Monday, 2 April 2012

Hola desde El Portillo!

Today is Monday and after living with our families for almost a week we are all settling in well and getting used to the Nicaraguan way of life. While eating lots of traditional food we are all practicing our Spanish followed by giving birth to loads of food babies! We have been lucky enough to try some of the pigs and chickens that were running around our houses a few days earlier. Some of the venturers had the opportunity to milk a cow and as a reward have tasted the fruits of their labour – delicious ‘arroz con leche’ (rice pudding).

After a slow start on the building of the new eco-latrines, work is now going well and we are developing our construction skills – taught by the locals. We are all now nearly experts in cement mixing and brick-laying, so we have a plan B for when we get home. The eco-latrines we are building are more environmentally friendly than traditional long drop latrines. They are more sustainable in the long term as they provide compost for the soil and prevent contamination of the water.

Every afternoon, after work, the kids gather around the school excited for their English lessons taught by the venturers. they are keen to learn all kinds of subjects but 'ninja' seems to gain the most interest. They are all very interested in all us 'cheles' and use us as climbing frames, teddy bears, and they love tickling.

Much Love to everyone at home Zulu 6


  1. Adri, Zulu 3

    ADRI!!! what's this about you being in another zulu 3 trek? that's crazy. how's it going? missing those tent nights with me, morrin and enma? hahahahaha. hope you're having lots, lots, and lots of fun, powering through and take care of those knees!

    miss you tons
    jez xxxxx

  2. Adri Rodriguez - Zulu 3

    Adriiiiiiiiiiii que espera pa regresar, suerte en Nicaragua, intente mantener a como sea posible los mejores atardeceres de este mundo en su mente!! Puras buenas vibras y positivismo, ya esperándola para pegar algun toursillo!



  3. For George Moody - Zulu 1
    Hi George. By the time you get to read this I guess your adventure will be just about be over. The Turrisantos trek sounds amazing - we are all very envious. I hope you get to swim in the Pacific. Or are you heading the other way? It’s been difficult to follow exactly where you are - too off piste for Google Earth. Hope the blisters aren’t hideous and the legs are holding out. There were some great photos of you in the latest slide show: you look tanned and healthy and the beard looks good. Can’t wait to see your own photos when you get back.
    News from here is that England lost the 1st Test to SL by 75 runs. Strauss is just plain hopeless – how many tests is that they’ve lost on the bounce? Second test started today but I’m not holding my breath. You’ll be pleased to hear that Gavin Henson has been sacked by Cardiff Blues after a 7am, alcohol fuelled fracas on a plane. Must have been really bad as FlyBe have banned him! This weekend we’re going to see Edinburgh vs Toulouse at Murrayfield in the Heineken QF. We’re flying out for skiing the next day. Don’t really need to fly anywhere for that right now: woke this morning to a frozen pond and 3 inches of snow! In April! Last week Aboyne broke the March temperature record of 23 degrees - this week it’s just 3 degrees. Cold, wet and nasty and such a huge contrast to what you’re enjoying. I need you back to clear the drive!
    We’re so looking forward to seeing you after you’ve travelled down south. Take care and keep in touch when you can. Love Dad x

  4. Hé Sjoerd (Zulu 6), Met elke latrine die jij aanlegt en elke baksteen die jij metselt komt Peru dichterbij. Heb inmiddels een hotel in Lima geboekt en geregeld dat jij in de keuken mag helpen, kamers mag opruimen en de stoep mag bezemen. Je moet je opgedane skills blijven koesteren, nietwaar? Met Marc naar Fnoord-Nac geweest; draak van wedstrijd maar wel 3-1 winst. Onze voortuin is veranderd in een plantenloze woestenij, maar dat zal dankzij Mamma snel veranderen. Genia is vorige week iPhone kwijtgeraakt tijdens schooluitje naar Lille. Je begrijpt, drama, maar er gloort weer leven. Kus Pappa

