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Jason’s humbling, rewarding and spiritual journey

I’ve been compelled to write a few paragraphs of my experience climbing Kilimanjaro with The Nasio Trust and more importantly working and witnessing the incredible work The Trust supports. I’ve been back in the UK for a week now since returning back from Kenya. I took this time prior to writing this to reflect on the truly amazing journey and adventure I have experienced.

Firstly, the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro which was both phenomenal and humbling. It was well organised and we were supported by the most incredible, professional and inspiring team of guides and porters. They were so encouraging, motivating, hardworking and above all wanting us all to succeed summiting Kilimanjaro. Their experience was second none and with their approach all our team managed to stand on top of Africa. It’s difficult to put into words the sense of achievement and emotions, particularly sharing the moment with the guides that had got us there. Once on top we were rewarded with the most beautiful sunrise I think I will ever see, being almost 6000 meters high, way above the clouds, amongst the glaciers and moon like landscape at Uhuru Point.

After the climb we travelled back into Kenya, Mumias where The Nasio Trust have two schools and a newly built medical centre. We were staying at Nancy Hunt (co-founder of the trust), family home where we were made so welcome and well looked after by the team there. The purpose of the following two to three days was to help with some of the projects within in the community and visit the schools, to spend time with the children playing, distribute shoes and small gifts. Over periods of the first two days we helped build a much needed house (shelter) for a family of five which was a rewarding experience to actually use our own hands and energy to help this proud family. Also to witness a house being built from scratch, literally from tree trunk and branches cut down local to the site it was being built. I took part in being one of the human cement mixers, only we were using our feet mixing in mud and water which we applied in between the branched skeleton of the house to form the walls. We also help in various other ways getting the get the shell completed, prior to a handover ceremony to the family. We also had visits to local people and help with daily chores, bring water and helping where we could. It’s difficult to put into words the emotions one has coming from a position of comfort here in UK and then to work with people and be with children who have very little.

I’m so pleased I was able to take the opportunity to see where the money raised was being spent changing people’s lives and helping them to become more self-sufficient. I can honestly say, playing, laughing, joking and being around the children was both a wonderful and thought provoking experience. One of the young adults, who was one of the original orphan, thank us at the end of one of our visits. He made a heartfelt and sincere speech, he said to us, he had very little when the Nasio Trust started caring for him but in that 15 years he was now in a position to start his education at the Medical University. He also said he was the future and he would make a difference, as would all the other children that The Nasio Trust was supporting which is currently over 420.
I would strongly recommend anyone who is contemplating supporting this Trust with climbing Kilimanjaro to follow their heart, I will be the most humbling, rewarding and spiritual journey you may take in your life.
Thank you once again to The Nasio Trust, the guides, porters and the amazing people who work for the Trust locally in Kenya who looked after us so well and got us up and down from the mountain safety. I hope one day I may visit again bring my young family to volunteer.

Very kind regards and best wishes

Jason Billingham

This post is listed in Climb Stories, Home Page, Why Climb?

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