Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I hope 2010 turns out to be everything that everyone hopes for. May it bring you joy, happiness, prosperity and most of all, peace. I also hope that the new year gives us the good fortune to complete our goal of finishing the well and to further advance our school project in Tanzania so that the kids at the Sabasaba School and the Kayenze Preschool can also look back on 2010 as a special year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another great item

The items for the silent auction keep coming. We have an 8 X 10 photo signed by Vince Gill and Amy Grant! Thanks to Trevor for getting that one for us!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Major item for silent auction

BVG Contracting has just confirmed that they will donate a front and backyard landscaping design with a value of $1,000 for the silent auction at Petit Bill's Bistro May 18, 2010. BVG does absolutely amazing work. Many thanks to Brian Geraghty. Check out BVG's web page at

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More great news

The auction items are going to be amazing for our silent auction May 18 at Petit Bill's Bistro in Ottawa, Canada. Huge country star, Tracy Lawrence, has contributed an autographed and framed 8 X 10. There are many more items available and many more to come. I will soon post a link to tickets.

Three Cups of Tea

Okay, NOW I am even more excited about our upcoming cocktail party! I just received a package of items for our May 18 silent auction from Greg Mortenson's Central Asia Institute. Greg Mortenson is the author of "Three Cups of Tea". The package includes two of each of the following:
  • Tea from the foothills of the Himalayas
  • A Cd by Jeni Fleming and Amira Mortenson
  • The book "Three Cups of Tea" signed by the author
  • The young reader's edition of "Three Cups of Tea" signed by the author
  • A dvd about the Centreal Asia Institute and the work it does
  • A booklet documenting the work of Greg Mortenson
  • A children's book entitled "Listen to the Wind", which is the story of Greg and Three Cups of Tea - signed by the author.

You don't want to miss out on this!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Silent auction - May 18

Just received a couple more items for the silent auction to take place on May 18 at the cocktail party at Petit Bill's Bistro in Ottawa. I am in Nashville for a few days and for all you country fans out there Tracey Lawrence donated an autographed and framed 8" X 10" photo. The Lord Elgin in Ottawa also donated a one-night stay. This is going to be a great auction!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cocktail Party and Silent Auction

Our cocktail party scheduled for May 18, 2010 is shaping up nicely. A number of organizations have jumped on board to support our endeavours to help some kids in Africa have clean water. Among those supporting us so far are: Petit Bill's Bistro, Canterbury High School, Unibroue Breweries, Microsoft, Giraffe, Lord Elgin Hotel, Edible Arrangements, Paul Young (author of "The Shack", Huff Estates Wineries, Westboro Flooring, Black Prince Winery and the Central Asia Institute.
Thanks to all.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cocktail Party - May 18

Plans are rolling for a cocktail party to be held May 18 at Petit Bill's Bistro in Ottawa. So far, we have African entertainment and some great silent auction items. One I am particularly excited about is the bestselling book, "The Shack", signed by the author. There will be lots of prizes as well. More details will be announced soon. Mark it on your calendars and help finish the well at the Kayenze preschool in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New granddaughter!!

I am very proud to announce the arrival of new granddaughter, Jaelyn Grace, to the family. She is a sister for Annika and the daughter of proud parents, Chris (my climbing partner on Kilimanjaro) and his wife Laura.
Congratulations Chris and Laura!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Christmas cards available

Having trouble figuring out what to buy for a friend or relative for Christmas? We might be able to help and you will feel good about helping some kids in Africa at the same time. For a minimum donation of $10, we will provide a Christmas card with the attached picture on the front. Inside, the card will say, "A donation has been made in your name to Plan Canada for the purpose of providing clean, safe water to the Kayenze preschool in Mwanza, Tanzania. Merry Christmas!" A tax receipt will be issued for purchases of three cards or more.

Contact me for more information.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Porters mistreated on Kilimanjaro

Here is a video of the mistreatment of porters on Kilimanjaro. It is very real. The company we climbed with, Tusker Trail, treats their porters well but we saw porters with huge weights and climbing in sandals. Anyone climbing should take that into consideration. There are also great shots of a Kili climb in the video.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Fund Raiser Coming

Once again I was moved by what I saw in Africa. People fishing in the canal where animal carcasses were lying was just a small part. I am even more determined to finish what we started and to raise the funds to finalize the well to provide clean water for the kids and community in Mwanza, Tanzania. We are working on a new fund raiser that I will announce very soon. Keep watching for new posts as the plans evolve. If you wish to get involved, please let me know.

