September saw three Guild Homes employees climb Mount Kilimanjaro in a bid to raise funds for Raleigh International. After fantastic success not only reaching the highest point in Africa at 5895m, but also raising over £2000, October saw one of the group members, Charlotte, set off on her journey to Costa Rica to deliver the funds personally.
This adventure would be nine weeks long and be split into 3 separate phases. Before setting off, Charlotte said: “I know the biggest challenge will be not having any contact with home for three weeks at a time, but I’m looking forward to seeing a whole new environment out there.”
Phase 1 - Charlotte was tasked with her environmental phase. Whilst camping in an incredibly remote region, known for its infestation of all things that crawl and slither, the team set about their task of repairing the Rio Negro walking trail through La Cangreja National Park. This turned out to be a very challenging phase, in the heavy rains of Costa Rica the mud was thick and every long day was back breaking work for the whole team. However, Charlotte tells us: “the worst bit of the phase was definitely when a fer-de-lance snake - which is the most aggressive snake in the world - decided to visit our camp and was making itself comfy in our beds. Luckily, our ranger managed to save us, but we all made sure our mosquito nets were well tucked in that night!”
Phase 2 – a chance to see Costa Rica: the trek phase. The Guancaste Trail traversed right across Costa Rica with the team covering just under 300 miles in 3 weeks, with 30kg each on their backs.
Describing the experience, Charlotte said: “this was harder than any of us could have ever imagined. Waking at 3.30am and walking for nine hours a day, with all our kit in the high heat and humidity was so difficult, not only physically but mentally. However, the scenery was breathtaking.”
Phase 3 - the final phase: water and sanitation, and a chance to complete a project that Raleigh has been working on for some time. Charlotte was really looking forward to this phase, living with a family in the village of Isiqui. The focus of the phase was to develop the village water system that has not been properly maintained since it was built nearly 30 years ago.
Charlotte tells us “I was really looking forward to this part, as I know that when we left Isiqui we had successfully extended the pipelines and stopped the contamination, to supply the whole village with safe drinking water. This is what it had all been about for me, to see the difference I had made.”
Charlotte recently returned home. just in time for Christmas, and we've been excited to hear all about her adventure - well done Charlotte!
07 January 2016
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