Madame Ovary's Pelvic Trust

A story about a girl who, on a whim, decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charity.

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There are more than a million persons in Egypt with physical or mental disabilities living in the fringes of society, out of which 3-4% suffer from an intellectual disability. Statistics for the disabled, however, are not very recent and numbers could be a lot higher because families are reluctant to disclose information about such members at home.  The disabled are hidden from ‘polite society’ because one of the many commonly held, but mistaken, beliefs is that disabilities are a form of divine retribution for a past misdeed, and therefore a cause of shame.
Due to these widespread social attitudes, people who are ‘different’  from the majority are marginalised, maybe even feared and loathed, certainly neglected and isolated.  They are therefore denied a Right to Live.

The Right to Live Association is a non-profit organisation catering to the needs of children and adults with mental disabilities. It was established in 1981 by the parents and families of those with intellectual disabilities. They provide a wide range of services which includes a rehabilitation center, vocational and pre-vocational workshops, two residential homes for young men and women, a training center for personnel working in the field and an early intervention center.

The aim of the association is to give the best possible services for the special needs individual and their families, and to encourage and train them to reach the highest level of independence depending on their own individual skills. 

Thanks to the help of many individuals and organizations, they have become one of the most reputable organizations working in the field in Egypt, with their services extending far beyond their initial premises to cover Egypt as a whole. This has been achieved through a number of protocols signed with different organizations to provide training and consultations to various associations working in the field, in addition to employment opportunities for persons with disabilities who graduated from other centers associations.

To ensure the continuity of our services during these hard times, we are requesting your support to the Right to Live Association by sponsoring one or more of our special children and youths. The cost of sponsoring one student in 2012 is LE30000 annually (equivalent to $5000).

The Association depends on grants, donations, sponsorships and fund-raising events to support its noble cause.  One of the initiatives that the RTLA uses to raise funds is the ‘7 day climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro’ in Tanzania.  

I am going to take up the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and intend to raise a minimum of USD 10,000 to donate to the Right to Live Association for the Intellectually Disabled. It’s as simple as clicking the ‘Donate’ button on the right. (that-a-way »»>)

With your donation, you will ensure that a mentally disabled individual will continue to receive the services and care (s)he deserves, and that (s)he, like everyone else, has the right to live, work, play and be part of life.

I can’t believe there are only 69 days and counting for this trip! Is you’re interested in everything there is know about climbing Kili, have a look at this itinerary which will give you a rough guide of what you (I) should expect. 

Arrival to Tanzania is on August 19, 2012 with the climb beginning the following day.

Day 01: Arrival In Arusha town (1,254m)

Airport > lodge. 

Day 02: Drive to Machame Gate (1490m), hike to Machame Camp (2,980m) – (B/L/D)

Depart by vehicle to Kilimanjaro. At the gate the crew finalizes porter packing and after finishing with formalities we start of from Machame gate. Hiking is through verdant fromontane forest to Machame camp and on route we have a picnic lunch. Overnight Machame Camp.

Day 03: Hike to Shira Camp (3840m) – (B/L/D)

From Machame camp > Shira Camp. The first section is relatively steep and altitude is gained rapidly.  The zone we pass through today is known as the heath zone where attractive helichrysum and lobelia plants become apparent. Various geologic features can be seen today from lava tubes to glacial valleys. Overnight Shira Camp.

Day 04: Hike to Barranco Camp (3950m) – (B/L/D)

Today is a walk high sleep low day, for acclimatisation purposes. Hopefully no dizzy spells or nosebleeds on this day! We will ascend to the alpine desert and even up to Lava Tower before descending to Barranco camp. Overnight Barranco Camp.

Day 05: Hike to Karanga Valley (3,930m) – (B/L/D)

From Barranco camp, famous for its giant groundsels (Dendrosenecio species), we ascend the Barranco wall and hike glacial valleys to Karanga camp. Today is a relatively short day hiking and lunch is taken at Karanga camp. In the afternoon a walk can be taken with our guides for great views of the southern walls of Kibo and deep glacial valleys. Overnight Karanga Camp.

Day 06: Hike to Barafu Camp (4,550m) – (B/L/D)

Half day ascending to Barafu camp. Desolate alpine desert and at times strong winds rip over this camp and yet in the evening splendid views of Mawenzi peak are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before heading to rest for the evening. Overnight Barafu Camp.

Day 07: To the top of Africa and down to Mweke Camp (3,100m) – (B/L/D)

Most people depart just before midnight for the final summit bid. Patience and persistence is the name of the game to reach the summit and by dawn as the first rays of light start to appear - most arrive near the rim. Ascending via Stella Point affords a relatively short final section to Uhuru peak, the Roof of Africa!

What goes up must come down and our goal on this day is to reach Mweka camp before dusk. Overnight Mweka Camp. If we are late summiting then we may camp at closer Millennium Camp.

Day 08: Leave the national park, onward travel – (B)

After breakfast, we descend once again through mountain forest and around mid day, after saying farewell to our crew, we are picked up and transferred back to our lodge for a well-deserved shower!

I’m heading on over to Adventure HQ today to look at gear for my trip in four months (read: I’m shitting bricks and need to know how broke I’ll be when I get back). Some wonderful members of the community have already expressed interest in loaning me some of their unused equipment for the trip, which is great! This means I’ll have more resources to donate to the RTLA. If any of you have some of the below items on hand (not underwear, thanks!), and wouldn’t mind helping a sister out by loaning them to me, (or Azher from Flea 4 Charity) for a couple of weeks, I’d be more than grateful.

All the help I can get is welcome, and there’s even a donate box on the right-hand sidebar. Remember, my target is to raise USD 10,000 for The Right to Live Association.


Progress reports when I get back!

Technical clothing
Waterproof jacket
Insulated jacket
Soft jacket
Long sleeve shirt - moisture wicking
Short sleeve shirt - moisture wicking
Waterproof pants with side zipper
Hiking pants
Fleece pants
Long underwear - moisture wicking
Underwear - moisture wicking
Sports bras

Brimmed hat for sun protection
Knit hat

Warm waterproof gloves
Thin synthetic glove liners

Hiking boots, warm, waterproof, broken in (ankle support)
Trail/running shoes
Thick socks (preferably wool)
Sock liners
Waterproof gaiters

Waterproof backpack cover
32 oz waterbottle
Pee bottle (lol!)
Plastic bags

Warm sleeping bag
Sleeping bag liner
Trekking poles
Head lamp with extra batteries
Non metal duffel bag  Donated by the lovely Mohammed Parham aka @wildpeeta
Daypack for personal gear

Lip balm with SPF
Insect repellent containing DEET
First aid kit
Hand sanitiser
Dettol wipes
Wet wipes
Toilet paper
High calorie lightweight snacks
Small pencil and notebook
Still camera - extra batteries
Video camera  - extra batteries