  5. Georgina Webster Alpha 5

    It's Emma here. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to do this, i lost the bit of paper Erin had given me, and took me about a day to work out this website! Having a Mare!
    I got your postcard, sounds like you're having just the best time, everything you do sounds so georgina! In your element! And "i met a real like gap yah person" GEE, YOU ARE A REAL LIVE GAP YAH PERSON NOW!
    The volcano sounded awesome, and more importantly- PAINT PARTY- eh hello! Please can we have one of them!
    thank you for your birthday message too, i had such a lovely night, missed you loads there though. When you get home we can FINALLY have that edinburgh weekend! (classic Em and Gee)Just now i'm just on the revision, but 10 days left of school! ( and i just got an unconditional from RGU and a conditional for napier and edinburgh, so i'm defo into uni!!!)
    Soooo much to catch up on it is ridiculous. It has completely flown by that you've been away, sooo happy your home soon. Can't wait to see you hottie! (I had a dunkeld sesh when you were away, it wasn't the same at all) Can't wait to hear all your stories. Anyway, i love you, and i'll be seeing you soon.
    Em xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  6. Zulu 4 James WILDGOOSE.
    Darling jim, happy 19th birthday. We are at the Ronnie thinking of you. Had a few gorge days skiing. As dad would say hot dawwggg.( It's his new thing) hope whatever you're doing is fab and is going great. We miss you the whole time. Non non won't stop yabbing on about it - he needs a few big bro talks what with his new date! Haha. And he's skiing better than you! And so is mum.... The sun has just gone in probs a lot warmer where you are. Mum and dad think youre soooooo grown up in all of your photos. Awwww. Mum says stay safe, avoid the fracas and snakes. Dad says check your sleeping bag on your birthday for snakes! And non non says hes skied a couloir you've yet to do le grande couloir...
    We are off for a hot plate.
    Lots of love Haski, non, mum and dad. Xxxx


  7. Phillip Houghton - Zulu 2

    Hello Hun! Hope phase 3 is going well and you're enjoying it! Not long now until you're back but it feels like it's going twice as slow!! Loved the pics from phase 2 looks like it was good fun and can't wait to see all the ones you've took. All is good here, on easter 'holidays' now, not that i'd really call it a holiday haha. It looks like you may of missed our lovely sunny weather but hopefully it'll get better again for you when you're back :) Remember to keep safe and make the most of the last week and abit!! missing you lots, Love keana xxxx

  8. Hello Zulu 6: this is for Max Lilley. hi Max: sounds like you're having fun; a bit less arduous than phases 1 and 2?! We all would love to be there however Dad, Sam and I are going to Abersoch for Easter; grey, cold and rainy the forecasters say! Alex is in Dubai tho she didn't want to go and cried at the airport!! I check the weather in Costa Rica and Nic every day: looks dramatic!! All is well at home; Rocket and Rosie well; Paul and Pippa too; we all miss you looooads! Hope these messages get through!!! All my love Mamma xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  9. Marsden family3 April 2012 at 23:36

    Samuel Marsden - Zulu 6
    Hey Sam,
    Glad to hear that the eco-latrines are going well and that your adoptive families are taking good care of you. Not sure that you will be able to practice milking at home but I'm certain your new construction skills will impress your dad and he may well set you on when you come to Moscow, either cementing or teaching English!

    The locals in Moscow are v. welcoming and love having the opportunity to practice their English. You will have plenty to do as there are tons of fantastic places to visit aside from Red Square/Kremlin etc. (ie,museums/art galleries/cathedrals/parks,etc). Molly and I visited Lenin's Mausoleum yesterday and then went to one of the many parks and stumbled upon the ruins of an ancient Tsar's palace - very little commercialisation and everything is highly understated.
    Ollie is having a great time skiing in Alp D'Huez, although he was a bit embarrassed on the first day when his salopettes ripped all the way down the back at the top of the slope. He also suffered with a bit of altitude sickness when they first arrived but he's fine now.
    Can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks and Molly is really lookiong forward to finding out about 'ninja'. Please thank your family on our behalf for taking such good care of you and we hope you continue to make good progress with your spanish. Loads of love, Mum, Dad, Ol and Mol. xxxx

