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Just to say how fantastic the climbing of Mount Kilimanjaro was on tv last night.  I am not a great fan of celebs but I found this awe inspiring.  Good luck to Red Nose Day and I hope lots of the money goes towards the projects in Africa.  Having been there myself  it is a real leveller.  I do my best for a school in Kenya and Tanzania but these little dribbles will never be enough.

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But... didn't you think the celebs were milking it a bit? When I went up I was amazed to discover that the porters took tables, chairs, thick mattresses, washing bowls and the like. They erected a mess tent and cooked for us at lunch time as well as the evening, Tea or coffee in bed to wake us up..... warm water in our wash bowl. Yes the final slog to the top is long, hard, boring and for those the altitude got to, not very pleasant... OK, so you couldn't run, I tried (I thought a friend who did have problems with the altitude was going to fall on some sharp rocks) only went about 15ft but spent the next few minutes getting my breath back. Yes, it was cold, but we had hired the right clothes, the only real problem was the drinking water freezing.  

Yes, they did well, I'm glad they raised a lot of money due to their "celebrity" status, but either the celebs that went are wimps or they were milking it.

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Don't get me wrong, I do think they've done a good job. The money is impressive, The walk is a hard slog.... but the interviews I heard wee over egging things a bit! Sadly I missed the film, I'll have to do IPlayer tonight.

I don't think we were any better looked after than any of the other groups that went up, in fact some were better looked after, we were under canvas (well, nylon I expect... so change that to "in tents") whereas many groups sleep in huts. The National Park Commission sets minimum standards in order to ensure that a goodly number of porters get work so I can't see the celebs not having the home comforts.

Thanks for the offer of organisations that I could help, we came across a school for orphans near Arusha which we helped a bit and the profit from sales of a video that I made of our trip, were sent to a charity supporting the porters and their families. I'd love to do more in Arusha or Moshi, but due to our wonderful Bankers, that aint gunna happen for a while (unless I win the lottery). Blowing our trumpet.... we paid our own fares & fees and managed to raise nearly £8,000 for our chosen charities. 


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