Brian OMara decided to challenge himself for a good cause and climb Mt Kilimanjaro.
He did this to raise funds for the Langoni Old Peoples Home, Moshi, where he had spent some time volunteerting through African Impact. “I waited until a few weeks into the project before committing to raise funds, by which stage I was more than satisfied that THAF would spend the money wisely.” The money raised will go towards the much needed security fence around the perimeter of the land surrounding the old peoples home.
Brain prepared for the climb by undertaking a 5 week workout programme with Mark, a member of AI staff in Moshi. “I must admit the nerves kicked in as the climb approached, with Kilimanjaro overlooking Moshi it was a constant reminder of what I had signed up for!” says Brian.
Brian was hoping to raise a few hundred dollars, however he was blown away by the support received from his family and friends all around the world, the final total was around $1,500. On the day of his climb he posted a lovely video on Facebook of some of the Wazee saying thank you to people for their donations.
“The trip itself involved a 6 day climb up the Machame route. The route was quiet as it was not yet high season, and we experienced everything – cold, rain, sunshine, and even hail for a good portion of the third day. It is a physically demanding trip, however I was surprised that I had no real symptoms of altitude sickness by the time we reached the final base camp, Barafu, at 4,600m.
I felt fine to start but pretty quickly altitude sickness kicked in which entailed headaches, nausea, lose of concentration, having almost no energy – needing to stop every 5 minutes and nearly falling asleep in freezing conditions – and even some hallucinations (patches of snow down below looked like people walking). However I was driven on by an excellent and expert guide and the motivation to finish after pestering everyone for donations, and after 7 hours of pain….I made it!
I am delighted to say I did the climb for a great cause, and to be honest I dont know if I would have finished had I not raised funds – it really drove me on to succeed on that final day. Hopefully the Langoni Old Peoples Home will get their security fence erected soon, it would definitely make all that pain worthwhile!”