Lift as we climb… up Mt Kilimanjaro
“So what would be your ideal way to celebrate your 50th birthday?” I asked my husband Andrew earlier this year.
“Go on a safari with my family in Africa,” he replied.
My fourteen-year-old son Ben piped up from the couch where I’d assumed he was in a Youtube trance.
“We can see lions at the zoo. I reckon we should climb Mt Kilimanjaro instead.”
We made a compromise. Climb a mere 5,865 meters (nearly 20,0000 feet) into the sky and THEN kick back for a little lion-spotting!
It will take us 7 days to complete our ascent. On summit day we’ll be exiting our tents at midnight (why go to bed right?) to hike 8 hours to the summit and 6 hours back to the final night’s camp. I’m highly confident that at some point during that 14 hours of oxygen-deprived climbing (they say the altitude’s the toughest part) I will ask myself why on earth I ever thought hiking to the rooftop of Africa was a good idea.
That said, I am also supremely confident that in the months and years to come, as my kids spread their wings even further, our gatherings will include plenty of tales from our climb up one of the world’s seven summits. (Likely including how much mum whined about her sore legs.) Which is, in all honesty, why I am so glad we’ve signed up to do this because I can’t imagine a much more ‘bonding’ experience for our adventure loving family.
But that is not why I am writing this blog post now. Rather I’m writing it to solicit your support. (Please don’t click away!)
Sure, we are climbing this mountain because it will be an incredible and defining experience for our family. However we know there are millions of families and people in the world, particularly in Africa, who could never imagine, much less afford, taking on such an endeavor. Scraping enough money together to feed themselves and their families occupies their daily lives.
It is for this reason we have decided to “Lift As We Climb” and turn this family challenge into an opportunity to support people to climb their own personal mountains, and live their lives, with greater hope and courage.
We’ve set the goal of raising $10,000 to support The Hunger Project who are doing groundbreaking work in many communities across Africa, India and Bangladesh. One hundred percent of the money we raise will go to directly to fund The Hunger Project programs in Malawi that equip women with the mindset and skills required to provide for their families, mobilize their communities and forge a far brighter future than they would otherwise.
To that end I am hoping you will consider supporting our efforts with a donation. I know you’re asked to donate to many other worthwhile causes so anything you would like to invest will be hugely appreciate by me and ultimately by those who have none of the opportunities you and I can so easily for granted.
Here is the link to donate and show your support. All donations are tax deductible.
The final part of our time in Africa will be spent in Nairobi where we will be venturing into Kibera slum (above), home to over one million people and one of the worlds largest slums. While there we’ll be visiting the Women for Women in Africa workshop where I will run a workshop and visiting the Baraka school, which we also support as a family. I have no doubt that our time in Kibera will be extraordinary and only serve to remind us of how much we have to be grateful for, despite the lingering soreness in our muscles.
I look forward to sharing our experience with you on this blog.
Thank you again for helping us to “lift as we climb.” We’ll take your generous spirit with us up the mountain!