Fundraising update: On our way to $45k

Fundraising update: On our way to $45k

  We’re ecstatic to relay the news: We have now raised over $40k for NRECA International Foundation!  Hitting $45k is now a real possibility — so it’s our official new goal! Please continue to share our story and blog on social media and by word of mouth so we can raise even more funds to help bring life-changing power to those who need it most in rural Africa. Every dollar goes an incredibly long way when it comes to quality of life. Yet again, a huge thanks is in order to everyone who’s donated this far. Our rising total is...
The unexpected takeaways

The unexpected takeaways

We had successfully reached the summit… But was it all really over, just like that? After all this time, the climax, the thing we had been working toward, was over in less than 20 minutes. Ironically, my camera’s photos told a different story. The long-awaited summit photo — you know, the one that fuels your decision to buy the plane ticket in the first place — had turned out pretty lackluster with poor lighting. Meanwhile, dozens of gorgeous landscape shots over the seven-day uphill trek were what struck a chord in me. I was preoccupied with making a trophy memory...
Summit day: Uhuru Peak at 19,341 ft.

Summit day: Uhuru Peak at 19,341 ft.

Even after all we had been through, nothing prepared us for summit day. On day seven, we woke by 4 a.m. and were hiking ever-so-slowly up the slippery, narrow dirt path by headlamp. Though my helmet pinched my head, I was grateful for the added layer of wind protection. Arriving at the summit during a sunrise was nothing like I’d expected: insanely cold, crowded, and short-lived. International crowds lined up beside the Uhuru Peak sign, babbling in indiscernible languages, seemingly incapable of taking turns for photo ops. I snagged a few celebratory photos, hugged my family, and, in the midst...

Camps 5-7: Through the “Challenge Spot”

To our horror, my stepmom, Tami, fell ill to what we believe was dust-induced bronchitis, hacking up so much phlegm she bruised her ribs. She refused to give up or head back down, but shortly after, we lost our first group member Christine, who decided she couldn’t handle Kili or the constant shivering any longer. After watching a porter escort her down the ruthless mountain out of sight, a deeper truth sunk in: victory here was more dependent on mental willpower than physical fitness. Green slowly faded from view and was replaced by brown-black slippery, volcanic gravel and enormous speckled...

Camps 3 & 4: Shira Plateau & Moir Camp

Have you ever seen 5 different climate zones within 8 days? We didn’t realize how diverse the weather and landscape would be until it changed on us two days into the climb. Jackets soon came out over our sweaty T-shirts, and suddenly that breeze had a different twist. Almost every type of ecological system on Earth is found on Mt. Kilimanjaro: cultivated land, rain forest, heath, moorland, alpine desert, and an artic summit. Though the lush forest had disappeared behind us, varying shades of green were still everywhere — but this time with rocks and more of the dust we...