Arrived in fieldbase just outside Turrialba (Turri) absolutely knackered after long flight squashed in cattle class. Quick stopover in Miami (nightmare of an airport) and then on to San Jose where we were met by Sabrina and Wellard. Not so bad a flight considering some people ended up in Panama and another lost luggage.
Fieldbase is in a valley bowl between mountains and close-ish to a volcano (recently stopped rumbling and re-opened for visitors. Countryside is very beautiful, very green with coffee growing everywhere. Weather fluctuates between hot, hot and humid or torrential rain.
Buildings are basic but functional – provides space for all our work, sleep and play. Offices are attached to kitchen, storerooms, staff room, medics room, training areas and outdoor covered terrace for eating/gathering (or dancing salsa as is underway whilst I type this blog).
Then there is the Bodega which contains all food stores, tools, tents, and a ton of other equipment (all to be shifted to the projects by the Logistics team). A short walk away is the house where we all sleep (dorm style in bunks, couple of shared bathrooms). There is not enough space for everyone, when the main team arrive most will be sleeping outside. The venturers sleep in a field in tents on wooden boards. Home comforts definitely limited!
Privacy pretty much non-existent, but I expected that and anyway the rest of the advance team are brilliant. Everyone pulling together getting heads around the work to be done (which is a lot), before the main team with the project managers, translators and remaining medics arrive. This week in country we have the logistics team (myself, Phil, Sarah, Wellard and Emily), communications (Dawn), fieldbase medic (Laura), expedition photographers (Claire and Kat), finance (Abigail), administration (Amy), deputy program manager (Sabrina), host country venturer manager (Kiener), Country Programme Manager (Ross) and Country Director (Julien)… all volunteers except Ross and Julien, permanent paid and in Costa Rica/Nicaragua for the last 6 years.
First couple of days totally discombobulated!