so vc is really looking like normal now and not a building site..yes i agree about the bakewell puddings.. i love to read your blog . were of to Chheltenham on Friday with Matthew and verena so that should be fun. gran gina and grandpa Paul and gran marg are all well. love and many many hugs for you my love and now ive read that your happy feeling like a woman perhaps i can see a photo of you as well...!
    loads of kisses hugs , from mum and dad haz and johnny.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  9. Family Craddock14 March 2012 at 10:11

    Amy Craddock, X-Ray 7
    Hello my pops
    How is it going? Up to some great activities and fun? Hope so as time can whizz by pretty darn quick. Here's a saying for you by Mary Hall who was a famous female explorer, 19th century 'Take every precaution but abandon all fear' You may not get another chance to engage in similar activities so make the most of it. We look forward to hearing all about it.
    Things fine at home. Planning a visit to Auntie Rebbe's soon but will probably also meet at Nat's workplace at the end of the month.
    Miss you.

    lots of love

  10. Danielle Dowding (X-ray 1/Fieldbase). Hey angel so sorry to hear about your fall and your knee. Please try and rest it and maybe you can help at fieldbase or do some painting or something that does not require too much stress on the knee. We love you and are so proud of you. I know how frustrated you are and that you want to be trekking with X-ray 1 but get the swelling down first. Love you and God bless darling. Mom, Dad and Shell xxxxxxxxxx

  11. Fleur Jansen Xray 8.Lieve Fleur: ik heb net nog een brief gepost, ik hoop dat deze in Costa Rica er is als jij op de basis bent.Morgen vertrek ik naar St Diego, dus nu nog pakken etc.Als jij op de basis bent , ben ik weer thuis.Joya is geslaagd voor haar rijexamen, ze was zo blij!Nu jij nog..Asja zoekt nog steeds een baantje gaat misschien bij het Zuiderbad werken.
    Met Binkie veel bekijks in Amsterdam, iedereen vind hem zon lief hondje.Op 2 april is hij jarig, 12 jaar!We waren heel blij met je smsje, even wat van je te horen.Hoe groot is de familie bij wie je woont>Ons huis is een troep met de verbouwing, soms ijskoud en veel stof, dus je hoeft het niet te missen.
    Tot gauw, ik mail weer vanuit St Diego veel liefs, ayo MBC

  12. Message for Matt Moore X Ray 9

    Just back from Chelsea - Oh what a night!!! Pippa did you proud as No. 1 fan xxxxx

    Meanwhile, hoping to hear news of your group's progress soon...

    Lots of love xx


  14. very important message for Roisin Carson x-ray 8
    Hey Roisin your Sister Rosanna is in the early stages of labour.. which means baby will be arriving any time now.... you may get this message after baby has been born but I am hoping you get it before... you will be back to base soon I will messgae you then... so watch your emails... love you lots Mum

  15. Fleur jansen Xray 8:lieve Fleur: even een berichtje uit St Diego.Superkoud hier en veel regen, komt hier maar 1x per jaar voor.Geen beachboys dus.Het congres is interessant, gaan Colette en ik hele dagen naar toe.Verder hard gelopen langs de haven, lekker italiaans gegeten en vandaag door het Bilbaopark gelopen, hele mooie natuur.Maar de natuur bij jou is heel erg mooi zie ik op de fotos, heb jij altijd lekker weer?Wij vertrekken hier morgen om 6 u sochtends naar Ned.Ik hoop je as vrijdag /zaterdag op de basis te spreken, sms je vooraf even?, dan kunnen we bellen via skyp.Ik kijk er naar uit.Hoelang doet de post erover van Ned naar Costa Rica? Veel liefs , tot gauw M

  16. HI Clive, not sure if this will get to you, find the system confusing. Still on 2012. Hear you have started a new stage called Xray 8. Hope you are managing well. We are fine weahter stil cold but getting tennis in. Very funny email going around with Berlisconi dress as the next pope did make us giggle. Elaine planning a meet for us to get together with B best to you Freda and Phil (X)



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