“Alpha 1 and All for 1!” Fieldbase VMs catch-up with Alpha 1 to see how they’re doing on trek

28th February 2017

Alpha 1 wake up with an energiser, on the morning of day 9
Alpha 1 wake up with an energiser, on the morning of day nine

Arriving just outside of Idodi on the evening of day eight, Alpha 1 warmly welcomed us to where they were setting up camp for the night. After catching up with everyone it was time to help around camp, pitching our tents, and assisting with cooking dinner, before getting some well earned rest ahead of trek the next day.

It was great to see the team rise bright and early, on the morning of day nine quickly packing up the campsite, and warming themselves up with an energiser, in anticipation of an 11km trek to the nearby village of Kitananwa, where the next campsite awaited.

Each team member took on a role, with the day leader, Anne, delegating jobs, such as fire-starter, breakfast cook, and jerry can filler, so that soon enough everything was packed and we were ready to start our journey.

Day leader Anne looking happy during the 11km trek, on day 9
Day leader Anne looking in good spirits during the day nine 11km trek

Teamwork was key during the trek, which with freshly stocked backpacks was tough, for Venturers and VMs alike. One of the often repeated mottos of the group “Alpha 1, and all for 1” was followed well with the buddy system encouraging cooperation throughout, and the team always checking to see if anyone needed to take a break.

Alpha 1 sticking together
Alpha 1 sticking together

Along the way we were greeted by friendly locals, allowing us to try out our newly learnt Hehe language, and treated to some amazing views of the Southern Highlands’ impressive mountains. Our trek leader Leons, who helped establish the adventure trek with Raleigh four years ago, was invaluable, providing lots of information about the route, the wider region and answered any questions we had on the local flora, fauna and wildlife. This included many questions on a large chameleon spotted amongst some tall grass near the end of our journey.

A chameleon spotted in tall grass, near to Kitananwa
A chameleon spotted in tall grass, near to Kitananwa

A sense of accomplishment, and relief, washed over the group as we made it to the new camp, after several hours of walking. The team ended the day in high spirits having reached the halfway stage of their 19 day trek, and came together around the campfire to eat dinner, debrief the day, as well as enjoy the surprise of some chocolate treats that we had brought along with us.

After waking the next morning Jazz, Ben and myself were (though a little sore) saddened to be heading back to Fieldbase, with Alpha 1 taking a rest day before continuing their journey the following day. It had been a short but enjoyable adventure, with an impressive group of young volunteers who had exhibited great positivity and teamwork.

Tamsin (L) and Percy (R) having fun walking through the long grass
Tamsin (L) and Percy (R) having fun walking through the long grass

Youth In Civil Society Tanzania