Dorset explorers return from Bolivia

11th October 2009

FOUR Dorset explorers have just returned home after a six-week expedition in Bolivia.

The team took part in the Kota Mama 7 trip alongside North Dorset based explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell where they studied and offered their aid to the local people.

Villagers in Bolivia have been suffering from polluted water, limited healthcare, badly equipped schools and the difficulty of being situated in areas surrounded by lakes with no evacuation methods in an emergency.

The 20-strong expedition, including two from Dorchester, one from Portland and another from Weymouth, helped to dig wells, supply books and medicine and bring in an ambulance boat to help casualty evacuation in the future.

Trained doctors and nurses in the team worked to assist locals and this included treating a villager who had been bitten by a poisonous snake.

Dan Vockins, 32, a participant from Weymouth, said: “I took part in the trip because I thought it would be great to help the local people and go somewhere I had never been before.

“The thing I enjoyed most was being around the children who are so friendly and happy. Because they don’t have a television or any computer games they were much more likely to get involved with the adults and play cards and sing with us.

“They also understand a lot more, like where food comes from and the fact that you have to work hard to live.

“The family unit really work well as a team over there, much more than the Western world.”

Dan said it was also great to see instant results after the doctors and dentists helped with medical aid.

Col Blashford-Snell said: “It has certainly been a challenging expedition but we were able to do much to help people in real need.”

Source: Doorset Echo

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