Photos Available

Many have asked to see photos of our Europe and Africa trip. We took about 1800 so there are a few too many to post. However, you can see some highlights on my facebook page at

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vesuvius is done!

Climbed Mount Vesuvius yesterday. It is steep but not long. We got to walk around the crater and see inside. There is still steam coming out of it. Next time it erupts, people should get up to 72 hours notice because of the sensors around it. The climb was followed by a tour of Pompeii that was buried in ash by Vesuvius in 79 AD. The workmanship in the city is incredible, right down to a red light district. Pictures will be posted when we get back.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Climbing Mount Vesuvius

Resting in Rome after touring the city and Venice, Florence and Lake Garda. Going to Egypt, Greece and Turkey via cruise ship after climbing Mount Vesuvius on Sept. 30.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mount Vesuvius is next

September 30 is the date of my Mount Vesuvius climb in Naples, Italy. It is a short climb and then off to Pompeii to see the remants of the last time Vesuvius blew in 76 AD. Can't wait!! We will eventually make our way through Cairo to see the Sphinx and pyramids. Photos will be coming.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Fund Raisers

I have lots of fund raising ideas percolating. I am just waiting for feedback from a few people and we will get started. Anyone have any fund raising ideas they would like to contribute? We need around $8,500 to complete the well project in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Article from the Smiths Falls paper written by James Careless, TJT Design.

Despite torrential rain that inundated Smith Falls on August 29, 2009, the 1st Annual Kilimanjaro Golf Fore Kids Tournament was a resounding success. Organized by Debbie Harbridge, owner of Real Deal housecleaning services, the tournament at the Lombard Glen Golf & Country Club raised $4,200 to build classrooms for children in Tanzania. It was in support of efforts by Plan Canada, the international children’s aid agency.

45 local golfers teed off at 11 am in the 1st Annual Kilimanjaro Golf Fore Kids Tournament. After enduring an ever-strengthening downpour for over an hour, the soaked competitors retreated to the clubhouse. As they dried up before the fire, they passed the time in a vigourously-contested indoor putting contest. Afterwards, the main program was launched featuring a silent auction with items donated by HP Canada, Pinnacle, Verbatim, Rinaldo’s of Manotick and TaggerWear Custom Swimsuits.

Local writer/broadcaster James Careless MC’d the event. He introduced speakers such as Plan Canada President and CEO Rosemary McCarney; Ottawa mountain climber Barry Finlay whose trek up Mount Kilimanjaro with son Chris inspired the classrooms for Tanzania project, and acting Smith Falls mayor Robin Hawe. Entertainment was provided by surprise guest and singer/songwriter Trevor Finlay (also Barry Finlay’s son) who came in from Nashville to support the event. Working behind the scenes providing energetic support were TaggerWear owner Susan Trott, Leah Careless, Jennifer Kempster and Evelyn Finlay.

“I am really grateful to the community, my friends and the fine staff at the Lombard Glen Golf & Country Club for making our first tournament a success despite the rain,” said Harbridge. “The money raised here will make a real difference in improving not just the education, but opportunities and lives of children in Tanzania.”

Friday, August 21, 2009

Five Fundraising Tips

Plan Canada asked me to come up me my top five fundraising tips. They published them on their webpage yesterday. You can read them at

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Presentation in Manitoba

About 100 people attended my Mount Kilimanjaro presentation in my home town of Rapid City, Manitoba on August 16, 2009. Over $500 was contributed to the well project. It was great to see so many friendly faces and to bring our experience to them. Thanks to all who attended and contributed. It was an evening I will long remember.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Clean Water for Africa Day Summary

Great time at Clean Water for Africa Day and we raised over $4000 for the well in Mwanza, Tanzania. The weather held off long enough and people seemed to have a good time. The trebuchet was a hit and by the way, if anyone wants it for a fund raiser, I am sure it is available. Thanks to all our sponsors, the Tanzania High Commission, Plan Canada, our wonderful volunteers and the media and to Pierre Poilievre, MP, Lisa McLeod, MPP, and City Councillor Steve Desroches for attending. It was a success!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Everything is happening at once! Clean Water for Africa Day is coming. The final preparations are being made. It is going to be a great day for kids of all ages. We only need 4 hours of sun. Is that too much to ask? Join us at 3013 Jockvale Road on July 25 from 10 - 2. Bring the whole family!! Proceeds to drill a desperately needed well in Mwanza, Tanzania.

