We’re a grandma, a mum and a son who have decided to take on the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro. We’re not mountaineers, and have never been to Tanzania, but the idea came up and, once the seed was planted, it started to grow…
Sheila (67) was born in Hawick but has lived in Canterbury for over 40 years. She’s a retired solicitor with five grandchildren. She’s married to Stewart, a retired university lecturer whom she met at school. Sheila is a regular volunteer at Catching Lives.
Likes: Sewing, walking, Scrabble, scrumping and laughter
Dislikes: Helicopters, mean-spiritedness and toucans
Oscar (13) goes to Aylesbury Grammar School and plays football with “Real Aylesbury Town” at weekends. He enjoys traveling and seeing new things. He’s particularly keen on interesting buildings, so really liked Barcelona. He has two little brothers whom he loves, but they sometimes drive him to distraction.
Likes: Football, squash, computer games, his tiger (Raa), Biscuit Boosts and mango smoothies
Dislikes: The X-Factor, Marmite, homework and early mornings.
Jae (43) is a working mum of three boys. She is married to David who gave up work to become a home dad when their third son was born.
Likes: Cheese, salsa, badminton, fizz, fiction and watching her boys play footie
Dislikes: Pessimism, marshmallows, Malibu and velour.
When Jae came home from work one day and was telling Oscar about the fact that Exodus were about to start allowing teenagers to climb Kilimanjaro with their parents, he pointed out that he would soon be a teenager and asked if she thought he would be able to climb such a big mountain. A few “you can do anything you put your mind to Darling” platitudes later, and Jae was texting her mum to see whether she’d be up for it.
We’ve found a couple of examples of grandpas and dads who’ve climbed Kili in a three generation adventure before, but haven’t yet come across another granny who has climbed it with her child and grandchild. Maybe we’ll manage a first!
We’re hoping that people will be interested in following our story and maybe sponsoring us too. Half of what we raise will go to Catching Lives – the homelessness charity in Kent that Sheila volunteers with. The other half will be split between various Exodus projects around the world, including a Tanzania Porters School that teaches useful skills to both male and female porters. You can see the other projects here.
We plan to leave the UK on the 19th of August 2015, and hope to summit Kili around a week later. Cross your fingers for us please!