Week three is almost finished and as of 1 am this morning, all of our teams for 2015 are safe and sound in country, even if a few bags are still in Madrid‰!

Our co-ed teams have risen to the girl‰’s initial challenge and some of our projects are already nearing completion. The ceremonial ‰termascal‰ in Camp Kuri Kuchu is on target for its inauguration at an important community festival in early August. I‰’m pretty sure that any teams visiting after that time are going to want to try it out.

 Working on the seed aand plant nursery for the kitchen garden at Camp Kuri Kuchu

Reforestation and seedling harvesting projects in Camp Maqui and Camp Amazonia are going great guns with hundreds of trees planted and native orchids prepared for future propagation and transplantation. Being a part of these important projects help ensure the communities we work with are able to be a positive part of promoting the protection and rejuvenation of essential environments to ensure many threatened species plant, bird and animal ‰have a chance to prosper again.

Otavalo continues to be a hot favourite for all of our teams willing to challenge the fashion police. Brightly coloured matching pants, ridiculous beanies and even a few hammocks, have been picked up by our happy shoppers. Bartering as a collective has seen the girls, in particular, pick up some fantastic bargains.

Our third team left for the Galapagos this morning. The first two returned home with incredible stories of whales and their calves swimming by their boats, hammer head sharks and of course the prized sea turtles and seals putting on a show for their snorkeling adventures. Iguanas wandered the beaches along side them as pelicans, albatrosses and boobies dived for their dinner in the sea. There‰Ûªs really nothing bad one can say about the wildlife spotting in Darwin‰Ûªs adventure playground.

Birthdays are also big fun this season and our pi̱atas are going down a treat. The scramble for lollies and toys is more violent than the actual bashing of the pi̱ata!

Big quiz on tonight at Camp Tumbaco between one of our ‰heady‰ all girl teams and our newest kids on the block who arrived just yesterday. Still haven‰’t decided who I‰’m hedging my bets on yet need to check out and see where some of the teachers have strategically placed themselves. Do you know how many species of finch there are on the Galapagos, or when they were officially ‰discovered‰?

 Keeping it clean at Camp Kuri Kuchu.

 Rugged up and working hard in the Andes.

 Bit much for some?

 Teachers are ‘on it’ out on the projects, just as keen to learn some new skills.

 Bird’s eye view of some of the work refurbishing the local primary school. Without our help, it’s very likely the government will close the school for not being safe and clean, forcing the primary students to walk 2 hours each morning and afternoon to get to the next school.

 Making our own hot chocolate from scratch in the Amazon.

 Hmmm, I’m pretty sure the mix has cow poo in it…

 City tour and the views from the top of the Basilica in Quito are an absolute hit.

 Jungle trek at Camp Amazonia.

 Surely this is a skill that will come in handy back home on the streets of Oxford?

 ‘Maito’ traditional fish steaming dish in the Amazon – delicious!

 The Principal’s wife and her cat enjoying the sun up at Camp Kuri Kuchu – this is Ecuador.