For the golfers out there, July 31 is the final day of registration for the Kilimanjaro Golf Fore Kids Tournament at Lombard Glen in Smiths Falls. Only $80 for golf, a chance at prizes, goodie bag, silent auction, etc. Come on out! Proceeds to build a classroom in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kilimanjaro Golf Fore Kids (6)

Deadline fast approaching!!!

Play golf and help the kids of Africa at the same time. The 1st annual Kilimanjaro Golf Fore Kids tournament will be held at the Lombard Glen Golf & Country Club in Smiths Falls, Ontario August 29. Cost is $80 for 18 holes, cart, dinner, a chance at prizes and a silent auction. Proceeds go to Plan Canada for building much needed classrooms in Mwanza, Tanzania. Registration closes on July 31. Rain date is August 30. Call Debbie at 613-285-5789.

Clean Water for Africa Day (5)

The time is fast approaching!! On July 25 from 10-2, the Barrhaven United Church, 3013 Jockvale Road, Nepean, will be the site of water related and other activities for the kids. Activities include two giant inflatable play structures, water games, face painting, African themed food and refreshments, a trebuchet for launching water balloons and more. The trebuchet may not be quite as large as the one in the photo.

The event is proudly sponsored by the Barrhaven United Church in conjunction with other local curches and the business community. All proceeds go to Plan Canada for providing clean water to the Kayenze preschool and surrounding community in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kilimanjaro Golf Fore Kids (5)

Ottawa - You are going to love the Lombard Glen Golf & Country Club on August 29. It will be a great day of golf and every golfer will receive a booklet with messages from the CEO of Plan Canada nd the Mayor of Smiths Falls. New things being added every day.
Registrations close July 31.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What Happened to the Flag?

As you know, we presented a flag with the names of over 200 donors to the Sabasaba School in Mwanza, Tanzania. They agreed to hang it in the new classroom when it is built. Some are asking what happens to it in the meantime. Well, here it is. It is currently hanging in an existing classroom. Our friends at the school sent us this photo recently. It is very satisfying to know they are taking good care of it.

Newspaper Article

There is an excellent article in "Nepean This Week" on our two scheduled events:
Clean Water For Africa Day - July 25 at Barrhaven United Church, 3013 Jockvale rd., Nepean and the Kilimanjaro Golf Fore for Kids tournament on August 29 at the Lombard Glen Golf and Country Club, Smiths Falls, Ontario. We just got news that the Tanzanian High Commission will be providing some genuine African items for sale at both events.
All proceeds go to Plan Canada for constructing a well and a classroom.
Come out to one or both.
Contact me at for more information.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Clean Water for Africa Day (4)

We are looking for volunteers to run games at our Clean Water for Africa Day on July 25 at the Barrhaven United Church. They will be water related activities and a lot of fun. Send me an email if interested.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Golf Tournament Update (4)

We had our annual family tournament at Lombard Glen in Smiths Falls yesterday. That is where the Kilimanjaro Golf Fore Kids tournament will be on August 29. It is in great shape and fun to play. It rained all day so we only played nine but I enjoyed the course so much I plan to play it again before the tournament. I am sure everyone will have a great time on August 29.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Trying to keep up

In my never ending quest to try to stay current, I have joined the Twitter revolution. Insert "twit" jokes here. Anyone interested in following can search on Twitter for Karver2.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Some Startling Facts

According to Plan Canada:

  • An estimated 3,900 children die every day as a result of poor access to clean water and improved sanitation - 2 million preventable deaths each year.
  • One billion people, including 400 million children, do not have access to an improved water supply.
  • 2.6 billion people lack access to improved santitation.

That is why we have to do our part!

Monday, June 1, 2009

"How Corporate America Really Views Africa"

You might find it interesting to read this report on understanding how US corporations view Africa as an investment destination and what their requirements are for investing in Africa on the same scale as their investments in the rest of the developing world.

