Sunday, February 18, 2007

Teetering on the brink....

Do you want the good news or the bad news?

Well, actually it's fantastic news. As of now, late on Sunday night and one week before our first night's camp on Kilimanjaro, our fundraising target of £10,000 for World Vision in Tanzania is so close I can smell it. Unless it's the Ralgex (see below for the bad news).

We're standing on a cumulative £9,809 thanks to some very generous donations from a lot of friends, family and colleagues in the last couple of weeks, and because of a substantial pledge today from my brother Paul and sister-in-law Carol. And if their pledge becomes a reality in the next couple of weeks - conditional upon some personal financial shenanigans, Paul assures me, rather than any of us summiting* - the tax relief on the pledge would push us over the edge. Symbolically, of course.

So conveniently ignoring the original wildly ambitious target of £25,000, we're there. Well, if Gordon Brown can reforecast the budget deficit so creatively, then so can we...
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. This really will make a huge difference to the community of Kisiriri in Tanzania, as you can read here. We'll continue to track progress of the water project through this blog, and there's even the possibility that we could go back to Tanzania in 2008 to see the completed work and meet the community, thanks to World Vision.

With the fundraising tape breasted - well, almost - it's time to focus 100% on the challenge at hand. And from my personal perspective the timing is a real bummer, as our friends across the Atlantic would say. After months of training and feeling really confident about fitness and the whole psychology thing - BANG, a week before D-Day I've been hit by a double whammy. Flu AND the Return of The Dodgy Back. Fantastic. I've spent 3 days already cramming Nurofen and Lemsips down my throat, and Mrs M has been Ralgexing my ageing lower back.....resulting in a slight easing of the back pain, so that I can at least begin to contemplate hauling a heavy rucksack up 3 vertical miles to almost 6,000 metres above the African plains. But still feverish. I can feel the energy draining away by the minute...

Oh well, I didn't want to do any final training this week. I'll just hope that nature, drugs and the skilled hands of a physio from the third space can weave their magic by Friday. And that I haven't passed any dodgy germs on to Mrs M, in which case I'm in serious trouble.

I hope the rest of the Kili 6 are in good mountain climbing fettle. Neph # 1 Steve had his 22nd birthday today and looks well up for the challenge. Mrs M is in peak condition as long as that sore throat doesn't develop.....Neil's knee is under control. Last time I saw Jon he looked like a fit whippet, and Eszter is hopefully eager to escape the pressures of the legal profession and take it out on Kili.

See you all on Friday. Lemsips and Nurofen appreciated.

*summiting. What a ridiculous word...and another from our North American cousins, I suspect. Like the winningest football team in a season. Or getting acclimated. Two nations divided by a common language indeed. In any event I hope I make it to the top of Kilimanjaro by sunrise on Thursday 1st March, bad back, flu 'n' all.


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