Continuing Education for Trek2Kili

Last August, I set out to climb Kilimanjaro with nearly thirty women through WHOA Travel, an all-women's travel adventure company. What started as a trip about a mountain became so much more. I gained a sisterhood in the women whose uncertainties transformed into triumph over many miles and nights shared in frosted tents with stolen breath. I fell in love with a country. And I found family in our crew from Trek2Kili, whose gentle hearts are accompanied by a quiet, albeit superhuman strength.  They guided us, fed us, and carried the weight of our packs as confidently as they carried our summit dreams, then carried those who were too weak to continue climbing. They lifted our spirits each day with constant smiles and songs in Swahili. They woke us with soft murmurs of "Mambo" each morning, and celebrated our arrival at camp each day with a mountain dance party . Not one of these women would have stood on the summit of the highest freestanding mountain in the world without their knowledge, expertise, and selfless care- and not one of us would have wanted to.

I've since become a Group Adventure Leader for WHOA Travel, and returned to the mountain and the people that have tattooed so many hearts. As WHOA Travel's longtime partner in Kilimanjaro climbs, Trek2Kili is our family, and I want to support my family. Many of you WHOA alums had asked about ways to give back, and supporting the continuing education of our Trek2Kili crew is perhaps the greatest gift you could give.

At the end of March, 15 guides from Trek2Kili will be taking a mountain guide refresher course that costs $400 per person. Located at the foothills of Kilimanjaro, Mweka Wildlife College is a leading institution in wildlife, safari, and tourism management, and is recognized as a Centre of Excellence by the East Africa Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC). This professional training is essential to the guides' ability to provide safe, guided climbs, yet comes at an exorbitant cost relative to their wages. An additional course in May for Wilderness First Aid Response and CPR costs $600 per person and is required for 13 guides. 

My goal is to raise at least $6,000 to cover the cost of tuition for all guides taking the refresher course in March, with any additional funds going toward the tuition for the second course. A total of $13,800 would provide these courses for all Trek2Kili guides who need them. I hope that all WHOA alums, as well as family members and friends who have been touched by the tales of our journeys with Trek2Kili, will join me in supporting their continuing education. Your investment in their education is a gift that allows them to keep on sharing THEIR gifts- and the gift that is Kilimanjaro. Consider it our way of saying, "Asante sana."
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    • $100 
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  • Cathleen Quayle 
    • $20 
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Allissa Thompson 
Carlsbad, CA
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