The study comprised in-depth inter-personal interviews with top management decision-makers in 30 leading United States multi-national corporations; of which 50% were in Fortune 100 and 75% in Fortune 500. Industries covered include Pharmaceutical and Healthcare, Agribusiness, Consumer Goods, Petrochemical/Extractive, Aerospace/Defense, Information & Communication Technology, Infrastructure, Media, Transportation. All the participants were senior executives.

The information was gathered between January and November 2008 in a study conducted by the international qualitative research practice of Baird’s Communications Management Consultants (United Kingdom) in partnership with the Africa Business Initiative of the US Chamber of Commerce.

This report is on part one of a study in two parts about investment in Africa. The second part will deal with the response of African political and government leaders to these private sector views.

Download the Executive Summary:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Clean Water for Africa Day (3)

Clean Water for Africa Day will take place July 25 at 3013 Jockvale adjacent to the Barrhaven United Church. It will be a fun-filled fund raiser with lots of games and prizes for the kids. All proceeds will go through Plan Canada to help drill a well in Mwanza, Tanzania. There will be more details to come.

According to Oxfam Canada, as quoted in an article by Vivian Song in Sunday's Ottawa Sun, "In Botswana, women walk nearly 7 km every day to fetch water to wash, cook and clean. That's when girls are forced to quit school". And that is exactly why Chris and I are trying to do our bit. We feel that the starting point for creating a better world is in providing the basics, such as clean water. Once the water is available, kids need classrooms to attend.
We can all kid at a time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Golf Tournament Update (3)

What is that we are holding at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, you might ask. Why, it's a golf ball. How appropriate because this is another update on our Kilimanjaro Golf Fore Kids tournament to be held August 29 in Smiths Falls. We just found out that, thanks to James Careless (, we will have some electronics available at the Golf Tournament. We are not sure how we will sell them yet. Silent auction!!?? Live auction!!?? Whatever!! They will be available. Here are some examples:
- HP Photosmart C6380 All-in-One Printer
- Verbatim travel laser mouse - 2
- Spindle (or 2) of Verbatim CDR
- Spindle of Verbatim DVDR
- Some software
- and much more

Jim and Theresa Jones and the rest of our good friends at Tucson's have also donated some gift certificates for the tournament.

These are only the ones I know about. There are many more donors who have given us much more for the tournament. All proceeds go to our classroom project in Tanzania.

Come on out and play some golf like Rosemary McCarney, CEO, Plan Canada, is going to do. It will be a special day!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Golf Tournament Update (2)

This is going to be a great event. Debbie, Harbridge, the Tournament Director, calls me every few days with new and exciting things that are going to happen on August 29. As an example, there will be a painting of Mount Kilimanjaro and a hockey jersey signed by Hall of Famer, Larry Robinson for the silent auction, goodie bags and a souvenir brochure for golfers to take home, great prizes for a putting contest, closest to the pin and longest drive, $3,000 prize for a hole-in-one and much more. Now she is working on celebrities to sign up. All proceeds go towards building a much needed classroom in Mwanza, Tanzania. Sign up early for this one. I can get sign-up sheets for you or contact Debbie at 613-285-5789.

Clean Water for Africa Day (2)

Work is progressing on Clean Water for Africa Day. We are looking for sponsors and people who want to help out with a day full of water related activities for kids. The Barrhaven United Church is taking the lead on this event and they are a great bunch to work with. It will be fun to be a part of this event for the kids and to know that you are contributing to the lives of families in an African community.
If you want to help out, send me an email asap!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Clean Water for Africa Day

A day of fun for the kids, static clean water displays, entertainment and barbecues and drinks is being planned by the Barrhaven United Church for late July. All proceeds will go towards our well project in Mwanza. Very exciting and more details to follow.
Last night, Chris and I met the CEO of Plan Canada at a cocktail party. We also heard a talk on problems with Sierra Leone. Amazing people at the party. One attendee sponsors 11 kids! Everyone can sponsor a child somewhere in the world through Plan Canada for about $1 per day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Golf Tournament Update

This just in: There will be a $3,000 prize for the first hole-in-one at the tournament! Good luck!

