Feb 21, 2015

The People You Meet Along The Way: The 2015 Wellbeing of Women Kilimanjaro Climb

I feel like it’s ‘Groundhog’ day, as I sit here in Arusha, Tanzania with an overpacked duffle bag, packing and unpacking and repacking, removing another round of ‘luxury items’ with each cycle… It feels like just yesterday that I was here with an intrepid team of friends, preparing for our 2014 'Music and Mountains' Kilimanjaro climb that would put all of us on the summit, raising 25,000 GBP / nearly $40,000 for Wellbeing of Women in the process. It had been a brilliant trip filled with memories and laughs that will last a lifetime. 

No less than 12 months later, I find myself back in Arusha, with another group of intrepid adventurers - men and women - preparing to embark on the 2nd annual Wellbeing of Women Kilimanjaro climb. A team which has spent the past few months raising money and awareness for the charity through pub quizzes, raffle tickets, tea parties, bake sales, pancake open houses, Bollywood nights, and a dedicated, committed amount of 'network tapping'. A team which started out as 'colleagues' but is now a team of 'friends'... and a team tremendously supported by floods of donations and messages offering encouragement, strength and words of wisdom for the journey ahead. 

On Wednesday, before our final fundraising event - a completely sold out pub quiz - we realised how close we were to hitting our 25,000 GBP target..! That evening, somewhere between learning what dessert was named after one of Napoleon's victories and the name of the Russian president in 1963 we sailed past our target... 


AND the amazing news is that we're still sailing past that target...!! 

Please do consider making a donation if you haven't already. All monies go directly to the charity and will continue to fund research into improving the health of women and babies around the world through research into developing many women’s health services including cancer screening, IVF, pre-and post-natal care, ultrasound scans, stillbirth, foetal screening... 

Sat here in Arusha, a short 4 days later, we are edging closer to reaching 30,000 GBP for Wellbeing of Women.  This is AMAZING and I am thrilled to be part of such an exceptional team. Tomorrow morning we'll be regrouping in the hotel lobby with our stuffed duffle bags and preparing for a 4-hour bus journey to the park entrance. We had dinner tonight and the general atmosphere was excitement, anticipation and a touch of 'Lets get this party started..."

One thing that we all have come to realise - particularly in our preparation for the climb and in working with the incredibly supportive team at Wellbeing of Women is that climbing Kilimanjaro, (or any mountain for that matter!) is no different from any other major challenges that we face in our lives. Whether that means making a career change, having a healthier lifestyle or mending a broken relationship - we're all climbing mountains of sorts. These experiences require us to be stronger than we think we are, endure more than we think we can, and become more than we dreamed possible.

I look forward to being part of the team and once again take Wellbeing of Women to the roof of Africa..!


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