The Team

The Team


To The Roof of Africa!

8.12.2010 | 3 Comments

On January 1st, 2010 I started my journey with this blog entry:

I am going to climb a mountain. Well, I’m going to walk up one, anyway.

I haven’t done anything like this before. In fact, I can probably count the number of times I’ve gone hiking, and I know I haven’t been camping more than half a dozen times. Don’t get me wrong, I know what I’m getting into. I’ve watched videos about climbing this mountain. I’ve submitted questions about the climbing of this mountain to semi-popular websites. I have bought (although not yet read) books about this mountain. I feel about as prepared as someone who listens to a song on the radio and then starts hiring roadies to prepare for a world tour.

In August of 2010, I am going to fly to Tanzania, Africa and climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a way to raise money for the Delta Hospice. The Hospice holds a very special place in my heart, and it is my absolute honour to take on this journey to fund raise on their behalf. But this will be no simple journey. Oh no, this will be a flat-out epic.

Aside from the parent-induced membership in Brownies and Girl Guides, I have managed to avoid the outdoors quite sufficiently for about 30 years. I am the anti-camper. I do not like being cold. The sound of rain drops falling on a tent is nearly trauma-inducing. I would rather be in prison than a sleeping bag. (Some of you more astute readers may be able to pick up the subtle hints I am dropping in regards to my views on outdoor life). To climb Mount Kilimanjaro means that I will need to… oh, man… camp for 10 days.

And so, purely for your entertainment, I am going to allow you into my world as I train for this adventure. For the next seven months, I will allow parts of my life to become an open book, and permit you to laugh, cry and shake your head in total disbelief as I attempt to turn myself from Robyn the Indoor Princess, into Robyn the Sobbing Mess of Outdoorsy Semi-Competence.

And so it begins…

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!

And today, on August 12th, 2010, I am boarding that flight to Tanzania, Africa knowing that $10,000 $11, 850 has been raised (so far!) for the Delta Hospice Society.

I hiked once, twice, three times and four, five times, six times, and seven

I trained

I attempted to camp

I ate, ate, ate, and ate, and ate, ate, and happily ate, and ate, and ate, shamefully ate, ate, ate and attempted to explain sarcasm, ate, and ate, and ate, and tried to avoid eating, and thought about what to eat, and ate.

I fundraised, and had help with fundraising

I was sponsored and sponsored again

I was humbled

I remembered.

This has been an incredible journey on the way to having an incredible journey. I learned a lot about myself in these past eight months, and I learned a great deal about the power of human nature and the strength of community kindness. This whole experience has left me awed. And I am grateful for it. Thank you for letting me share it all with you. This became such a personal blog, and I’ve met some very wonderful people because of it.

And so today, I leave this blog in the capable hands of Chris, who will update it as often as he hears from me. I’m not sure how or when I’ll be able to make contact, but please know that it’s a priority for me to be able to keep you posted.

I want to thank you all so very, very much for following me and for reading this blog. It means more to me than I could ever express to know that I’m carrying your support and kindness in my heart as I scale that mountain.

And guess what?

I’m crying.

And so it begins…

Bring it on, Kilimanjaro!

xoxo

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Two.

8.10.2010 | 9 Comments

I’m getting lots of emails and messages as Aug 12th comes ever nearer. It’s so frigging cool. People I know and love, people I’ve never met, people wishing me well, people asking me for advice, people telling me that I’m their “hero”. I never thought that this would happen.

I started this blog on January 1st as a way to invite people into my journey, and it has turned out far better than I could have thought. I get messages from all over the world! No kidding! I love it. LOVE IT! So, if you’re reading this, and haven’t ever written to me, please feel free to do so today. I’ve got a couple days on Canadian soil, and would love to have your messages in my heart when I trip the blue fantastic.

I’ve been getting requests about my itinerary, and so thought I’d repost it here today.