Friday, April 3, 2009

1st annual Kilimanjaro Golf Fore Kids Tournament

Here are the details for the 1st Annual Kilimanjaro Golf Fore Kids Tournament:
Where: Lombard Glen Golf & Country Club, Smiths Falls, Ontario
When: August 29 (Rain Date August 30)
Sign up by: July 31, 2009
Cost: $80, includes golf, cart, dinner, prizes. Also available will be a 50/50 draw and silent
auction. If you want to come for dinner only, it is just $20.
Other: You can sponsor a hole for $50 and have your name placed at the hole
Contact Debbie at 613-285-5789

Keep watching for more details.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Quote from Ralph Marsden

"Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality."
I have no doubt we will add another classroom for the kids at the Sabasaba School in Tanzania.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Presentation to BUC

On Sunday, March 29, Chris and I had the opportunity to make our presentation to the Barrhaven United Church senior youth group and congregation. There was a great turnout and we had a number of interesting questions. Not quite as interesting as the week before, however, when I presented to the Sunday School kids. Questions like, "how did the mountain get there?" and "what's inside the mountain?" were a challenge to answer to say the least.
We raised $280 towards our project on Sunday night and we are very appreciative of the opportunity and the contributions.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Recap of the climb

For those of you who didn't have a chance to follow along, here is the day-by-day description of our climb of Mount Kilimanjaro that was posted on

January 10, 2009
Barry and Chris began their first day of climbing by riding in an 8 wheel vehicle for 6.5 hours to the Londorossi Gate where they began their climb to the first camp. The first camp is Mti. Mkubwa at 9170 feet and was about a 3 hour climb up quite a steep grade from the gate through a rainforest. The day began at 26 degrees and was up to 31 degrees. This evening it was 14 degrees after reaching their camp for the night. There is a mess tent where they serve dinner and a pre-dinner snack consisted of popcorn and tea. There are 2 guides, 18 porters and the 3 climbers. Tomorrow will be a much more difficult day. They begin early and will be climbing to about 11,500 feet. They will pass through the remaining rainforest and into the moorland then desert plateau.

January 11, 2008
Barry and Chris Finlay along with Peter Yates walked 20 km today on Kilimanjaro escorted by their 2 guides and 18 porters. This walk took 6 hours mostly uphill through the last of the rainforest then into mooreland. It was a tough day. They spent the first 1.5 to 2 hours walking thru the rest of the rainforest then into moorland where there was still lots of vegetation but it got steadily less as they went to higher elevations. At 11,500 feet the vegetation is now short grass growing in clumps along the way. They are relaxing now and will spend the night at the Shira Camp where they get their first look at the peak of Kilimanjaro in the morning. The sun will come up over the peak and usually the clouds stay away until a few hours after sun up. Twice a day the guides check Oxygen level in the blood and take the pulse of the climbers. All is well and tomorrow they will climb to 13,650 feet. They are encouraged to eat well and drink lots of water daily. The guides and porters do not let anyone forget nor do they let anyone hurry along. "Pole, Pole" (Slowly, Slowly) can be heard frequently. The guides and porters are very friendly and they are teaching the climbers a song about Kilimanjaro which sometimes causes laughter to be shared along the way.

January 12, 2009
Barry, Chris Finlay and Peter Yates have made it to the Moira Camp at 13,650 feet after walking over 6 hours and going over 20 km. The air is much thinner there now but everyone is doing well. Calling while sitting in the dining tent after their dinner time, they do not notice the thinner air but hiking tomorrow they will notice it more. It doesn't seem to be a problem for any of them. Everyone is feeling fine. Dinner tonight was spaghetti with a curry meat sauce. They saw the peak they are heading toward early this morning as the sun came up and they said the views from where they are now are absolutely spectacular too. They had an almost flat walk through some of today as they walked over lava rocks in a moon like setting. There are caves caused by lava flow and the rocks in some areas have a obsidian or shiny black appearance. They will get some sleep now (8 hours ahead of us) and get ready for the next portion of the trip. They are all enjoying the experience very much and are looking forward to the views and experiences tomorrow will bring.

January 13, 2009
The climbers are at the Barranco Wall Camp tonight which is at 13,200 feet. They climbed thru the Lava Tower today during the 7 hour climb. The Lava tower was majestic and clouds over every 10 minutes but then clears and they could see Mehru peak on one side and Kibo on the other. The sights were fantastic. They had to pick their way through rocks on the climb up and again on the climb down to the Barranco Wall Camp where they are spending the night. It was a really tough day of climbing. The sights and the panoramic views are really and truly outstanding.At 15,200 feet in the Lava Tower they noticed really much lower oxygen supplies but that is part of the acclimatization they are going through where they climb high and sleep lower which will assist them on making it to the summit.You will note that they are not taking the routing that was on their itinerary now. They are doing very well and all oxygen and blood pressure tests are very positive thus the slight change in itinerary. Tomorrow their plan will be to go to the Karanga Camp which is again around 13,000 feet.They are feeling like they can touch the clouds as they are in them but every 10 minutes or so they can see the night sky and the stars are bright and absolutely amazing to see.

