After three weeks of intensive training, we were finally prepared for the venturers arrival (at least in theory). A mixture of trepidation and excitement could be felt as we awaited the buses from San Jose to pull up to our tranquil little home. We knew those first few weeks were over and we would never be all together again without the venturers until the very end. Still, it was the reason we were all here, so were looking forward to seeing 65 new faces. We began with introductions and breakfast, a swim test and unpacking followed by various team building games.
The new day was allocations and everyone found out their new groups for the next 19 days. This also meant going off and doing jungle camp, along with a practice casualty evacuation. Evenings were full of meetings for us, and movie/music nights for them. It was an exhausting period as we adjusted to the full on nature of being in a small space with over 100 people and the increased workload.
After a short few days it was time for a 3.30am start and the first of our many goodbyes as we waved all the venturers and project managers off on their first expedition. It was a surreal feeling, a whirlwind of being on the go since they arrived and the silence was audible when only field base were left standing.
Waiting to find out our first project support visits was the next step and I was going to Nicaragua for the first phase!