High above the clouds - Blog by Maria Assenova

The July Team

It seems to be like it was yesterday when I got a call from Ralph, who asked me if I would join the Kilimanjaro expedition in October. For a person like me, who feels at Home high above the clouds there was no other obvious answer: “Yes, Ralph. I would love to!”

Now, in 2 days’ time we will already be on our way to Africa’s roof: higher than I have ever been in my life so far. And I just turned 27 last month!

Will I be able to put all my strengths together? Will I will be able to acclimatize well ? Will I reach the summit? Could I have done more in training and preparation?

All those were part of my thoughts on my last trek to the highest peak in Bulgaria yesterday. And Musala peak is just 2935m high. Uhuru peak stays at 5892m – double the Bulgaria’s highest peak.

Although I have already been to Everest base camp and climbed Mont Blanc two times my heart is now beating impatiently and nervously.

Because this time is different. This time I am not just climbing for fun or for myself. This time I am climbing for the children. This time I have to give my help through something I do the best. Our small team of 7 has a mission. Because everyone matters. Because we could make it happen for them, together.

Uhuru means Freedom in Swahili. In the countries we live we have the freedom to choose: where to live, what to wear, what to drink and eat, where to go to school and have our education. Together we could make the difference for those children in Laikipia: we could help them have a school and clean water and provide them opportunities. Because after all , it is all about the people.

Starting from 09 October me , Vince, Natalie, Tom, Andrea ,Thomas and Robbie will be struggling with the heat and the mosquitos in the rainforest area and with the cold, headache, rare oxygen and high altitude above 4000m. And this is nothing in comparison with the psychical struggle with ourselves – to give up and go to our comfort zone or continue up to the summit.

So keep the fingers crossed for us!

Maria Assenova

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Greets from Musala Peak, 2935m, the roof of Bulgaria!