Raleigh: The Venturers descend on Fieldbase

Trip Start Feb 03, 2013
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Trip End Jan 25, 2014


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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Cartago,
Saturday, July 6, 2013

With 13G VMs numbering under thirty, the influx of almost sixty Venturers made a big bang. They were all aged between 17 and 24 years old and hailed from around the world.

As Raleigh is a UK charity, there would obviously be a large contingent from home; however alongside our host countries of Costa Rica and Nicargua, there would also be people from Bermuda, Hong Kong, Austalia, US and countries across Europe. The first Venturers to arrive, on the evening before the rest, were those from our host countries. They had been through a tough assessment process and as they had all met before, there was a definite comraderie. To welcome them to the fold, we held a Spanish evening; where speaking English was banned and our Spanish was put to the test. The evening was fun and also an insight into how these guys would feel, as the main expedition language would be English. An empañada contest was held, with our hosts as our teachers and whilst my team didn't win, we were very happy with our tasty results. It was therefore with smiles on our faces that we turned in early, in preparation for the big day ahead.

The rest of the venturers had spent the previous night, in the San Jose school gym; where two long weeks before, the VMs had slept their first night in too. We were therefore up early in the morning and given regular updates on their progress to Fieldbase. As the buses arrived packed with expectant faces, the host country guys treated us all to their expedition song and there was an air of excitement. The VMs were paired up, assigned groups to lead through the days activities and we progressed through a similar set of tasks to our first hours, with ice breakers, orientation and swim test covered off swiftly.

The venturers were housed in six "hotels" (tents), each sleeping around six people and a giant "resort" (marquee) for the rest. Showing them their new homes with wooden pallets for floorboards and black bags used for extra waterproofing, I felt rather lucky to be living in the VM outhouse! There were now so many people, that our cook Lucy gained an assistant and the cleaning rota got even more structured than before. Most were very cheery and keen, though there were nerves too for what lay ahead. It was good to be finally joined by these eager young people and the anticipation grew once more; for the imminent project allocations and getting stuck in to the hard work ahead.
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