Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kilimanjaro Challenge, 2014. All the interviews and some thoughts from the team


With thanks to Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and Globeflight


The major achievement was getting deaf  Olympic swimmer Terence Parkin to the summit.
To the best of our knowledge, this feat on Friday 10/10/2014 at 07h20,
makes him the first South African Deaf swimmer to stand at Uhuru Peak.
WELL DONE TERENCE.
You proved once again that the Deaf can do anything except hear!
I am certain that your students (and the staff) will be very proud of you
It must be said that his Olympic medal caused him some problems...
Not at the summit, but at both Kigali and Kilimanjaro Airports,
where security took an interest in it and examined it extensively.
Luckily, it was returned to him on both occasions.
I wonder what stories the security personnel told their families.


www.deafafrica.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TJbZIuRoU8&feature=youtu.be
Check out our Challenge Teaser.
Thanks to Chris Mostert and his team at Shush...



https://www.dropbox.com/s/699v7x58t5c51vg/Carri%20Adams%20interviews%20Shishenge%20and%20David%20Batzofin.zip?n=35756978
This is the interview that Winners and I did with Carrie Adams on this station.


I was on Talk Radio 702.
Note that I did not have a firearm!
I have left in the first two digits of my ID number,
 as no-one believes I am 61.
The rest of the team are 34( x2) and 38...
http://podcast77612.podomatic.com/entry/2014-10-19T01_21_20-07_00


With Chris Avant-Smith at Radio Today.
Bianca joined us via the telephone
http://cwaters.podomatic.com/entry/2014-10-01T07_33_09-07_00


I chatted to Winners at Keys Hotel in Moshi,
 before we left for the mountain
http://podcast77612.podomatic.com/entry/2014-10-19T01_06_01-07_00


Isack doing his pre-climb briefing.
He also informed us every night during the climb what we could expect the following day.
A great motivational speaker...
http://podcast77612.podomatic.com/entry/2014-10-19T00_38_04-07_00

Some thoughts from the team...


Bianca Schulte:
"Standing at the top of Kilimanjaro with my team was a once in a lifetime learning experience which I am grateful and proud of". 


Climbing Kilimanjaro was an experience that I am grateful to have had. One can only imagine what it is like before the time and wonder. After the first few hours of walking on the Sunday 
I was relieved and thought this is OK, I can do this. 
When we reached camp and I saw my tent and realized I would be sleeping here for the next 6 nights I also thought, this is OK, I can do this. 
I enjoyed the daily walks, the scenery was spectacular, changing on a daily basis. 
It was wonderful and weird not having contact to the outside world 
and being surrounded by just mountains and nature.

Building up to the summit night, I was feeling nervous as again I did not know what to expect. We started walking at midnight and I knew it was going to be a 6  to 7 hour walk. After a short time the cold hit me like never before and I could not feel my hands nor feet. I started feeling sick with stomach cramps. 
I took a break at some point and my guide Isack asked me “ Now What” , I answered “ We walk”. 
The thought crossed my mind once about turning back, but in life one always has a choice. One cannot control anything, there is only one thing one has 100% control over, your attitude. This is something I live by. So I chose to carry on walking and put “ Mind over matter or body in this respect” into practice so that I could reach my goal. At 7:20 on Friday our team made it to the top. Although we were greeted by a strong wind, the scenery and glaciers were spectacular. Standing at the top with my team is a once in a lifetime feeling and experience which I am grateful and proud of. 
My gratitude to all who made it possible for me to stand on the highest free standing mountain in Africa in order to create awareness for an amazing school St Vincent for the deaf.

Winners Shishenge:
"Positive mindset always defeat the power of the unknown".
If a person's life was subject to editing,  my Kilimanjaro experience wouldn't be touched a bit. 
I would and will cherish it as it happened. 
From the time we left Rongai point, I knew something unusual was waiting to happen.  
Feeling sick at first night into second day changed my attitude for good.  
Having experienced the lows of feeling sick prepared me emotionally to expect and defeat the worst to come.

I embraced all the walks from camp to camp as part of the challenge though some destinations seemed repellent to our efforts we put into reaching the next camp. 
The trust that we seemed to have in each other made every step worthwhile. 

