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Kilimanjaro Completed!

August 1, 2022

We are so proud of Joe, Sam and Dani for completing their Kilimanjaro Challenge - for all the training, fundraising, discipline and hard work that they put in to conquering the climb!

Here is a summary of the trip from each of them:

Joe

In October 2020 I turned 40 and was looking for a way to mark this point in life, to take on a challenge and also looking for an opportunity to raise money for Links. I came across the idea of climbing Kilimanjaro in late 2019 and got really excited about this as a possibility. Knowing that Dani Turner, our good friend in Bunches was also hitting this milestone, I remember sharing the idea with her and also with Sam Walker our Africa Regional Coordinator. We all signed up, not really knowing what to expect, but feeling excited about climbing Africa’s highest peak. Then the pandemic hit and nearly two years of delays scuppered our plans.Finally in early 2022 we received the date of early July for the Machame route climb and began to prepare ourselves for the adventure.

The 6 days on the mountain would be both gruelling and life-changing, breaking and making us in more ways than one. The views were spectacular, from panoramic vistas in the daytime to firmaments glistening with a billions of stars at night. We journeyed through varied terrains ranging from tropical rainforests, to barren moonscape, sun scorched slopes, finally to snow capped peaks and glaciers, and all of this experience shared with a team of strangers, who by the ned of the climb had become close like family. As we journeyed together it quickly became apparent that everyone was also facing their own metaphorical mountains and it was beautiful to see how God allowed us to share our own battles and to pray with one another. Standing on the mountain top and looking out over what had been achieved was overwhelming for everyone and I think it would be fair to say that in one way or another, everyone met with God in a new and profound way.

Alongside all this together we have also been able to raise the phenomenal amount of £…..! None of this would be have been possible without your encouragement and generosity! It really has made every blister worthwhile and we can’t thank you enough for continuing to join with us to connect people, confront poverty and crate potential!
Sam

In 2008, I saw Kilimanjaro from another lower peak and said under my breath “One day I’ll come and climb you too!” When Joe and Dani mentioned they were going to attempt Kilimanjaro as a Links’ fundraiser I knew this was my opportunity. It would be a gruelling 6 days on the mountain, moving through all types of terrain, getting some altitude sickness, and feeling the burn of the sun as well as the bite of the cold – but we made it up and down the 5895m tall crater. The mountain had this way of both breaking you and making you in the same breath. It was such a privilege to achieve this challenge and with such a great group of people – the fundraising was the peak on top of the experience – it will help our partners climb higher too with their visions for their communities. Thank you so much for the support.
Dani

Climbing Kilimanjaro was such an adventure, I absolutely loved it. The summit climb was the hardest thing I've ever done but so incredibly rewarding. I wasn't expecting to be changed so much by the experience; the summit climb not only impacted me physically but also emotionally and spiritually too. It was a very special time on the mountain.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported this fundraiser. There is still time to encourage Joe, Sam and Dani with their fundraising. You can donate to their giving pages here: www.linktree.com/linkscharity.

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