Monday, 11 March 2013

X-Ray 7: Tapping into Matapalo

X-Ray 7 have been working incredibly hard in Matapalo, a remote village in the Achuapa region of Nicaragua to install a gravity fed water system providing an improved water source of clean and safe water. They have almost finished supplying 30 of the community access to this water. As previously expressed in their blog for women's day: Women, X-Ray 7 and Water this project is not going to just provide clean and safe water but time, for every member of the community to go to school, to socialise, and better their health. To celebrate Women's day the team hosted a community morning with face painting and a puppet show about women and water.
PM Paul, when asked about his project he said: it's grrrrreat!
Flavia taking her face painting task very seriously
PM Emma with one of the younger butterflies of Matapalo
Shadow puppetry, explaining their lives through art
Pin the tail on the donkey
X-Ray 7's update from Matapalo

As we took our seats on the luxury Transnica coach early on Sunday morning, we thought the 20 hour journey to our destination would pass in a haze of air conditioning, reclining seats and cheap films. And for a while it did. But then, as we roused ourselves with some morning porridge, looking ahead of us was the yellow abomination in which we would spend the second day of our journey. The following 10 hours dragged by in a nightmare of Spanish translated 80s power ballads!

Many goodbyes were shared with friends from phase 1 as we fropped off Xrays 8 and 10 at San Ramon and Miraflor respectively, but we struggled on and made it to our overnight stop in the town of Achuapa. The next morning we endured an hour on an old Canadian school bus and walked the remaining few kilometres to our destination of Matapalo.

On arrival, we were split into our groups and met our mums and dads-to-be for the next 2 weeks. The welcoming faces of our host families highlighted that we were now really a part of their isolated community. This made us all feel instantly at home, and it is this sense of community which makes our project here so special.
A typical family homestay PM's Cali, Emma and Paul live here with Norberto and Sylvia and their family picture below
Since our arrival we have finished digging the trenches in which we will lay the pipes to provide safe drinking water to four families, all of whom are currently hosting fellow Xray 7 venturers. The sense of gratification achievable here on our project is extremely motivating, and it is a special feeling watching trenches and pipes creep closer to houses and families in need of clean water.
Almost there - clean and safe water supplied to homes in Matapalo
We feel blessed here in Matapalo as after a hard days work we can relax in the idyllic setting of the river, which is just a short walk from our houses (under supervision of at least 2 PMs). We cannot wait to see the looks on our families’ faces when the first drops of water emerge on their doorsteps and we will all be truly sad to leave this unique and vibrant community.

This blog was written by Olly Wolrond and Josh Arbon X-Ray 7's Project Comms Officers, X-Ray 7 and Alpha 1 worked incredibly hard and this project has now been completed. All of the houses of Matapalo, due to previous Raleigh Expeditions and this one have been provided with clean, safe running water - an amazing achievement by everyone.


  1. Daniel Carranza X-RAY 5, Isla San Lucas.
    Lunes 11 de marzo.
    Hola hija preciosa! espero que estés bien y muy contenta aprovechando al máximo esta linda experiencia. Te cuento ayer fue la fiesta de los 50 años de tío Néstor estuvo preciosa, fue en la Maquita, estuve observando las montañas y hacia el pacífico y pensaba en tí, pero estaba contenta porque que sé que estás bien y disfrutando mucho. Por favor apenas estés de vuelta llamame porque la voy a estar esperando. Por aquí gracias a Dios todo está bien. El miércoles voy con papi para Nandayuri, nos vamos por el ferri y regrasamos el mismo día. Bueno hija cuidese mucho porque te estoy esperando, un besote y un abrazote. Te AMO MUCHOOOO....BENDICIONES!

  2. To Jelme, ray3,
    Beste Jelmer, ik ben even bij je moeder en heb net die woeste foto's va jou bekeken, geweldig met een hoog bushbush percentage! Van harte gefeliciteerd met je 18e verjaardag,als je thuis komt mag je nu ook met de vuist op tafel slaan, groetjes ook van Roelof natuurlijk - die zit heel saai op school. Prijs je maar gelukkig! Anke.

  3. Looks like great work everyone! What an achievement!

  4. Emma Holder X-Ray 3,
    Hey gorgeous, saw the blog and OMG you have had some serious conditions. What a challenge, you look battered and happy all at once! The views are amazing, the climbs look worth it to see such views. I am soooo impressed. You are probably back at Field Base reading this, so well done you!!!!
    Kate and Dil had baby Gilbert on 3rd March, Dil delivered, they had been here for supper the sat eve and Kate started 3.30am, Gilbert born by 5.30am, must have been the Junor food!
    I have booked flights to France for us!!! We go for 12 days on 31st July, fab!
    Everyone here is ok, can't wait to speak to you, love and miss you very much, Mamen xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  5. Joe O'Gorman X-ray 1
    Hi Joe
    Hope you are enjoying the last bit of your trip. I am afraid you are coming back to chilly weather.
    We are all looking forward to seeing you next week and hearing all your stories about your trip. I hope the camera made it!
    We left your car at Dads for you.
    Love you Hun, take care and be safe.
    Love Mum and Ash

  6. Amy Finch X Ray-6

    Hey Ames!

    How's it going! Looks like you're having such an epic time and doing lots of amazing things. I'm impressed you've even managed to get a sun tan- which is an achievement in itself haha.

    Mum, Gran and Granddad send their love, Gran's doing really well - she's back home now with one of those awesome electric beds. It wasn't long after you left that she was able to walk again and made various escape attempts haha.

    Can't wait to hear about all your adventurers when you get back (and more importantly watch Game of Thrones!!!

    Love and miss you lots - hope you to continue to have an incredible time!!!




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