Welcome to the jungle

14th October 2013

For the past few days the venturers have been busy training. From cultural awareness to the phonetic alphabet – they have been briefed on every element of life on project. However the highlight of the schedule was Jungle Camp: a full day of trekking followed by a night in the beautiful Costa Rican countryside.

Their bags were heavy, the weather was wet, the trek was tough and the beds were made from stretchers and bamboo... But when I dropped in on Alpha Two the team was happier than ever!

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Ellie Wilson, Annie Stormonth-Darling, Becky Taylor, Annie Griffin 

So how did you begin the day?

Annie S: We got into our teams and learnt how to pack our bags for a trek. All the heavy stuff has to be packed in the middle of your bag so you don't hurt your back. I really have to get better at organisation though! Dry bags are good for that because you can separate your kit into different categories.

What were you carrying?

Annie S: We were carrying our own personal kit, plus we had to carry tents and cooking equipment and food. We're only here for one night though. On trek we're going to have SO much more food and we'll have to trek with it all in our bags. That's pretty worrying!

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How was the trekking?

Ellie: Trekking was hot. Really hot. And to be honest I found it really hard. You look at your bag and totally underestimate how heavy it is, but I'm hoping as time goes on we'll acclimatise. I think it's like with everything. When someone tells you you're about to do something hard you think, I can do that! But then you begin and you really question everything. But I know at the end I'll be thinking this is the best thing I've ever done. I feel like that after just one day!

Did you get sunburnt?

Ellie: I'll let you know tomorrow morning!

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Was the navigation challenging?

Annie G: Navigating was tricky because the maps in Costa Rica are older than the ones at home. Sometimes you come across roads that aren't meant to be there and you think, what?! Should we really go this way?!

And what do you make of the Raleigh Rations?

Annie G: So far they're fine! We're just cooking dinner now.

What's on the menu?

Becky: Pasta with tomato sauce and tinned veg. It really doesn't look too bad! I guess the repetition could get boring. But really, after a long day of trekking, I think we'll appreciate anything!

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Were there any highlights?

Ellie: Yeah, learning how to cross a river was awesome. I think the sights you see here are amazing. And when you actually take a chance to look up and stop feeling sorry for yourself you think wow, this really special. And it's cool walking together and talking and getting to know each other. You start to feel so close to everyone. Sitting in the tents with everyone this evening, you already start to feel like you're with your best friends. I love getting to know people!

Are you ready for phase one?

Everyone: of course we are!

Becky: But it'll be the biggest challenge of our lives. We'll be pushing ourselves so far out of our comfort zones.... But that's good. That's why we're here. There’s a lot of positive attitude in the group and that's going to take us far.

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