I am pleased to report that I am home safe and that our group, as a result of your extremely generous support, has raised over $40,000 for Future2 Foundation. Over the 7 days we trekked through lush jungles to barren moonscapes with everything in between and met some wonderful local people along the way.
On summit night we commenced our ascent at 12am after 4 hours sleep and started climbing (polepole – Swahilli for slowly, slowly) by head torches and moon light. After 6 solid hours in freezing -15°C, tough and windy conditions we reached the summit to watch the sunrise over the plains of Tanzania. 9 hours later we reached our final camp for the night somewhat exhausted but exhilarated.
It is rare in this day in age to get an opportunity to disconnect from the digital world and take time to reflect. Perhaps it was the lack of oxygen and sleep but the trip certainly got me thinking about life and what’s really important.
I have concluded that life and happiness are about focusing on the journey rather than the destination. We spent 5 days reaching the summit only to spend 10 minutes there before decending. The moments I will remember from the trip are taking time to admire the views and the conversations I had with the others in our group rather than standing on a freezing summit.
The locals are fond of saying ‘hakuna matata’ which roughly translates to ‘no worries’. Focus on what you can control not on what you can’t.
I would certainly recommend climbing Mt Kilimanjaro to anyone, it is a once in a lifetime experience and well worth the journey. Upon my return I gave each of my children a rock from the mountain and told them to return it to Mt Kili when they make their ascents.