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And so we made it!
On January the 15th in the early hours of the morning, Stuart and I completed our climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, reaching the Uhuru Peak (5895m) just in time to see the stunning African Sunrise. All members of our team reached the summit which is an incredibly rare achievement, and a first for our guide, Abbi Naylor!
We were elated! We laughed, we cried and we were amazed by the wonderful sights surrounding us. However, at this point after trekking all through the night over tough, rugged terrain, we were so tired the mind could barely comprehend that we now had to trek back down!
You will see that I keep referring to us as “we” because even from the first day of meeting our trekking mates both Stuart and I knew that it was never going to be a personal goal to reach the top (as it had started out to be) it was going to be a team effort. We knew to keep going we had to pull on each and every member of the group and to be honest, it would have been slightly deflating if all our team had not reached the summit that night - that’s how much we had bonded during the short time we had been together.
At BlueSky, we talk about teamwork each and every day and I truly believe that a team that works well together can overcome most obstacles. Generally you have an idea of the strengths and weaknesses within a team but this was a group of people from different walks of life who had different abilities of which we knew not a lot about. One thing that was very clear was that from day one we all had a common goal and that goal was going to be achieved by supporting, encouraging and motivating each other when the going got tough.
At this stage I have also to mention our Team Leader, Abbi Naylor from Action Challenge who was one of the best leaders I have ever met and was also determined that we worked hard enough on the run up to summit night to ensure we all would have the chance of reaching the top. Her team of Guides and Porters were amazing, and somehow managed to break down camp each night, move this to the next point, rebuild and have a hot lunch or dinner waiting for us.
This was an amazing experience, one we will never forget ever, one which makes us very humble seeing how hard everyone in Tanzania works to make our vision come true.
In the process, I raised over £6,000 for Dementia and Stuart raised over £6,000 for the Breast Cancer Campaign. We would like to extend our deepest thanks to all of our families, friends and clients for their support – we couldn't have done this without you!
As they say in Tanzania...
Asante kwa kila mtu kushiriki kwaheri mpaka wakati mwingine
(Thank you to everyone involved and goodbye until the next time)