My climb starts on Aug 23rd, and we will be taking the Lemosho/Shira route that will take us eight days. I will summit on the 7th day (that’s right, I WILL SUMMIT), and then be back at the hotel for a final night on the 30th of August. It kinda’ goes like this…

Aug 23: Drive to Lemosho Glades and hike to Mti Mkubwa forest camp.
Aug 24: Hike to Shira One camp.
Aug 25: Hike to Shira Two camp.
Aug 26: Hike to Barranco camp.
Aug 27: Hike to Karanga Valley camp.
Aug 28: Hike to Barafu camp.
Aug 29: Hike to the summit and descend to Mweka or Millennium camp.
Aug 30: Complete the descent to Mweka gate and drive back to Marangu.

Shira 2 camp


So, please feel free to follow along. The time change is pretty big, so be prepared to do a little math if you want to know exactly where I am at what time. Ok, so it’s 10:03am on Tuesday, Aug 10th right now, and so that means that it’s 8:03pm on Tuesday, Aug 10th in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  Got it? I’ll be 10 hours ahead of you all in Ladner. On Summit Day, we are woken up at about midnight, then climb, climb, climb until we reach the peak at about 6am Tanzania time – that would be about 8pm Ladner time on the 28th.  So send your good vibes our way, ok? Thanks!

Now… onto my last To-Do list before I go…

Two more sleeps.

xo

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Video Killed the ‘Manjaro Star

7.24.2010 | 0 Comments

Ali stumbled across this great video series that gives a day-by-day account of the Lemosho Route – the exact route that we’ll be taking up Mt. Kilimanjaro. Now you can REALLY follow along!

Up, up, and away!

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Malaria, Zanzibar, and Chris hates me…

7.15.2010 | 0 Comments

You know what’s great?   Not getting Malaria.

You know what’s not so great?   Spending $150 to not get Malaria.

I went and picked up my wee traveling pharmacy yesterday and it included my Malarone, which I was hesitant to pick up because I knew it was going to be expensive. But hey, I guess it’s worth it, right? Malaria doesn’t sound like it would be all that fun, so I’m content with skipping the experience altogether.

Oh hey! While we’re on the subject of things being great, Amanda was looking at us staying here while we’re in pre-climb Zanzibar.   Not too shabby, eh?  Hopefully we can book a room there and spend some time lolling about and being all drunk and fat.

…Ummm, I mean, spend some time swimming in the ocean, doing yoga on the beach every morning, and running in the sand for 4 hours a day to prepare for our climb.  Yes. That’s what’s I meant.

Not a whole lot new to report today, aside from the fact that I’ve doubled-up on my training with Cara. I do one group class a week and I’ve  suckered convinced Chris to do a private training class with Cara and I. Our first class with her was yesterday afternoon, and it was not easy. Cara was working Chris and I very hard in the sun, and we were both putting all we had into it.  Funny thing, I could have sworn that as Chris ran past me during sprints, he said something along the lines of wanting to leave me… but it could have been the dehydration effecting my hearing. I’m sure that was it.

Things are getting very exciting as the date of my departure approaches. Exciting/scary… same thing, right?

*gulp*

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It’s all Good.

7.13.2010 | 2 Comments

Slowly but surely the plans are coming together. Amanda and I sat down last night and started to plan our pre-climb itinerary. We’re going to head to Zanzibar for about 5 days or so, and then trek on off for our trek on up. That should be pretty cool, eh?

After the climb I have a couple of options for my remaining 5 days on African soil. My initial idea was to do a safari, and as much as that’s still on the table, another idea was brought to mind recently. Chris was speaking with me about my trip, and suggested that I look into some volunteer work while I’m there. This had been in the cards when Ali and I were first putting this adventure together, but it fell by the wayside for a variety of pathetic reasons that I no longer can recall.

Chris’ suggestion made me think of El Camino Voluntours, and how excited I am about the prospect of traveling somewhere to help do some good instead of just traveling somewhere and sitting pool-side on my expanding arse while some poorly paid waiter in an ill-fitting white coat serves me a fluffy drink with an umbrella in it.

So, why am I waiting for next year when I can afford to connect with El Camino? Do I need a special reason to make a special trip? I mean, I’m already going somewhere, so why not take advantage of an opportunity there? Makes sense, right?

So, I emailed a couple of people about volunteering over in Tanzania, and hopefully I’ll hear back soon. I’ll let you know.

xo

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It’s Official…

7.11.2010 | 2 Comments

We’ve got the dates booked, the hotel booked, and the actual climb route (Lemosho) planned out. Now you can follow along from the comfort of your own home, while Ali, Amanda, Christopher and I trudge our way up the World’s Tallest Free-Standing, Equatorial Mountain.