January 14, 2009
Today was the most satisfying part of the climb so far. They spent almost 2 hours climbing an 800 foot vertical wall called the Barranco Wall. There is a trail but in one place you have to "kiss the wall" and swing around it. Peter said he was "scared sh__less". Barry and Peter both have a fear of heights but decided it had to be done so managed to do it even though they were scared. Christopher was doing the whole wall with a smile on his face really enjoying himself. He said his legs were a bit rubbery once but he loved it. The temperature was about 16 degrees when they were climbing the wall today.

They then spent about 5 hours climbing down into a valley, up the other side, down into another valley and up the other side then into the valley where they were to spend the night at Karanga Valley (13,600 feet). They are all tremendously proud of themselves to have done it.

Apparently the porters start a while after the climbers begin their climb up the wall but pass the climbers carrying 20 kg on their heads. Barry said it was interesting to watch the 20 kg bags being dropped and end up down at the bottom of the wall in the river. The porters then go back and get the bags and begin the climb all over again. I guess it happened a couple of times along the way. May be their way of taking the climbers minds off the 800 foot vertical climb they are doing for a bit. (My thoughts not from Barry)

Right now the temperature is about 2 degrees and when they come out of the mess tent and can see the mountain, no clouds tonight, then look the other way and can see the city of Moshi with all the lights. Spectacular views. All in all the most satisfying day for all of them.

An interesting thing they mentioned is that the porters always go ahead and set up the next camp and every 3 days porters come up the mountain bringing fresh food then carry the garbage back down the mountain.

January 15, 2009
Barry, Chris and Peter have reached the Barafu Camp (16,019 ft) where they will spend the night. The air is thinner but everyone can breath okay and no headaches. They walked over shale uphill about 2000 feet today and it was rough going but they did the walk in 3 hours. Once they got to camp they were given tea and lunch then the guides decided they needed an acclimatization hike and they went up the mountain further then down again. They had some sleet while doing the acclimatization hike. This lasted a couple of hours. They are now sitting in camp visiting. Eddie Frank one of the founding members of Tuskers Trails was bringing a group from Montreal down the mountain and stopped in to visit with Barry, Chris and Peter. Eddie was aware of the school project in Tanzania they are working on and stopped off to see how things were going on their climb and to wish them well.

They have passed streams and rivers on their climb but at the altitude they are now there is no vegetation or water. Peter saw a very large osprey with about a 4 feet wing span and as we were talking Barry mentioned a giant raven flying toward them. This Raven is about 3 times as big as crows here and they are scavengers looking for food. They have also seen "four striped mice" which is a loosely translated version of the Swahili name for them.

Where they are in camp they can see the mountain clearly as well as Mount Mawenzi which is another peak (1 or 3) of Kilimanjaro. They can also see Kibo clearly today. The clouds roll in then veer off as they come in contact with a rock wall near the peak. At the beginning of the climb they had been fed lots of carbs they are now being fed lots of carbs and starchy foods. They say the food is fantastic and Christopher is very happy with the curry dishes.

January 16, 2009
At 5:06 this morning, I received a call from the Summitt of Kilimanjaro! THEY MADE IT!THEY REACHED THE SUMMIT OF KILIMANJARO AT APPROX. 1 PM TANZANIA TIME! The last hike up to the summit was brutal. They were up and hiking at 6:15 am their time, it was snowing a bit and there was a dusting of snow on the ground. The wind was strong but was behind them so they kept thinking that everyone whose name (200+) is on the flag, including family and friends were pushing them to the top. They made the Uhuru Peak which is the highest point on Kibo at about (19,340 feet) arriving about 1 pm Tanzania time. They spent about 15 minutes taking pictures and just being in the moment before they began their descent again. Everyone takes oxygen at the top of the mountain just to replenish their oxygen in the blood somewhat before they begin their descent. They hiked to the glacier which is disappearing and were saddened by that fact. They hiked to the ash pit which is where the active Volcano is located on Kilimanjaro. The descent began and they ended up surfing down about 200 feet in loose rock before they continued on to the Crater Camp at 18,802 feet where they will spend the night. They had planned to go further down the mountain but the weather dictated they were spending the night at the Crater Camp. Tomorrow they will hike down the mountain to another camp in lower altitudes where there will be more oxygen. Tonight they will be sleeping at 18,802 feet.

