This will be a super short post, but just wanted to check in….
Tomorrow is the day it all starts. Day 1 of 6 days on the mountain. Tuesday, March 8, 2016 is the day of reckoning… my attempt to summit this giant.
We just got to Tanzania this morning after 3 of the longest, hardest days of my life, I think. We went to Rwanda and to the DRC to visit the very World Relief programs that this climb is fundraising for. I am so thankful we did it. So thankful. But we now carry more weight with us up that mountain. Not the physical weight of too much in our packs… but the emotional, mental, spiritual weight of all we have just been given in the DR Congo and Rwanda.
We met with women survivors of sexual based gender violence, who were so happy to share their stories with us and who ask us to tell the world about the violence that is rampant in their villages and country. We met members of local Village Peace Committees who are experiencing and facilitating peace in their communities and with each other without having to bribe officials who do nothing for them. We met women in a Fistula hospital in Goma, DRC. We drove through some of the most abject poverty I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot). We drove through a war zone (I now know the difference between the sound of firecrackers and of semi automatic gunshots – not aimed at us, but aimed in the air to try to get a car to stop so the bandits could loot it).
I held the hand of the 5 year old daughter of a fistula patient who was sitting on her mother’s bed… not immediately realizing that the 5 year old was also a patient. She had been raped just last week.
These are the women, the stories we are carrying up the mountain. These women have something to say and we will do all we can to amplify their voices and continue to advocate for a better, more peaceful life for them and all of their children. No 5 year old should be a patient at a hospital specializing in rape victims. Ever. Anywhere.
And so tomorrow, we wake up, load up our bags and packs, try to swallow our fears and anxiety and start walking.
Thank you for following this journey with me. If you want to learn more about the organization I am climbing for/with, please click on the One Million Thumbprints button on the right of this page. Also, if you want to follow us in real time, check out the One Million Thumbprints Facebook page!
I am so utterly thankful for the privilege and honor to make this trek… for the women and girls I just met in the Congo, and for myself.