Of course it would never be over until we walked the walk up to the summit. It must be said that it wasn't the walk in the park. The fact that we had to climb at night made it so tense but special.  
The critical point for me was when my body was tired and needed a rest 
but couldn't rest because the cold was unbearable. 
The feeling at Gilman's Point was so emotional but was soon short lived
 by the fact that the end was yet to come.
From Gilman's Point to Uhuru, my attitude was " if I made it this far, I can make it to any destination". 
At this stage walking was the only thing that made sense to me.  
The view from Stella p\Point was so amazing.  
The windy Uhuru peak was better than my freezing cold expectations hence I stayed longer. 
Good team we had. 
Glad we all made it. 


Terence Parkin...
This is the Video that Terence compiled.
And I believe that his footage speaks volumes! 
Settle down to watch our week long adventure condensed into 45 minutes
Well done Terence, and thank you for the"camera-on-a-pole" moments.
http://deafafrica.com/movitime.php?clip_id=52


David Batzofin
2nd successful summit.
"This adventure taught me a lot about myself and that humility makes all things easier"
Being my second summit attempt, I sort of knew what might be expected on a daily basis. However, what I was not prepared for was the cold and the wind. But there was nothing I could do about either of those factors, and I had to make the best of what each day had to offer. I might have been grumpy back in 2006, I don't remember. But I know that I was on a couple of days during this trip. Being the oldest by more than 20 years has some perks?
That aside, I had to marvel and the fortitude of Bianca Schuite on summit day, 
when giving up was a REAL option for her. 
Terence Parkin continues to amaze me with his resilience and "I-can-do-anything" attitude. He now holds the record for the first South African Deaf Olympian to stand on the summit of Kilimanjaro.(It was also thanks to his involvement with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, that this climb actually happened) 
In my opinion,Winners Shishenge, who was thrown in at almost the last moment, 
exceeded his own expectations. 
Summit night was the hardest for me and Gilman's Point seemed to get no nearer as we climbed under the light of the full moon. 
There was a point for me, where I was about to give up, and the crater lip finally appeared.
The walk from there to the new sign at Uhuru was virtually plain sailing, but I had forgotten about the last few meters and the biting wind.
The former I dealt with one step at a time, the latter was resolved by getting the f*&k OFF the mountain as soon as we had taken photographs.
My thanks Ingrid Parkin(Principal of St Vincent) and to our major sponsors, Globeflight and the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. I hope that by taking the St Vincent school for the Deaf flag to the summit, South Africans will become more aware of the needs of Deaf Education.


Back at the hotel.
Time to receive our WELL EARNED Certificates of Achievement.
With thanks to Isack and Roman forgetting us to the summit and back.



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Not a winner, but one of 24 travel Blogs that entered


         
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kilimanjaro Challenge 2014. The team.



On October 3, 2014 our team set off for Kilimanjaro.
Months of training and planning were about to come to fruition....
Once again a big THANK YOU to our headline sponsors,
Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and Globeflight,
without whom this adventure would not have been possible


On 10 October 2014 the team stood at Uhuru Peak,
 raising awareness for this school and the work they do.
Educating the deaf started in King William's Town (Eastern Cape) in 1888.
The Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena
 moved their school to a property in Melrose, Johannesburg called "The Haven"
The school was named after St Vincent Ferrer, a 14th century Dominican preacher,
renowned for restoring hearing to the deaf.
The school has been educating deaf children for the past 75 years.
To find out more about the school,
visit their website:
 http://www.stvincentschool.org.za/



Let the adventure begin...
Terence and Winners proudly carrying the St Vincent School flag.
This flag was to feature extensively once Terence had made a plan to fly it on a daily baisis.
More about that later...


At Keys Hotel in Moshi.
At this point, this was the closest that three of the team had come to Kilimanjaro.
All that was to change within 24 hours.


Terence and Winners discovered that you could ACTUALLY see Kilimanjaro
from outside the front gate of the hotel.


Mr Cool?
Not the pair that Winners actually climbed with.
There is a thriving rental business going on at the gates.
You could hire a pair of sunglasses for $15 for the duration of the climb...
Or you could buy a pair for $7.00.
Do the math...


Paperwork done and signed,
we had a short ride to where we would have lunch
and then off to start our summit attempt


Terence packed and ready to move out...


This was my usual view of the team...
Taking pictures from behind.


I am invariably the one with the camera.
During the week, this little Go Pro on a stick, wielded by Terence,
was EVERYWHERE.

This is Part 1 of the Video that Terence Parkin compiled.
Well done Terence, and thank you for "the-camera-on-a-pole".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJsK17T9rhA&feature=share



Time for food.
Aside from walking and sleeping,
this was the other major activity.


Again with the camera...


I have to admire Terence's ingenuity.
Not only was he able to make a "flag pole",
but it survived the winds that we encountered the higher up we got.
Well done.


