Thursday, July 19, 2012

So Is This A Bucket List Thing?

When people find out I am going to climb Kilimanjaro they invariably ask me why. Most seem to think it is has something to do with me going through a mid life crisis.  Others wonder if it has been a life long dream that I am fulfilling. The truth is I had never even thought about climbing Kilimanjaro, not even notionally. 

What I had been thinking about is getting back into international work.  My daughter has turned 16 and doesn't need her parents around as much.  And after years of working on Canadian water issues, I thought it might be a good time to refocus on work in Africa and Latin America, where clean water issues seem so much more pressing than they do here. So I had started exploring those opportunities.

Just by chance, my friend and fellow climber, Kerry Freek, who is the Editor of Water Canada magazine, announced that she would be climbing Kilimanjaro and was holding a fundraiser in support of WaterCan.  So I went to the fundraiser simply to support Kerry and send some cash WaterCan's way (The picture above is of me with my pals, and fellow water advocates, Gerald Kennedy and Anthony Watanabe from Kerry's Blue Bash fundraiser).

Well, later in the evening, probably after I had had one or two pints more than I should, and my judgement was impaired, Kerry introduced me to George Yap, WaterCan's Executive Director.  During our chat, I muttered something along the lines of "What an amazing opportunity to support a great cause. I wish I would get invited to particpate in such things."

I guess I got invited, because the next thing I know, I am waking up my wife Agi at about 1 a.m. saying "I'm going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in October!" to which she replied "No you are not.  Now go to bed."  Lol. 

When we woke up, I explained things, she understood that I was serious and by 10 a.m. I had officially become one of WaterCan's Kilimanjaro climbers.

I am sure the climb will be terribly exciting and demanding, but what I am most looking forward to is spending a week visiting communities in Tanzania to see, first hand, the clean water challenges people face and how WaterCan's efforts are changing lives and bringing hope.

You might not be aware that the climbers are all paying their own way.  So every cent donated goes toward supporting WaterCan's work.  Just $25 will provide a person in Africa with access to clean water and basic sanitation FOR LIFE.  Most of my friends spend at least double that on a single night's bar tab. 

So please open your hearts and wallets and support WaterCan by clicking here. My personal goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000 and bring clean water to over 400 people. 

So there you have it.  There's my motivation.  And when I get back I will have some new stories to tell.  I think my friends are getting a little tired of me retelling the old ones ... even though they get better and better every time I tell them. :)

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