This blog was written by Leanne Hamflett who climbed Mount Kenya in July 2019.
Like many others, I perhaps signed up to the challenge without paying too much thought as to what that actually entailed. Not new to fundraising or a physical challenge, I was in the mindset of ‘how hard could it be?’
Little did I know…
Just kidding. In all honesty, it was amazing. Way more amazing than I could have imagined. Kenya is now my favourite country to have visited, and I would go again in a heartbeat. Kenyans are the friendliest, kindest and smiliest people I have ever met, and they made my trip. During our climb, I learnt so much about the country’s history, politics, culture and what it is like in the life of a Kenyan. I admit, I was lucky to be in the company of my boyfriend who can talk for England and make friends with anyone in an instant. So even if you’re not much of a talker like me, I do insist you spend some time getting to know the guides, cooks and porters. They are so knowledgeable in many respects and their stories will improve your journey tenfold
The climb was by no means easy, but, entirely doable. It doesn’t matter what your age, gender, size or physical fitness level is. Altitude is a real pain and it spares no one. Well, actually, I luckily was not made victim to it. But in case you are, being equipped with things like Tiger Balm and ginger sweets which help to ease any symptoms. Other than that, it was really enjoyable. The views are like no other and the stories you will make are priceless. As long as you do as the guides tell you, you will be just fine, because trust me, you can’t one up a mountain.
Rewind to fundraising, I agree, the target seems daunting. It is to everyone. No one is better equipped for it so don’t doubt yourself. Its entirely achievable with some organisation and a bit of brainstorming. You can go as extravagant as you like and organise an entire event like a ball or a pub quiz, or, you could keep it low key like me – ask family and friends for donations and help out with various favours such as car valeting, painting, babysitting and cleaning. You’ll begin to chip away at that target, and trust me, it is worth it. Embrace the fundraising challenge, go full steam ahead with any cool ideas that you have. This part is an experience in itself and it is a chance to show yourself what you are capable of.
Overall, everything about my trip was amazing, and I’m still in awe over it. The experience I had and the impact we as a team made is rewarding on a level above comprehension. It’s incomparable. I can only say GO. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
Find out more about our Mount Kenya Challenge, how you can sign up or become a Team Leader over on our website: www.climbforcleanwater.org/mtkenya