Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Phase 1: A day in the life...Alpha 3

A day in the life of a Raleigh Volunteer with Alpha 3 in Pinapak

Phase 1 was a very busy phase for Alpha 3 and the group have provided an update on how the phase has gone.

Alpha 3 laying concrete
We have carried food, pipes, tools and gravel across a wobbly and wonky (but perfectly safe) suspension bridge and laid large pipes through the jungle (overgrown, mosquito ridden, hot, sweaty, sticky, stinky, dirty, but beautiful). 

Rek 'AKA Superman'
The pipe went from header tanks through the jungle and then to the 'villa' but unfortunately that only gave us a small amount of water and so didn't work very well. Overcoming this we then connected the pipes to the houses in the village and to the school and managed to get to 15 houses in the village and connect taps for them.

Jeremy, Louis and Holly laying pipe across the road
The fun didn't stop there though. We also carried 150kg of cement 1.5km on muddy, steep ground to the header tank - which was challenging in the heat. We then made a wooden frame for the cement, levelled the ground and mixed the cement by hand to make a platform for the header tank.

Becky and Josie pushing the tank up the hill
The group all wrote their names in the cement and then put the tanks on and connected them. Then there was water!!! It was luxurious to have an outside tap after having to walk to the nearest collection of rain water that was about 150 meters away for our drinks to provide us with 250 litres of water per day. It also makes things more convenient for washing our clothes as prior to the installation of the tap, the water source for washing was a nearby fast flowing river - we can only imagine the difference this will make to the villages daily lives.

The opening presentation
The opening ceremony for the village was on Wednesday 6th March and a big celebration of having water. We were really excited as this is the first opening ceremony of the 13C expedition so we were eager to see the reactions of the villagers. To mark the occasion we made a cement platform for the ceremony decorated with 'Raleigh 13C' on the cement to mark our hard work. The local villagers turned out in force, despite the torrential rain and everyone enjoyed the speeches from Raleigh, JKK and AFC as well as  the performances by Alpha 3, who wrote and performed a poem about their experience in Pinapak and from the local school children who played recorders and sang.   We feel proud and satisfied with our efforts and hope they will be able to look maintain the system so it will work for many years to come.

Alpha 3 with the village JKK and KK, and Eddie from AFC
Alpha 3 broke their three week experience into three key groups. Learning experiences, challenging experiences and fun/exciting experiences.
Becky, Aaron, Clara, PM Alison, Enrique and Holly
Under the learning areas came:
  • The laundry - hand washing
  • The house - living with so many people in an international group
  • Candle light - no electricity
  • Cooking - the challenge of cooking with Raleigh Rations and getting to experience local breakfast and deserts at the village cafeteria
  • Insects - enough said
  • Showering under a tap
The challenging parts were:
  • The suspension bridge - crossing it to get to the local shop and of course with all the tools and equipment in the early stages
Aaron and Eddie (from AFC) on the suspension bridge
The fun and exciting parts of Alpha 3's experience were:
  • Being welcomed into a helpful and friendly village
  • Sports with the community/friendly children
  • The river, the beach and sunbathing
  • Stargazing
  • The Alpha 3 family - very entertaining and a great group dynamic
  • The paradise flowers
  • The girls singing
A game of duck, duck, goose with the local children
Sounds like they've had a great first phase and with the opening ceremony too it's been a very busy one.

Over the last week Alpha 3 played sports with the local community and taught English in the school. They also celebrated the birthdays of Enrique and Nav with cake and flapjacks made out for the very popular breakfast porridge.
Farewell to Pinapak

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Naveed (Alpha five)
How are you? How is your new project coming along? I hope you are loving it. At last they put up something about your phase 1 project. It was good to see your photos and you look good and tanned. We miss you but I think its a very good time for you and I hope you are making use of that camera and that you are taking plenty of photos for us but don't forget to make sure you are in some of those photos and take photos by the waterfalls. It looks so beautiful and I hope you appreciate it as you are getting to see things that normal tourists will not see.

On Thursday is Navroz and we will be going to West London Khanne. It is dadimaas 80th birthday in April and dadimaa said she wants her party after you come back so it should be good. Zain is going to Costa Rica in july. Anyways I have written enough so I shall write again soon. Tc and we love you.

Lots of love
Dad, mum, and AK

Anonymous said...

To : louis Coster
Ily ! Give me news !
Ur coffe girl !