My first blog post.. Rather exciting!!
When I was eleven years old, my family and I flew off to Tanzania and there was a good reason for this choice of destination. As a young girl I was always sporty and gymnastics was something I loved and continued to compete in for some years. I made a good friend during my time at the gymnastics club and her parents quickly became friends with my parents and so this story begins.
My friends father was from Tanzania and he used to tell us tales of his homeland and family. Soon, my family and I had been invited out to Tanzania itself, to celebrate a wedding (which happened to be an indian wedding… in Tanzania…?) It was my friends, dad’s, nephew’s wedding… So of course it made sense to invite total strangers from the other side of the world? Anyway, having two parents who were ‘clinically’ insane, we packed our suitcases.
Of what I can remember, Tanzania was an incredible place, although I have to say perhaps a little TOO eye opening for an eleven year old little girl. We were staying with the family of my friend’s dad, in a small village on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, a city which suffers from quite severe poverty. I remember only too well the smells and faces of those who sat uncomfortably in the street’s gutters and on the pavements. Children younger than I was looking thin and in need of urgent health care. It was a real and awakening sight, an unpleasant sight and one which made me determined to one day come back and help those suffering. The family we spent our days with were wonderful and extremely humble. We were very grateful for their kindness and hospitality.
We were not staying near the city for long. After the wedding had taken place, we were leaving for safari in Ngorongoro crater (the bride and grooms honeymoon!). We took a bus from Dar es Salaam to our first safari lodge. On the drive to the lodge, we went past Mount Kilimanjaro herself. We pulled over and were allowed off the bus to stop and glance into the far distance at the mountain’s pure magnificence. Although it was far away from us, you could just see her snow covered faces leading up into the clouds. I remember being completely blown away and saying to myself that one day, when I was old enough, I would definitely return and summit this incredible mountain.
And here we are today! Nine years on, I am a 19 year old university student, planning to reach the summit of Mount kilimanjaro in August this year, when I will be 20.
The aim of my climb is to raise money and awareness for the Meningitis Research Foundation. A truly incredible charity that saves thousands of lives every year. My goal is to raise £3000 which I can then proudly hand over to this crucial organisation.
Below is my fundraising page and I would be extremely grateful of any donation you are able to make. Every penny counts towards saving lives. Thank you for reading my post and take care 🙂
Till next time!