X-Ray 9 clockwise from top left: Anouk, PM Denise, Henry, Rachel, Akalia, Nacho, PM Shane, Katy, Angus, Fay(white top), Tabs, Ollie, Greg(posing on ground), PM Medic Marisa, Alex and Freddie. The team are standing outside the comedor a previous Raleigh group completed.Since arriving at La Carona on the Conte Burika Peninsula, X-Ray 9 has become immersed in community life. Waking up to food prepared by the local women of La Carona, worikng in partnership with the local men and playing with the local chidren not only brings home the importance of our project but alows us to gain an incredible insight into indigenous life in Costa Rica.
Rachel and Henry working with the community
Fay, Anouk and Akalia: trekking 3km to and then 3km back, taking materials to the Health Post siteLearning about the medical situation here has only reinforced our desire to integrate with the community and demonsrate how desperately the health post is needed. With 400 Ngobe indigenous people living an 7 hour journey to the nearest serious health facility, it is immediately apparent as to the necessity of a health centre. The current status quo as it stands is simply not adequate. Annually a doctor visits once every 2 months, staying for only 3 days. Raleigh's work here is, in my mind essential and the entire group are completely committed to this project.
Alex and Shane using all of their strength
Ollie and NachoIt's also quite a bonus working in a place where I literally lack the eloquence to convey any sense of how beautiful it is. A short walk from La Carona will take you to a point where you can look out over the Costa Rican and Panamanian sides of the peninsula, with the Pacific surrounding you and stretching out to the horizon. La Carona is itself almost an eden, nestling within the rainforest, removed from normal Costa Rican life by it's remotness, and obviously alternative cultural heritage. The women all wear vibrantly colourful, flowing dresses and the local language Guayami is proudly spoken alongside spanish. On certain evenings you can even hear evangelical singing drifting across from the local church.
Katy, Marisa, Sebastian the Maestro and AngusIt's impossible not to be moved by the sight and sounds of La Carona. Simply being here has given me a chance to reflect upon not only my own life but the myriad number of lives going on with entirely different perspectives and aspirations. There is not enough time to write in full about what the rest of X-Ray 9 are taking from this experience, but if it's a fraction of what i'm feeling then i'm sure it will be life changing for them as well.
The area where the team eat, review and have been entertaining the road trip crew - the two Simons are hiding in amongst the team.
Freddie writing his inspiring X-Ray 9 blog
The Health Post is making brilliant progress and looks even better when sprinkled with some X-Ray Niners