My climb up Kilimanjaro

Hey!

I am back....

If you didn't already know, a team of 8 people (including myself) left the UK to summit the World's largest free standing mountain on Saturday 15th February. We were doing this to raise valuable money for a local children's Charity (www.sparkleappeal.org) who cater for children with severe special needs.

The trip was a blast! I made some new friends and cemented those already in place. We laughed, cried, eat, slept and poo'd (a lot) together in a very intense week where the headaches, the runs and altitude sickness cost us 50% of our team. On summit day, we were up at 11pm for a dawn summit and during the ascent we lost our 5th team member. It really was that hard....

Our expert guides encouraged us every step of the way. We were able to summit a little later than planned, yet triumphant to have seen stars you could 'touch', gigantic flashes of lightning, frost forming in front of your eyes and a light flurry of snow ... all in one outing. Our walk down was childlike almost... sliding in the frozen white snow and soft volcanic ash. When we reached base camp again, the team had moved on, back down the mountain to a lower attitude. We had one hour rest for lunch and a snooze.

 

By the time we caught up with them, we had walked for 25 out of the past 29 hours.... it was insane!

It was mixed feelings of course. 3 had achieved, yet 5 had not. Happiness on one hand yet misery and sadness on the other. There was consolation though. The 3 of us who succeeded felt the drive and positive wishes of the others drove us to success. Our achievement was theirs... simple!

We tipped all the helpers (27 in total). We hope we gave them enough to make a difference. Indeed, we gave extra clothes and equipment to that they could go onto the mountain next time in the right gear  😮

We took the 4 guides 2nd 2 cooks back to the hotel for R & R (thoroughly deserved). We treated them to lunch with beers and pizzas. We laughed for another 4 hours. They finally understood our UK humour and began laughing with us too. It truly was a lovely time. We also exchanged our email addresses and Facebook contacts details to keep in touch in the future.

Now back in the UK, I am in the process of sending an old iPhone 3 and some signed Parenting books for them too. They loved that they met an author, which was a privileged feeling for me too.

Ok, I know that I have rambled (which was nice), but what lessons have I learnt from my journey

  • To grow, you must challenge yourself ...  and your comfort zone.
  • To get what you want, just help others get what they want. 
  • Benevolence is a trait highlighted by Aristotle. By exercising this law you get things back from the most unexpected sources. The more you give, the more you get...

You must of course be fit and healthy too but that's not a bad trait to have in life anyway!

So, far we have raised £8k (ish) against our goal of £10k. Still time to collect though. On that point, if you want to give to me and my team, then go here:

http://www.justgiving.com/kilimanjaro-2014-Newport-Businesses

As always, thank you for reading my posts... I love ya!

 

Llwyddiant!

Joe 

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