And so Expedition 13D begins…

4th June 2013

“This is Africa!!” Hendrick, our driver, laughed at us as we raised our eyebrows at the long, crawling procession of almost-stationary lorries, buses and 4x4s, all of which seemed to be travelling the very same route as we were. We, the advance team of Volunteer Managers (VMs), were on the journey from the airport at Dar El Salaam, where we had just arrived, to Raleigh Tanzania’s Fieldbase in Morogoro, our home for the next fourteen weeks.

What surprised us most of all was the calmness of the queue of drivers, who, despite the heat, stayed in their vehicles and unwound their windows only to buy nuts from one of the enterprising sellers walking up and down alongside them. No road rage and beeping horns here, it seems!

But, it soon emerged that Hendrick had other ideas for us. We were due back at Fieldbase to meet the rest of the team and enjoy our first lunch together, and this was no time to hang around. The next thing we knew, we and the other Raleigh 4×4 (driven by Carolyn) were expertly leading a new third lane of traffic, off-roading along a grass verge and leaving the jam in our dust. We were back on our way.

After a total of five hours, a jaded but excited team of 8 VMs had arrived at Fieldbase in Morogoro, ready to kick off Raleigh Tanzania’s 2nd expedition, 13D.

Fieldbase

– Zola (Head of Security) outside Fieldbase –

Now we’ve had a few days to settle in to our new home, we are busily preparing for the arrival of 16 Project Managers next Sunday, 9th June, and 65 Venturers a fortnight later, on Monday 24th June.

All are volunteers who have left their day-to-day lives behind to make a positive impact here in Tanzania over the next few months, working in partnership with local communities and project partners to increase access to primary education; promote the sustainable use of natural resources and mitigate the risk of human-animal conflict.

Alongside the work they carry out on project site, there is a lot that happens behind the scenes, and that’s where the Fieldbase Team comes in. Let me introduce us…

The Expedition Management team is made up of Jim, Country Director, who focuses on delivering Raleigh’s strategic aims and keeping the music pumping here at Fieldbase; Ellie, Country Programme Manager, who is responsible for managing and delivering Expedition 13D; and Mike, Deputy Programme Manager, who works closely with Ellie to ensure a successful, smooth-running expedition.

CPM

– Mike and Ellie, busily planning –

Team Logistics is made up of Adam, Claire, Rosie and Jovin, and they are here to ensure our volunteers never run out of equipment or food. As the budget holders and decision-makers when it comes to our food rations, they wield a great deal of power over the expedition!

Logistics2

– Adam, Claire, Rosie and Jovin in the Logs Store –

Sarah is our Advance Team Medic, and along with the other two medics who are due to join us next week (Christine and Andy), her role is to provide medical support throughout the expedition. Safety is at the heart of everything we do here at Raleigh, and this team’s work is incredibly important in ensuring all our volunteers and staff remain safe and well.

Medic

– Sarah making an inventory in the Medic Room – 

Erin and I make up Team Comms, and we will be working closely together to share the expedition with you all, and ensure those involved don’t forget a moment of the experience. You’ll rarely see Erin without a camera, or me without a notebook!

Comms and Photography

– Erin and I (Helen) in Comms Corner –

Martin and Franco make up the Host Country Volunteer recruitment team, and they are responsible for signing up local VMs and venturers from around Tanzania to join our expeditions. They’re also teaching us Swahili, starting with the important words first, e.g. chakula (food)!

HCV team

– Martin and Franco –

In the group photo below, you will also find the in-country staff and the International Citizen Services (ICS) Expedition team, who are all an integral part of the Fieldbase team, too. You’ll hear more about them and the other VMs and venturers over the coming weeks.

Fieldbase Team

– The entire Fieldbase team –

Back row, l to r: Rosie, Helen, Franco, Claire, Adam, Mike, Sarah, Jim, Erin Carolyn, Hendrick, Fredrick, Zola; Front row, l to r: Chris, Jovin, Ellie, Martin, Naomi, Karume, Sarah.

 

 

 

 

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