Mount Kilimanjaro Climb
Meet Bonnie McIlmoyl and Doug Klassen. Bonnie was a member of the CPAR Board of Directors. Both are long time CPAR supporters and are committed to building healthy communities in Africa. Bonnie and Doug traveled to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and to raise funds for CPAR’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) project.
They faced the daunting task of climbing a mountain that is 19,500 feet above sea level while fundraising for a project that ensures mothers and babies have the chance to thrive. In a country where 8,500 mothers die from childbirth each year, this was one harrowing mission.
“It was a beautiful and relatively manageable climb most of the way, until the last night and day which we both found very hard,” Bonnie said. “Right from the start, we had very cold nights – the first night we woke up to frost on the ground and it stayed like this for all five nights camping each night in a tent.”
Bonnie and Doug experienced nausea, practically sleepless nights (sleeping only two to three hours), and they climbed eight hours in the dark, on steep, rugged paths.
But the outcome was well worth the difficulties they faced – they raised money for a great project while experiencing a travel dream!
When asked if they would climb Mount Kilimanjaro again, they both joke amicably, “never again”. While the climb is not for the light-hearted, the challenge to raise funds for a worthy cause is well worth the effort.