There is really no way to capture the enormous sense of accomplishment that we feel as individuals who have climbed to Uhuru Peak, 5895 meters high (19, 341 feet). It has been the experience of a lifetime.
More telling, and more important to each of us who climbed, is that we–and you our supporters–have raised almost $30,000 to begin to build a library and community resource center that will provide a lifetime of experiences to thousands of girls and boys who will be able to read a book, study for exams, and excel as students in the primary and secondary schools in Nyegina and the Bukwaya Region.
This trek to build the library is just beginning. We are on the first leg of a longer journey. We hope you will join us on this trek: no ropes, spikes, or long hikes required! Please join us as we walk hand in hand with the boys and girls and their teachers who want to reach a new level of educational opportunity. Lucy, Isaac, and Jackson joined us on the trek to Uhuru Peak atop Kilimanjaro. Today they are back in the Nyegina Secondary School but they are still on a long journey to their next summit.
Allow me to share a brief conversation with a Kili climber that brought lumps to my throat. It was dawn on the last day in Musoma, before heading back to the US, and one of the Kili Climbers thanked me for bringing him to Nyegina–and to the school–to see the boys and girls and teachers and parents who are going to benefit from the $30,000 we raised.
To quote him (if not exactly): “I was just coming to climb the mountain,” he said, “that was my goal. But now I have a wholly different appreciation for what I did, what we did. Now I know that I have done something far more important than climbing a mountain.”
His simple statement was for me a morning prayer of thanksgiving that put the last 2 weeks in perfect perspective.
What makes TDS different from other development NGOs is that we go beyond just raising money to help people who have very little.
We bring the donors to Nyegina and we make personal, lasting connections that transform the experience of a lifetime into a legacy that I/you/we have made a difference in this one place in the world, and that has made the world a better place. Asante.
Finally, all of us who volunteer at TDS, and all of us who climbed Kili, once again thank Madaraka Nyerere for his gracious, humble, reassuring leadership on the climb, and his generous heart and willing spirit that allowed us to put this climb together and raise $30,000 for the library. Your generous gift of time and talents will last for a lifetime of experiences in Nyegina and Tanzania. Of that there can be no doubt. Asante sana.