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The Journey Begins Towards Kilimanjaro

Saying Good-bye An hour before we left for the airport I felt sick to my stomach. Knowing what I had to do left my chest tight. I am not talking about the mountain, I am talking about saying good-bye to the kids. This never gets easier. Their smell and touch was the one thing I was going to miss the most. The hour went by quick but I remember every second. Our final moments together were really tough and my kids all broke down. Just before we left my husband prayed for our safe return and we had to say our final good-bye's. They sobbed and held onto me for dear life. "How do I do this?" I kept asking myself. As I climbed into the car next to my dad my heart was broken, into a million pieces. As we drove away into the dark night it was pouring down with rain and I could see the sky lit up to our right. The weather was as heavy, as my heart. Taking on such a big challenge is mentally challenging, not knowing and not being sure if you will ever see them again.

Our Roadtrip Two hours before we left our first thunder storm for Spring arrived. As we left we drove away from the storm and I was so thankful for that. I spoke more to my dad in our two hour road trip than the past ten years. (Uninterrupted conversation) I spoke. He listened. It was nice. It felt right.

Arriving At OR Tambo - Johannesburg International Airport We arrived two hours and ten minutes later. Check in point was clear and we were assisted immediately. Then came the bad news... our flight was delayed by three hours. Not the best feeling in the world, it was already 22:00 and we haven't slept. We had to wait until 4am before we could get on the plane. We went to the Bidvest Premium Lounge and we waited. It felt like a life time. Eventually the day changed from Saturday to Sunday and we were no longer on the 22nd September. The lounge had a TV but with only sport channels, which of cause made my dad happy. I found myself two chairs and made myself at home. We had lots of good coffee that night. I had a power nap and so did my dad. Not for long though, but at least we had something. It helped a lot.

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Business Class My dad surprised me with a business class ticket and wow was I surprised and over the moon. By the time we finally sat down and ready to fly we were exhausted, almost awake for twenty four hours. A very emotional twenty four hours. Our flight to Nairobi in Kenya wasn’t long, we were there in four hours. We both slept after take off and had a good two and a half hour nap.

Nairobi, Kenya We arrived one hour late for our connecting flight to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It was such a disappointment. We were looking so forward to a day next to the pool, chilling and resting before our big climb. That unfortunately was not in the books for us. We got a new flight but it was only nine hours later and the whole waiting period started all over again. Just try imagine how we felt. Again stuck at an airport. Still exhausted. Back in the VIP lounge. Waiting. Watching the seconds click by. I mean you can only eat and drink so much. I took another nap, again stretching my tall body over two different chairs. It was a good nap. The airport was so small it took me about fifteen minutes to walk through all the shops. It wasn't an easy day. In a way we were content just sitting there watching the planes come and go but inside it felt like a thousand butterflies chewing on my stomach. Later in the day my dad was sitting across the room when he said “it’s now time to get our heads right.” In that moment I felt nauseous. When words like that come from someone who has walked the walk you realize something big is coming. It was there that I left the Elle magazine that I was pag through and decided to take a nap. Sleep is the best medicine We were super excited to board of final plane for Kilimanjaro airport.

Final Destination - Kilimanjaro We finally made it to Kilimanjaro airport in just forty minutes. We flew past her and I couldn’t believe what I was about to do.

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Africa I can’t help but just love our continent a bit more after this incredible trip. It’s so beautiful. My heart belongs to Africa and will always. Although we had such a bad start to our trip we had good times too. We had nice chats, serious talks and I got a chance to share my heart with my dad again. Make sure to follow my journey as I write about our amazing climb to the roof of Africa.

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