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By deciding to raise money for children, I pushed myself straight away as I find it really difficult asking for help let alone money/sponsorship. All of this before even embarking on the challenge itself!

Knowing I was coming on my own wasn’t an easy thing to do either. Most of the other members of the group joined the challenge with somebody they knew.... I became a bit anxious arriving at the airport but this feeling didn’t last very long.

When looking at pictures of Kilimanjaro long before the trip, I started panicking a bit about the training and not being fit enough.... wondering if I was going to acclimatise to altitude, wondering about the weather, about what I had packed, absolutely everything.... I tried to convince myself that with the amount of sports I do, and as I am quite sociable and as I travelled quite a bit....everything would turn out OK. It didn’t turn out OK.....it turned out to be the most incredible experience of my life so far!

The trek was a brilliant experience

This wasn’t so much a physical challenge for me but a mental one! The last part of the climb during the night in pitch black and freezing weather was the most difficult part of the trip for me.....but what a reward when at around 5:00am, after 6 hours walking in these conditions, the sun rises! The are no words to describe the feeling you get.... I remember crying at this point, it was all I could do.

I am so happy I have done it

It was an unbelievable achievement, from start to finish. Not only have I met a bunch of fantastic people. It was also great to discover breath-taking landscapes and to interact with people from Tanzania who have a complete different culture, mentality and language.

This achievement has certainly changed the way I look at life now....it also helped me to find my limits as well as figuring out what I would like to do professionally.

Carol – lives in Belgium, she signed up in May 2010 to climb Kilimanjaro with us in September 2012, and she raised money for The Variety Club Children’s Charity.

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