Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Back to school - in Rhayader

Went into the local school today in Rhayader for assembly. I was greeted by wonderfully enthusiastic children who informed me that India was very good for wildlife and to be careful of any Bengal Tigers lurking... and to keep my eyes open for Asian elephants! They reminded me how important the Elan Valley Dams are now, how the water was needed for the City of Birmingham, how clean water is good for us and that God turned water into wine. I did get to talk about WaterAid and explained that not everyone in the world has access to clean safe water like us. It sounds like everyone was educating everyone else. I am looking forward to going back and doing some classroom or eco club sessions. The children seemed keen to hear about my adventures on my return. Thank you Rhayader Primary for being so lovely and sweet. I was nervous but did receive a "your talk was awesome" from a little boy on my way out. Though I think they are awesome kids and teachers too. :-)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A little bit of prepraration done for the trip

Today It still snows and slowly but surely I made it down the Elan Valley into work at the Visitor Centre. I have also been urged by my Dwr Cymru Welsh Water WaterAid team and works comms department to take some pictures even now as I prepare for my trip...........So every effort has been made and I have done my best grimacing at a camera and I have some images to use ?...erk..... 

On the subject of images I had this picture of a mother and her child sent to my work e-mail by our Regional Development Manager at WaterAid - I think its a powerful picture and I thought I would share it with you................ 

Photographer Credit WaterAid Brent Stirton
A slum dwelling mother and child stand amongst the flood affected
housing in which they live, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Snow surreal!

I was driving back the other evening thinking of my trip and what I still needed to sort or pack busy making a mental list. When I realised I was driving through falling snow, the flakes moving towards the windscreen like I was in a Star Trek movie going through warp speed ( I wasn't going that fast mind - honest!). It made the India experience seem to be another world away.

Since then it has snowed more and now I am house bound busy feeding sheep and building snowmen and sledging. I am adding some pictures from the last couple of days so that when I get to India you may be able to see the contrast on the blog of normal life in Wales to a different life in India?

WaterAid update so far

JANUARY: Briefing Day in London
On 10th January 2013 I got an opportunity to travel to London and meet the other successful candidates and team members as well as the WaterAid Staff. We had a jolly great day where we covered all the issues and requirements for the adventure ahead. Its real! Its happening! Since then I have received the itinerary and examined it in every little detail...... which only heightens the personal excitement for the venture ahead and the experience and education I will gain. Thank you WaterAid for choosing me!

This is the crew off to India for WaterAid!

On the 9th January I traveled to London - a different world to the one I usually inhabit. I left from Port Talbot and had a direct line to London Paddington. Have you realised how heightened your senses become when you travel, especially if you are on your own. I stepped out of the house (after giving each of my little ones a kiss on their sleepy little heads) into the farmyard which was engulfed by a thick mountain mist which cloaked the hills. I felt the cool damp air on my cheeks and i was ready to do this.................................
I opened the gate at the end of our track and on each of the metal bars the dew had frozen and these little beads glistened as I shut the gate. Penygarreg Dam is still overflowing with a wall of white water energetically heading off towards the City of Birmingham.
I stopped in Rhayader at the bank, people were already up and moving in the streets. It is a wonderful town, the faces are always familiar and you always know everyone on the street - "hello, goodbye, how are you?" are the local songs that melodiously dance along the pavements. Leaving that familiarity I got back into my car and started on my journey to South Wales. The drive through the Brecon Beacons was glorious; the mist clung in little pockets beneath the hills and the morning winter sun rose behind the mountains. The voyage on train after my drive was easy and I read up on my WaterAid information mostly. Out of Paddington station I went and I got a taxi to the Victoria Inn which was very a very pleasant place to stay. i thought an inn sounded appropriate for someone travelling! Time was taken in my room for a well deserved cup of coffee. I contemplated on this coffee as I drank - my coffee made from London water. I get my water from a well which collects the water as it runs off the Welsh hills. Granted it may have been through a few ovines first.......... but how many people has this coffee water been through? Then I went and explored a bit of the Thames and stood for a while on the Vauxhall Bridge admiring the sunset.  
NOVEMBER : WaterAid Supporters Trip Confirmation
Jubilation and great excitement as I receive the news I was successful in having a place on the WaterAid supporters trip to India in 2013. I was undergoing my chainsaw training at the time and it was so surreal receiving this news and then going out of the office in a state of euphoria to fell a tree in the middle of the forestry in the lovely Elan Valley. (no employees were harmed due to this state of elation whilst wielding a chainsaw :-))