APEX 5: Finito
The Journey of a Lifetime!
It is hard to believe that the APEX 5 expedition has now come to an end. The journey began for us almost 3 years ago, and since arriving on the 19th of June, we have really enjoyed sharing the experience with our team.
Whilst the change of location to Huayna Potosi was a mere bump in the road, we were really impressed with how our team rallied together and made our new home at the Refugio a great place to stay. There have been many challenges along the way, but the expedition was an overwhelming success.
The committee admired the extent to which the volunteers became involved in our research. All who were interested were offered the chance to develop their scientific skills in our "pop-up" laboratory, with many people really enjoying the experience! It is not often you get to perform laboratory science at 4800m!
On the 30th of June, we returned to La Paz by bus. A week without wifi offers a certain freedom, but means a lot of catching up to do when connection finally returns. After a long, hot shower and some much needed relaxation, we all went to the local curryhouse for our final team meal, accompanied by the family of our in country logistician, Marco Soria.
This was a great night of llama currys, garlic naans, beers and new found friendships. For the six of us, it was also an emotional time. Chris, our expedition leader, delivered a fitting speech to sum up our time together and to thank everyone. Greig had also written a poem "An Ode From the Commitee", to sum up our week at Potosi.
We finished the night off with a 'couple' of drinks in the local hostel, leading to a very merry end to a fantastic week. A fitting finale!
Our volunteers are now travelling all over South America, visiting the rest of Bolivia whilst also venturing to Chile and Peru. We wish them a very safe time travelling and hope they enjoy it as much as we did three years ago, as APEX 4 volunteers! South America has so much to offer, and they will have plenty of stories to tell on their return.
Although the expedition is complete, the adventure continues. We are excited by the earlier discussions of an APEX 6, and the endless possibilities which await our volunteers. Our job is not over, and alongside community education back home, we can't wait to support the next generation of APEX organisers.
APEX 6...your journey is just beginning.
Becky, Chris, Ellie, Gordon, Greig, Jason and Joe