A tent with a view...


I wonder what was being discussed?


And finally...
After a 6 hour climb, Terence and Winners are at Gilman's Point


The major achievement was getting deaf  Olympic swimmer Terence Parkin to the summit.
To the best of our knowledge, this feat on Friday 10/10/2014 at 07h20,
makes him the first South African Deaf swimmer to stand at Uhuru Peak.
WELL DONE TERENCE.
You proved once again that the Deaf can do anything except hear!
I am certain that your students (and the staff) will be very proud of you
It must be said that his Olympic medal caused him some problems...
Not at the summit, but at both Kigali and Kilimanjaro Airports,
where security took an interest in it and examined it extensively.
Luckily, it was returned to him on both occasions.
I wonder what stories the security personnel told their families.


Winners Shishenge on his way back to the gate...
and then to a shower at the hotel!


For Bianca Schulte, summit day brought its own problems.
She was incredibly cold and not feeling very well.
However, she persevered and  made it to the summit with the rest of the team.
This photo was taken on the way down...where she looked MUCH happier


From pointing at the mountain,
to...


Being on the mountain!
But at the end of the day, or should I say, in the early morning hours of Friday, 10/10/2014,
we all stood at the "new" sign at Uhuru Peak.
Eventually getting both flags to behave and wave proudly in the African sunshine.


The view that we all shared.


Back at the hotel.
Time to receive our WELL EARNED Certificates of Achievement.
With thanks to Isack and Roman forgetting us to the summit and back.

More about our headline sponsors and the work they do can be found on their websites:


                       http://fondationprincessecharlene.mc                            www.globeflight.co.za


This was the route chosen for the Kilimanjaro Challenge 2014.
Why?
Because there are fewer climbers on it and the daily walks are shorter.
Also you get to spend more time on the actual lip of the crater,
arriving at Gilman's Point and then walking to Stella Point 
and finally to Uhuru Peak


The Rongai Route
Sunday 05 October 2014  
After an early breakfast, a senior guide will conduct your climb briefing.   
You will then be driven to Rongai Gate, where you will meet the rest of your guides and porters. 
 After the formalities at the gate have been completed, begin your ascent to the first cave en route. 
 The climb should take approximately 2 to 3 hours.  
This part takes you through the cultivated area of the mountain, 
where you can see how local farmers tend to their lands on the slopes.  
Overnight at Simba Camp (1,800m).
  
Monday 06 October 2014  
Early in the morning, begin trekking out past the second cave, and on to the third cave.  
This should take you approximately 6 to 7 hours.  
The climb today is relatively difficult, taking you through forest and well into the moorland.  
Overnight at Kikelelwa Camp (3,800m).

Tuesday 07 October 2014  
This is an acclimatization day - you will hike further up the mountain, 
then return to third cave for overnight.

Wednesday 08 October 2014  
Continue ascending to Mawenzi Tam Hut, which should take approximately 7 hours to get to.  Overnight camping at Mawenzi Tam Hut (4,330m).
  
Thursday 09 October 2014  
Depart to Kibo Hut, which should take you approximately 4 to 5 hours.  
Settle down for an early night camping at Kibo Hut (4,703m). 

Friday 10 October 2014: 
Summit Day!!   
Today you will be heading for the highest point in Africa - Uhuru Peak (5,895m).  
You will be woken around midnight to commence the 5 hour hike,
 on heavy scree up to Gillman's Point (5,686m).  
You will be walking in the dark as the ground is frozen and this makes it easier to ascend this steep section.
 As you reach the Crater Rim, the sun should be rising to display Africa in all its glory beneath you.  
The views are spectacular and it makes the entire journey worth every step!
Continue another 1 or 2 hours to Uhuru Peak, along the wide paths of the crater rim, peering down onto massive glaciers shining in the morning sun. 
Arriving at Uhuru can be quite emotional, with the strain of the summit finally behind you and Africa surrounding you! 


After a few photographs at the summit, begin your steady descent to Kibo Hut for a rest and some nourishment, then continue to Horombo Hut to camp for overnight.

Saturday 11 October 2014  
After breakfast, descend to Marangu Gate.  
You will be transferred to Keys Hotel for a well-needed shower and an evening of celebration. 
 Overnight at Keys Hotel 
  
Sunday 12 October 2014  
Your tour ends today after breakfast and you will be transferred from Keys Hotel to Kilimanjaro Airport.



                       http://fondationprincessecharlene.mc                            www.globeflight.co.za

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