  10. To Diana Hindle Fisher Zulu 7
    From Hindle Fishers
    Hi darling, just to let you know I can change your flight so just need to be sure what date you want me to change it to, so when your get back to field base either ring or email and I will sort it out. Hope you're enjoying your last phase and looking forward to travelling on. Not much news here except Is has got her extra year which is great. Off to Cornwall tomorrow so will be thinking of you especially on Monday! Have a very happy birthday! Tons of love, M & D xxxxxxxxxxx

  11. For Callum Hunter Zulu seven Naranjita Nicaragua
    Hi Callum,
    Looking forward to seeing Ellie tomorrow, she visited the Taj Mahal at dawn, what's she going to like like when she gets home? Dreads/ henna'ed feet/ nose ring? She sounds good in her messages but haven't spoken for ages. Am thinking that Kevin might be interested in your self build: 'Great eco-idea but has Callum got the energy to finish it? Do the bricks fit snugly? Do you get to decorate the finished product?
    Maybe you can build me a clay bread oven in the garden?
    Much love from us all, Ma xxxxx

  12. For Joe Donovan Zulu 1

    Hey you! I conquered the Inca trail, had an absolutely awesome time and can't wait to tell you about it! Hope your trek is going well and your new boots are behaving themselves!
    2 weeks to go...
    All my love
    Anna xxx

  13. bente mikkelsen4 April 2012 at 08:14

    hello Thea Zulu4
    now we are in the montains. there is approx. no snow but we have challenged the nature and have had very nice skiing for 1,5 to 2,5 mil. Cigne is very happy and Mattis and ragnhild has been here. i miss you a lot and think of you every day. i love all pictures (to few) of you. lots and lots of love.


  14. Victoria White4 April 2012 at 09:29

    FAO Amanda Peterson

    Hiya pal! I loved recieving your letter - where did you get your writing paper/envelopes from? I want them!

    Things are good at home, it's been really hot in London this week althou aparently there was snow in Edinburgh yesterday! You've got to love the British weather! (awful chat, I'm sorry!) I'g going home tomorrow for the long Easter weekend which will be nice, looking forward to seeing the girls and having a good night out in the Lizard!!

    I saw Eamon and Jamie Doubleday on Saturday and we had a good night out which was fun! Sadly the date I was telling you about in my last letter did NOT go well!!

    I can't believe how quickly time has gone since you've been out there ... looking forward to your return, I miss you in my life!

    I hope you are all well and safe!

    Lots of love
    Victoria xxx

    Hola Sam! Que tal tu nuevo paraiso?!
    Your Big Day is coming up, and it appears to be very complicado to send you a regalito. Will have to make it up once u r back to civilization. Hope u r behaving like a true Batsam! Cuidate. Un abrazo,

  16. Caroline de Jongh5 April 2012 at 01:22

    Caroline de Jongh for Tess de Jongh Zulu 6
    Lieve Teske, hoe gaat het in je nieuwe woonplaats in Nic? JE zal wel als een soort bouwvakker terugkomen en kippen kunnen vangen als ik het zo lees! We missen je met Pasen want we zijn met alle families bij elkaar. Misschien kun je ze daar ook leren eieren te zoeken en de paashaas. Nog even en je gaat heerlijk relaxen en op reis. Ben weer zoo benieuwd naar je verhalen. Hele dikke knuffel en kus van mama. Take care xxx

  17. mark wardle- heey marky, I got your card ! thankyou soo much it was a really nice surprise seeing the "from costa rica " haha its such a special card as well, ... sounds like your having fun and that kids still climb all over you like they always have :p xxxx
    love katie x

  18. Zita Jankovich5 April 2012 at 12:49

    For Ravenna Westerhout Zulu 3.
    Lieve Ravenna, weet niet of mijn berichten allemaal doorkomen want ik kan ze niet altijd terugvinden. Maar weet dat we veel aan je denken en dat we ongelooflijk trots op je zijn wat je tot nu toe hebt gedaan en wat je nu aan het doen bent!Ben benieuwd hoeveel kilometer je al hebt gelopen, wat je onderweg hebt gezien, of je een oog dicht doet, of je al een wat water onderweg bent tegengekomen waar je lekker in kan plonsen, of de vulkaan rommelt etc. Wij wensen je een fijn Pasen toe - ik denk niet dat er een eitje inzit, of misschien kom je onderweg wat kippen tegen..Wij ketsen op jouw gezondheid en verheugen ons enorm om je weer te zien en alle verhalen te horen. Hou vol in de wildernis! heel veel liefs mammie

