Raleigh: As ready as we'd ever be

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


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Flag of Costa Rica  , Cartago,
Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Once back from PPV, there were just five more days before the venturers would arrive. During our last days of VM training we had lots of forms to complete, soft skills to be covered and the last of the rum to be drunk!

Our first day back was spent knee deep in paperwork, completing risk assessments and updating casualty evacuation plans for our projects; as Monte Frio was a remote village, ours made for interesting reading! We were then granted our first and only full day off during our thirteen week expedition, which was welcomed with open arms by all. Some of the VMs went white water rafting, whilst the rest of us headed back to the local university swimming pool which had been the site of our swim test back on day two. The pool was a great little suntrap and we lounged, swam and had lunch at the onsite kiosk. A very relaxing day, a great way to recharge the batteries and time to reflect on our experience so far.

After all the hard skills training completed to date, we moved on to soft skills training in our last few days. Raleigh is a youth and sustainable development charity, so a big part of our job over the coming weeks would be to help to give the Venturers opportunities to develop their leadership, teamwork and communication skills and also increase their cultural awareness. We covered a range of topics and whilst not as physical as the hard skills training, it was still tiring for our poor little heads!

It was therefore important to unwind in the evenings and we became rather skilled at this too. It was also the last few days we'd spend with the 13H expedition VMs, as we'd soon be on completely different timetables. To liven proceedings up we had a Salsa night, led by our host Country Venturer Co-ordinator; a Celidh night, called my our resident angry Scotsman; and finally a quiz night, compared by our Country Programme Manager. The expedition would be alcohol free for the following ten weeks and we made the most of our last few nights. Each night went with a swing, helped along by the numerous bottles of Flor De Caña rum we'd brought back from our visit to Nicaragua.

With all our training in place and ready for a detox, we were as ready as we'd ever be!
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