Day 1 will be August 23rd…

Day 1:  Drive to Lemosho Glades and hike to Mti Mkubwa forest camp.

Day 2:  Hike to Shira One camp.

Day 3:  Hike to Shira Two camp.

Day 4:  Hike to Barranco camp.

Day 5:  Hike to Karanga Valley camp.

Day 6:  Hike to Barafu camp.

Day 7:  Hike to the summit and descend to Mweka or Millennium camp.

Day 8:  Complete the descent to Mweka gate and drive back to Marangu.


Countdown to Day 1:   43 days…

*gulp*

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Marangu means ‘Reality’ in Swahili?!

7.10.2010 | 2 Comments

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!!

Dear Alison and Robyn,

Thank you for the email today.  I’ve reserved two twin rooms for you in the (Marangu) hotel for the nights of 22nd and 30th August, and an 8 day Lemosho route climb for 4 people starting on 23rd August…

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!!

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You GO, Girl!

7.05.2010 | 0 Comments

…and then there’s THIS.

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Fund Raising Effort

7.04.2010 | 3 Comments

As you can see, the donations have gone from deluge, to trickle to tumbleweed-esque.  The lovely Suzanne at Delta Hospice sends me emails to update me on donations that have come in.  She doesn’t send me WHAT was donated, but WHO made a donation. It’s so cool. I always look forward to seeing her name in my inbox.

However, my inbox has been Suzanne-less of late. It sucks.

I realized that I have fallen behind on my fundraising duties – I guess after the Kili Gala, I sort of stopped altogether. But I need to get back on that fundraising wagon and get ‘er done. I’m trying to raise $10,000 here! I mean, you’ve all been so generous, that I’m honestly humbled by the fact that I only need to raise about $4500 more. That seriously rocks the rock.  Awesome possum, people!

So, I went to The Underwear Affair last night at The Red Room downtown to see a GREAT band called Waiting for Sunday. They really were kick butt, and they have a decent following for a local indie band.  They’re just about to go on tour, and I wish them very well, indeed.

But the way people were dancing around when Waiting For Sunday was on stage got me thinking; I need a band like that to draw people in to a fundraiser night! That would be RAD! Just imagine a cool bar like say, The Anza Club, where you could go have a drink, hear great live music and dance up a storm all in the name of charity! Doesn’t that sound fab?! I mean, what if that night were held on, say, July 22nd… and started at like, 7pm? Maybe it could be even called, oh I don’t know… THE KILI CONCERT

Wait a second… AHA!!

Ali of Fatgirlclimbskili fame has beaten me to the punch! She’s got her head on straight and has planned a new fundraising night for The Heart & Stroke Foundation AND The Delta Hospice! As the Kili Gala was to Ladner, The Kili Concert is to Vancouver. This time we’re going downtown, baby! Awwwww… yeah…

So here’s another chance to donate to a good cause in a  great way. I’ll be happily manning (womanning?) the bar for the Kili Concert, and I’d love to see you there. And I’m sure Ali will drink lots of beer and dance around like mad, so you REALLY don’t want to miss that.

Come on out to The Anza Club on July 22nd to help support the Climb Kili 2010 team!!  Wheeeeeeeee!

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Team Kili 2010!

6.07.2010 | 3 Comments

ZOMG!ZOMG!ZOMG!

I’m so excited! Guess what, guess what?!  WE HAVE A NEW TEAM MEMBER!

So, there’s me, Ali, Christopher and now we have AMANDA to climb this mountain with us, too! She has been to Kili before (last year), but didn’t quite reach the summit, so this year… she’s doing it!  And I’m so proud of her for trying it one more time!

Amanda and I have known each other for about 14 years (holy crap! Really?!), and we’ve built up a really unique friendship along the way. She’s this mondo-smart woman who I greatly admire, and she and I have this great knack to be somewhat entirely opposite, but are able to sit around and talk for hours on end. Not bad, eh?

I’m truly thrilled that Amanda is on Team Kili 2010, and this addition just makes the trip that much better for me.

WELCOME AMANDA!!

xo

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