January 17, 2009
Our Climbers wanted us to know that it was about 16 degrees at the top of Kilimanjaro but with the wind chill it was about 3 degrees in actuality
Last night at 18,800 feetthey had 3 doses of medication for headaches. The guides made sure they had the medication every 4 hours until about 10 am this morning when they took the blood oxygen readings and blood pressure again. Everyone passed the testing very well. The headaches disappear as they get into lower elevations.
Tonight they are camping at the Mweka Camp which is about 10,000 feet just at the edge of the rainforest. They have sore feet tonight and it is well below 0 in camp tonight.
They came down the mountain in about 5 hours and the first 2500 feet in about 45 minutes. They slid most of the way in loose volcanic ash with their toes mashed against the front of their boots.
They were told by the guides to cut their toenails before they started out this morning and it became apparent why as they spent all 5 hours with their toescrushed against the front of their boots. Needless to say it would have been a painful descent andthey will have sore feet tonight.
After the first 2500 feet they spent the next 4+ hours picking their way thru rocks and then a rocky river bed which was fairly steep. They were glad it had not rained much lately as the riverbed was dry. They are not sure how this route could be used in wetter weather. They spent all that time watching the back of each others boots picking their way along to their camp for tonight
At this point in the telephone conversation the reception started breaking up. The connection was lost and although they tried to call again 2 times we were unable to establish a connection to complete the report. I will update the report the next time I hear from them. As I understand it they will walk thru the rainforest tomorrow to the nearest gate and be picked up to be taken back to Moshi for a well deserved hot shower and a cold beer!

January 18, 2009
THEY ARE BACK IN MOSHI! They left Mweka Camp at 7:40 am and to to the gate to Kilimanjaro at 10:40, downhill all the way. This was tougher on the legs than climbing up hill. They had to check out of Kilimanjaro at the Gate. Once they reached the gate, they were presented with Certificates saying they had climbed Kilimanjaro and 45 minutes later they were back in Moshi. They hiked over 100 km from the Londorossi Gate at the West side of Kilimanjaro to the east side, up and down all the way around the mountain. They are back in Moshi and have had a hot (and cold) shower as well as a cold beverage. They are packed and ready for their trip to Mwanza and the three climbers (Barry, Chris and Peter) are going to go out for a celebratory dinner together tonight. Everyone is great and very proud of themselves and their accomplishment. It was not easy but very satisfying for each of them. WAY TO GO GUYS!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

1st entry - March 24, 2009

Hi everyone,

As you know, Chris and I successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro at 1:00 pm Tanzania time on January 16, 2009. It was an exciting and emotional time. I felt like the entire 200 plus people who donated to our classroom project were behind us, pushing us to the top on summit day. There was a very descriptive article recently in the Kanata, Barrhaven, Perth, Stittsville and Manotick newspapers. You can read the article at

We then visited Sabasaba School in Mwanza, Tanzania where we presented the flag to the school administrators. What an eye opener that was! The school has 200 Grade 2 students and 325 Grade 3 students housed in two classrooms and they are still registering! The kids have to be educated in shifts so that they can all get some education.

Chris and I have managed to raise close to $15,000 so far through the generosity of the 200 plus people I mentioned earlier. About $8,000 will go towards a third classroom, supplies and training a teacher and the remaining $7,000 will go towards drilling a well. But there is much more to be done. The school needs 12 classrooms and about $13,000 more is needed for the well project.

We want to keep this going. Plan Canada is providing every cent we raise to our projects and we have seen what the money can do. In my next blog I will announce details of the 1st Annual Kilimanjaro Golf Fore Kids Tournament that is scheduled for August 29, 2009 in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Tournament Director and Founder, Debbie Harbridge, has that well in hand.

We will also be presenting some slides of our adventure on Sunday, August 29 at Barrhaven United Church, 3013 Jockvale Ave at 7:15 pm. It is open to the public so come out and join us!

There are more events planned. Check back often for further announcements!

Thursday, January 1, 2009