  19. for lucinda ryan. zulu 7
    lucinda, hope all is going well. thank you for the pc which arrived today. A and T got theirs also. R and E arr for Easter yesterday. All send lots of love and asking how all is going. Not long now until you are back at base and catching up.
    Happy Easter and lots and lots of love.
    Missing you lots darling.
    Ma xxx

  20. For Joe Donovan - Zulu 1

    Hi Joe. I think I've got my Alphas, X-Rays & Zulus sorted out now, sorry for the confusion.

    By now you're probably well into your final stint in the jungle, and up to your neck in mud & insects, and the luxurys of Fieldbase are already a fond memory. Still it sounds like you've got a good team around you, and are obviously enjoying the experience enormously.

    Hope the injuries are holding up, and you can safely make it to your final destination. I bet your thoughts are turning towards Panama, and the time you've got planned there. Hopefully there'll be a few more home comforts lined up !!

    We've just finished work for Easter, and are looking forward to a 4 day weekend - Hooray! Nothing planned yet, but the mere thought of a few days off is bliss.

    Sports Update (as always): Wolves disappearing over the horizon as the rest of the Premiership leave them behind. They are 6 points adrift at the bottom. Now there's talk of Ole Gunnar Solsjar taking over!. Good news & bad for Chelsea - Good - they are through to the Champ League Semis - Bad - they're playing Barca. The other semi is Real v Bayern. What a belting final in Munich it'll be, whoever gets there. ManU are doing their usual and running away with the Premiership (6 points clear). City are in disarray. No more F1 until 15th April. Everton in the FA Cup semi - that'll please your Bro-in-Law.

    All else is well here. Take care, and vaya con dios (see I can do spanish too - a bit!)


  21. BATSAM ZULU 7 FELIZ PASCUAS. The sun has returned and the sky is blue but quite cold. OD reunion for Ben last night and C-Ms here for supper tomorrow. Two special people will be sorely missed. Lots of golf being played and late night watching of the experts from Augusta. Ollie back from Verbier tonight where he claims the sun has shone and the pow wonderful. Not sure whether to believe him!!! I hope the Easter Bunny visits Nicaragua. Love you and miss you lots MUMXX PS Hope the knees are recovering well.

  22. Samuel Marsden ZULU 6

    Hi Sammy it's molly are you enjoying yourself I love you lots and lots can't wait for you to get home I think oliver is looking forward to moving into your bedroom you will love russia

    Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of love

    from Molly


  23. For Max Lilley and Zulu 6; Happy Good Friday everyone. Xxxx
    Degsy, Teddy, Sammy from Abersoch and Alan from Dubai xxx

  24. Message for Katie Philpott Zulu 6

    HAPPY EASTER!!!! Hope you enjoy the holiday - sounds as though you are celebrating with the local people - enjoy!!! Having had a day of snow earlier this week - after a couple of weeks of sunny weather - it was nice enough today to do some gardening. Taking Grandma out for lunch tomorrow and to theatre in the evening - then Linda coming for fleeting visit, followed by Ruth, David and Andrea. L and A also coming home. Missing you loads - enjoy last few days in Nicaragua. Lots of love Mum and Dad xxxxxxxxxxxx

  25. For Zulu 4, Amanda Payne-Danson. Happy Easter or ¡Felices Pascuas! Hope your final project is going well and that you aren't suffering too much with the continuous sunshine after the rain! In Bath for a few days, spent a couple of hours in the library on dissertation. Look forward to seeing you soon! xxx

  26. For Afsana Tahirova, Zulu 7
    The rhinoplasty went well. Zulush now with a slightly new and better nose. She is very happy. Otherwise everything is the same. I mean the grandma and grandpa, Ulvi etc. are doing what they were always doing.
    Biiiiig hug.



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