17KL Volunteer Manager training: Practice Trek and Allocations

19th June 2017

It has been a very exciting week for the expedition volunteer managers (VMs) and medics. On Thursday, the team headed out on a practice trek around the Uluguru Mountains to prepare them for 19 days of trekking around Iringa. The following day, phase allocations were announced and the newly formed teams began preparing for their project planning visits (PPV). During phase one of expedition there will be one group working on a natural resource management project, two groups working on WASH (water, sanitation & hygiene) projects and one group will be trekking.The VMs will next spend three nights on PPV, visiting the communities they will be working in and preparing for the arrival of the group. First, they embarked on their practice trek offering a great insight into life on trek, helping to build team work skills and allowing the volunteer managers to put their medical training into practice.

Practice Trek

The team started out bright and early with an intro to trek from logistics manager Nicki. We were introduced to each piece of kit we would be carrying and then the items were distributed evenly amongst the team. After a lesson in how to correctly wear a rucksack, we divided into two groups and set off 15 minutes apart.

Jenny, Julia and Lisa work together to set up the practice washing up station

During the trek, we came across a river and had to brainstorm the safest ways to cross. Forming a line, we safely crossed holding on to the person in front.

Esther and Lewis study the route map and GPS coordinates

For lunch we had our first taste of ‘Raleigh Rations’ which consisted of crackers, tuna, sardines, nuts and banana chips, which surprisingly filled us up and fueled us for the rest of the hike. After lunch we practiced assembling the tents before dealing with a ‘medical emergency’.

The group learning how to assemble the tents

Team medic Julia ‘fell over and broke her foot’, triggering a practice medical emergency. We had to work together and use the training we received throughout the week to assist the patient. This was a brilliant test of team work and it was great to be able to put into practice what we had learnt during induction. After communicating with Vanessa back at fieldbase we had to get Julia out to the road. Working together, with medic Jenny and trek leader Lewis leading the way, we stretchered Julia to ‘a waiting car’. Executing the casevac successfully was a great end to a brilliant day on trek. We can’t wait for the real thing now!


17KL Volunteer Managers wait to hear who they will be allocated with for the first phase

The following day, after much anticipation, the groups received their phase one allocations. After allocations, the new teams had to work together to create a catapult and had the opportunity to egg expedition deputy operations manager (DOM) Fanuel, much to the enjoyment of the other DOMs. The new teams had a few days to get to know one another better before they headed out on their project planning visits.

Fanuel in protective gear, ready to act as a target for the newly allocated VM teams

So, let’s meet the Phase One teams:

Alpha 1, Trek – Lutufyo, Esther and medic Julia

Esther, Julia and Lutufyo brainstorm ideas for their egg throwing contraption

Alpha 3, Natural Resource Management (Ikaning’ombe) – Lewis and Kisare

Lewis and Kisare work with ICS medic Emily during the slingshot challenge

Delta 1, WASH (Mlanga) – Linzie, Kabula and medic Rachel

Rachel, Kabula and Linzie get their chance to try out their creation

Delta 2, WASH (Nyamwezi) – Raymond and Lynda

Lynda and Raymond set up the perfect shot

What’s next:

Thursday 22nd June: Teams return from PPV

Monday 26th June: The venturers arrive

Friday 30th June: Teams depart for their projects

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Words Alice and Rosie. Photos Rosie.

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