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It is fitting that this week Weezer released a cover of the classic Toto song “Africa.” (listen here) I’ve been listening to it on repeat; not only is it a great song, but it is an excellent soundtrack as I prepare for my journey to Africa.
In two months, I’ll be traveling to Tanzania to trek to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa, on Mount Kilimanjaro. This is something I’ve wanted to do since I saw the IMAX film about the mountain 16 years ago. There is an allure to it; the largest free-standing mountain in the world, a snow-capped peak on the equator, an ancient volcano formed a million years ago.
Now, it is finally beginning to feel like the journey is close at hand. I’ve been accumulating my gear piece-by-piece and keeping my fitness level up by running and hiking the local mountains. The trek will cover 44 miles, but it is not the distance of the journey that will be the biggest challenge. The thin air at 19,340 feet is the wildcard factor that I cannot prepare for. There is no way to know exactly how my body will respond to the altitude, but that is part of the adventure, the unknowing and the perseverance required to overcome the challenges.
The promise of a trip of a lifetime is not the only reason I’m embarking on this journey. I am doing this trek to raise funds to provide clean drinking water, safe sanitation, and hygiene education for people in Tanzania and in other developing countries. I’m committed, with my fellow trekkers, to raise at least $1,500 for Compassion International’s WaSH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) fund. But $1,500 is the minimum. I want to raise at least $2,000.
For so many families in developing countries, the family facet is not a spigot in the kitchen but a long walk to a stream or well. The U.N. estimates that in developing countries, women and girls — who do 90 percent of all water and food gathering — walk an average of 3.7 miles daily to collect water and even then the water is not always safe for drinking.
The issue is not just the provision of safe drinking water. Adequate sanitation and hygiene are vital to preventing the spread of disease. When children are sick, they miss school. When parents are sick, they lose work. Access to safe water and sanitation is one of our key weapons in the battle to release communities and families from poverty.
Would you please consider making a donation to this cause? It is simple and tax deductible. Head over this my fundraising site http://causetrek.compassion.com/nathandavis and click the "Donate Now" button.
I am covering all costs for the trip. 100% of your donation will be used to help provide clean drinking water, healthy sanitation, and hygiene education.
I will be posting updates about my travels here. Be sure to come back later and follow my journey to the Roof of Africa. Until then, please donate :)
A WRITER AND TRAVELER KEEPING THE FAITH IN LOS ANGELES