Sep 272017
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A Worthwhile Cause

The highlight of my summer this year was witnessing all ten of the World Challenge 2017 Team make it to Annapurna Base Camp. Situated at 4130m, higher than any of the all male team had ever been before, this really was the greatest physical challenge they had accepted to date. Starting out in Pokhara, we spent three days at the Annapurna Self-Sustaining Children’s home. Here, the boys helped paint, undertook general maintenance, made garden swings and interacted with the children, many of whom are now lifelong friends on Facebook. The local community extended such a warm welcome and invited us to one of the most important celebrations in their calendar, the rice planting festival. It was sad to say goodbye but everyone was champing at the bit to don their boots and rucksacks and head off into the mountains, excited, but apprehensive, about what lie ahead. I do not think anyone was prepared for eight days of trekking through Monsoons, sleeping in cold, rough camping conditions, dressing in clothes still damp from the day before, carrying heavy loads, eating food that we could not put into words even if we tried, navigating their way over recent landslides and literally being eaten alive by leeches!! At some point throughout any given day I was filled with pride at the personal trials overcome primarily due to the level of support and encouragement the Challengers extended to each other. This Challenge was not a walk in the park; there were some very low moments but also memories that will last a lifetime. The Annapurna Children’s Home survives purely on donations. They were overwhelmed by the generosity of St Christopher’s parents and staff for all the donations received. If you feel you would like to continue to help in any way, please contact me for details.