Today I take a pause from the stories about our physical preparation to climb Mount Rwenzori. Today, I want to talk about the Team.
As I made the resolution to climb Mount Rwenzori this year, I had no idea who I would climb with. But I did pray about it. On 12th January 2015, I wrote this in my prayer journal “Lord, help me find someone who will climb steps with me. Help me find someone who will walk to Entebbe with me. Help me find someone who will climb the mountain with me.”
And the Lord answered my prayer. By 13th January, as recorded in my journal, I had spoken to Joy and Junior, who both agreed to climb with me. On 14th January, I recorded that I spoke to BT and he agreed to climb with me. Since then, I have spoken to several other people about joining me for the climb and we are now finally 11 odd people. Not all of them may climb, but that’s ok. We are still a team.
We planned for and did our first long walk as a group (not all of us), on 31st January 2015. We walked a good four hours. That was a Saturday. On Sunday 1st February we started a WhatsApp group for ease of communication. One of the things we toyed with was a theme song, to help us get up the mountain, and we decided on “I Will Get There” by Boyz II Men. At some point we even discussed a possible program for when we get to the Margherita Peak. This is how we visualized it:
12:00 to 1:00 pm – Arrival of climbers (with guides and porters)
1:00 to 1:05 p.m. – Singing of National Anthem (if we still have breath, if too winded, play a recorded version)
1:05 to 1:10 p.m. – Singing of Climbing Athem (aka theme song)
1:10 to 1:25 pm – Speech from one of the climbers
1:25 to 1:40 pm – Speech from the LC1 of the area (if we can find one at the top of the mountain)
1:40 to 1:55. – Speech from the RDC (again, if we can find one on top on the mountain)
1:55 to 2:00 – Cake cutting (the climb may coincide with the birthday of one of the climbers, so we decided we should cut her cake at the peak)
2:00 to 2:15 p.m. Awarding of certificates to mountain climbers
2:15 p.m. – leave at leisure (i.e. descend the mountain before dark)
(We had a hearty laugh at this program and moved on.)
On February 10th, 2015, one of the team, in writing to us on the WhatsApp Group, referred to us as “Rwenzorilings”, and the name stuck. Since then that’s what we call ourselves.
We have done a lot as a group to help us bond. We do group exercises together (as many as can join) and we encourage each other often during the group work outs. Every so often, you will hear team members say to each other – “you can do it”, “don’t give up”, “you’ve got it in you”. There is nothing as heartening as being cheered on by the team. We have held meetings together to plan for our climb. Last week the Rwenzorilings took me out for my birthday. Last night, in support of two colleagues of ours who work at ACME, we attended a Journalist Awards Gala that they were hosting. And we had our very own table reserved for us at the gala. That was something special.
As I sat at the table last night, I thanked God for the Rwenzorilings. They are each exceptional and unique in their own way. I am mighty proud of each one of them and the effort they have put in to prepare for the climb. As I wrote to them a while back, I think they are the awesome-est team ever! And I am very honored and blessed to be one of them.
A toast to the Rwenzorilings!