Asante sana!


50 money donations, a suitcase full of goodies and more on the way for the Amani children. Asante sana! Thank you very much! ūüôā

Here’s a treat for your Tuesday morning – the song that the porters usually sing to celebrate successful summits on Kilimanjaro. VERY much looking forward to this celebration myself ūüôā




I need YOU! And here’s why…

Because I tried – I really did! – to get some big companies to donate some small things for the Amani Children’s Home. ¬†I might have been naive to think that companies that build their brand on their Corporate Social Responsibility programs might see an opportunity in my small project and donate a few much-needed items for homeless children in Tanzania.

And I have spent hours writing emails to these companies, explaining that I will climb Kili for the cause, that I am entirely self-funded. I have given all the information I possibly could about Amani and the wonderful work they’re doing for the street children in Moshi; and how a few boxes of crayons might go a long way in making a child there happy. ¬†Because, I stupidly thought, it would be so easy (and cheap!) for a company like Crayola to donate a few crayons or coloring books. ¬†Or for Boots to donate a few thermometers…

But it turns out that the grand CSR programs these companies pride themselves with are nothing more than 3rd party clearance houses.  They donate their extra stock to other companies who distribute them (for a fee!) to the same charities, over and over again.  In other words, they delegate their Corporate Social Responsibility.  So no surprise, then, that all I got in response was a polite (and a few not-so-polite) NOs.

Here are some of the companies I have contacted:  Crayola, Melissa&Doug, Boots, Superdrug, SportsDirect Рand the list goes on and on.

The only company that responded positively was British Airways, who is allowing me 2 extra check-in bags for the donations. ¬†The problem is that I need more donations…

So I am counting on the kindness of people – friends, family and strangers – who might like to pitch in a few simple items for me to take over to the Amani Children’s Home. ¬†I have made an Amazon wishlist based on their list of needs, which you can access here:

TODAY (July 8th) is the last day you could order something off the list in order for the delivery to reach me in time before I leave.

So if you have the Monday blues, please consider doing a random act of kindness by pitching in a few items – it might just chase those blues away! ūüôā

So far, I have quite a few medical supplies Рincluding a blood glucose monitoring kit that a couple of friends donated!  Some school supplies might help.  Also, a few basket or volleyballs, to keep these kids off the streets.

In short, anything off the list would be enormously appreciated ūüôā


Essential goodies

With only 3 weeks left until my impeding trip to Moshi, things seem to be coming along quite nicely.  The first in kind donations have arrived this week, thanks to a wonderful colleague and very good friend from the LSE.  


If anyone is interested in pitching in a few essential items for the Amani Children’s Home, please visit the Amazon Wishlist I made on the basis of their current needs. ¬†A couple of simple things could really make a difference.

African Child’s Day


Today is African Child’s Day. ¬†If you’ve thought about a small donation to my campaign, but feel uncomfortable giving money, perhaps a donation in kind might suit you better.

The Amani Children’s home has a list of current needs based upon which I made an Amazon wishlist. I have already designated a suitcase in which I will take some of these items to Tanzania. If you’d like to help me fill it by contributing a couple of things, it would be awesome ūüôā ¬†Here’s the Amani Wishlist.


Training for Kilimanjaro (III): break the routine

This past week-end I shamelessly ditched the gym for a far better alternative – Dorset’s bit of the Jurassic Coast. ¬†A World Heritage Site, this magnificent landform¬†consists of¬†Triassic,¬†Jurassic¬†and¬†Cretaceous¬†cliffs, spanning the¬†Mesozoic¬†Era, ¬†and documenting 180 million years of¬†geological¬†history.

Durdle Door

Durdle Door

During World War II this rugged coastline was adjudicated by the Ministry of War Рwhich explains why, to this day, you can still spot shooting ranges, military outposts and even an odd number of war ships.  This, however, does not detract in the least from the spectacular surrounding beauty.

The hills behind the coastline make for beautiful countryside walks Рa perfect opportunity to train outdoors.  Braving the cliffs can be slightly dangerous in some places Рand more so after downing half a bottle of sauvignon blanc Рbut the views are well worth the risk, especially on a sunny day.

The week-end coastal path training was thus a total success.

Total distance walked: 36.5km (about 22.5 mi)

Total number of awesome picnics: 2

Total number of four-legged friends made: inordinate (Billy, a geriatric whippet; two VERY social billy goats; and oodles of cows, sheep and hares).


Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove

Mupe Bay


The Mupe Rocks

The Mupe Rocks

The adventure begins!

We're off

After months of dreaming, planning and preparing, the flight to Nairobi is finally booked! I am taking off on July 17th, which leaves me exactly 2 months to fundraise and train for the trek up Mount Kilimanjaro.

Juggling a full-time PhD, a part-time job and an intensive physical training program for the next 8 weeks will be a challenge in itself. ¬†But I am immensely excited about this project and I am motivated to do it well. ¬†I hope you can come along for the ride, drop me some helpful advice, if you have any, and do be inspired to sponsor my Kili challenge for the Amani Children’s Home. ¬†Off we go!