Monday, June 29, 2015

Kilimanjaro is coming!

I figured that my next adventure deserves its own blog post...even though I think I have written about it in previous posts, but here's a major update. Are you ready?

After doing various cycling and running events, I wanted to do something that was slightly more challenging, so the idea of summiting Kilimanjaro arose. And with the idea, planning began...

Mountains are challenging things and you need many people to become involved to make it possible. We had initially intended for the expedition to take place last year, in 2014, however there were a number of issues that made us reconsider and it was decided that we would postpone the trip to August this year (2015).

After many dilemmas and logistical challenges, we have overcome them and we are now, today, 9 weeks away!!

Our team consists of 7 amazing, and diverse people, each of whom will no doubt add value to the team with their own unique skills. Here's a quick overview of the team:

We have Adam, who is a ships captain, and he is a very practical, level-headed person which is going to be immensely important when we are climbing. Taylor, is a university student (studying politics and other stuff at UCT with me) so we will be able to argue about university gossip or management or whatever else as we make our way to the summit. He is also a musician, in his band Forefront, so he can sing our way out of the deep-blue-funk if we find ourselves there. Sally is an experienced climber having done a number of other mountains, but never Kili. Her experience as well as her training as a physio will be invaluable when the bodies start moaning at us. We also have some hardcore businesswomen :) So, Anne is the Managing Director at Nordex Energy South Africa and her quiet strength will be crucial in the tough moments. Thembi is the Managing Director at Global Business Solutions and supports many other organisations and companies with her expertise. Thembi is a beast on the mountain and is always ready to get involved and get the job done. Her determination and grit will help all of us get to the top of Kili. And finally, Carel, is leading our expedition and his role is keeping everybody in the team happy, healthy and most importantly, alive. No pressure.

So, with 9 weeks to go, there is so much excitement and much planning going on. Right now, we're working on things like getting gear sorted for the team, team hikes, sorting out the last issues with the wheelchair and doing some altitude training (just to see how everybody in the team feels at different altitudes). This has led to some very interesting team discussions... #maybelater

The other major aspect of our climb - aside from reaching the summit - is raising a good amount of money for The Chaeli Campaign's Inclusive Early Childhood Development/Enrichment Centre :) I feel so privileged that I get to witness these beautiful children learning and expressing such compassion, empathy and just love. Disability is not a thing for these kids and that's the attitude we hope to spread to every person that interacts with them.

As we grow older, we become so much more judgemental and we see difference and immediately think it's negative. What we need to do is focus on our similarities because that is where amazing things become possible and can be achieved. This, I think is something that our Kilimanjaro expedition expresses through the fact that we all have different skills and needs that have to be acknowledged and supported, but at the end of the day we all want to reach the top of that mountain. And we need each other to make it happen.

Til next time
Peace out

No comments:

Post a Comment