Ben left this morning for the expedition to Kyrgystan.
For those who are not geography graduates, Kyrgystan borders China, Kazakstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and was once part of the USSR. He'll be gone for a month, doing a mixture of Jungle and mountain trekking, local project work, and then relaxing afterward.
The trip has been organised by World Challenge, which specialises in taking teenagers on expeditions like this. We have met a number of people with sons and daughter that have been on a WC trip. Ben's school have combined with another school about 90 miles away to provide sufficient numbers for the trip. It's far from cheap - the expedition has a basic cost of £2700, on top of which a full set of equipment has had to be purchased. I reckon all in it's run to about £3300, and Ben's paid most of it himself - certainly well over £2000 of it.
He's never been away from home this long, but I'm sure he'll be fine. It's just us I worry about ;-)