What was I Thinking?

July 7, 2012

My husband Dave – is someone you could call, “hiker guy.” He loves backpacking, the beauty of the great outdoors and the challenges of going where no man (or at least few men) have gone before. In our first month of marriage (some 30 years ago) he took me on my first backpacking trip in the Marble Mountain Wilderness of Northern California. We came face to face with a bear which had followed us across a fallen log we had traversed to cross over a stream. That didn’t encourage me to pursue the sport any further! And I didn’t….until now.

One day I announced to my husband, “I am going to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.” He replied, “Are you serious?” He never said it ….but I was sure he was thinking, “Would that be before or after you get your nails done?”

View of Mt KilimanjaroNow my desire to climb Mt Kilimanjaro has nothing to do with a passion for hiking or (even worse) sleeping in a tent. Though I fully realize lots of both will be required in order to conquer that mountain. Hmmm….I’ve got to work up to that.

No, my desire has everything to do with orphans. Not just orphans in general – but a special, dear-to-my-heart group of orphans living at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro in a place called Treasures of Africa Children’s Home. www.treasuresofafrica.org

In case you are geographically challenged, Mt. Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania, East Africa. I have spent a lot of time in that beautiful country over the last 9 years, which is how I have come to know and love the kids who live at Treasures of Africa.

When I mentioned my plan to climb Kilimanjaro to the older boys there, Emmanueli, (age 16) said to me, “Mama, I want to go with you, to help you get up the mountain.” With an offer like that – how can I fail?

My dream is to raise 2 million dollars to build a new facility for Treasures of Africa. The orphanage has been located in a rented building for nearly 6 years. A permanent home for the children of TOA is desperately needed. This project will be a state-of-the-art solar and wind powered Children’s Village on a 5.4 acre piece of farmland just outside of the town of Moshi. I am hoping to use this Charity Climb to draw attention to this project and to find donors willing to invest in the Treasures of Africa Children’s Village. The land is already purchased, a water well has successfully been drilled, and the architectural plans are nearly complete – now we just need the funds to build. For that reason and for the sake of the orphans who will be rescued from a life of poverty and hopelessness – I am willing to get out from behind my desk and focus on climbing a mountain that I know in every natural sense – is too big for me.

I am beginning a five month journey of preparation for the climb of my life. So come with me! And you too can “Climb Mama, Climb!”