Kili Karuna #21

Happy One Month to my Birthday, ☺

The team completed its last training hike today with a front side, back side, back side, front side on Signal Hill. Since the weather was gorgeous and we started a little later than usual, we got to share the trail will many other folks. This was another important opportunity to practice Kilimanjaro skills since Kili is a popular mountain, we’re likely to pass and be passed by many sharing the same (yet different) journey.

I’m pleased to report that the Active Release Therapy treatments I received on my lower leg this week seemed to have done the trick in relieving the Chronic Compartment Syndrome that was building in my right leg. Essentially, the muscle swells with exertion and the fascia that covers it cannot expand much-and this can result in increased pressure and therefore pain. It’s a new injury/condition for me and I jumped on it early because it’s not one that responds so well to conservative treatment (or so I read). No pain after today’s hike or this afternoon’s walk so here’s hoping.

It was another big week of presentations. I spoke at an inner city junior high school. The 450 students were very quiet but unresponsive to me so I didn’t know how the presentation was going. I thought I might “have them” but couldn’t quite tell since I find it unnerving when an audience doesn’t laugh or sigh or oh or ah. After the presentation was over, the principal came up and said, “That was fantastic, that was awesome.”

“Really?” I questioned. “Yes, she said. “In nine years of being principal here, this is the fist assembly where we didn’t have to remove a student.” “Wow,” I thought. “I did have them.” With that school and the schools I spoke at the week before, the total number of students I have presented to reached 17,000. That leaves only about 60,000 more to reach out to with upcoming expeditions.

I also spoke at the Rotary Club of St. John’s and two conferences. In 1999, the Rotary club sponsored my participation in the Group Study Exchange program for Young professionals. I traveled to Argentina and had to give speeches to Rotary Clubs in Spanish. My speaking ability has come a long way since then. I like to keep busy for trips because it gives something for my mind to focus on besides the worries about the upcoming adventure.

Gear is piling higher on the couch and I’ve started putting various like items in ziplocks for organization and waterproofing. It’s the end of the rainy season in Tanzania so it’s likely the first few days of the climb will be wet, very wet! Some new boots that hopefully won’t leak just arrived so I’ve been busy trying to break them in-thus far they have been kind to my feet.

We had a grand time celebrating Takunda’s first birthday yesterday. Leo was kind enough to have it early so I could be there and celebrate. He turns one on June 4th. What an amazing year it’s been watching him grow up so fast.

We’ve gotten some media coverage this week. Here’s a URL to one of the articles:
http://today.mun.ca/news.php?news_id=3843

I’ve also been blessed this week with several messages from people who’ve read my book. I’ve appreciated so much hearing from there and getting a sense of their reactions to it. This piece touched me as it reflected one of the core messages of the book as well as my presentations:

Hi there TA,

I just had to write you………….to say Thank you……Thank you so much for sharing your experiences in your book “More than a Mountain: One Woman’s Everest”. It moved me……completely! It is so true when you say that everyone has their own Everest, so so true. I have to admit that I have never contacted any author from any book I have read but I felt compelled to write to you to express my gratitude. The dates you mentioned in your book were significant to me as well, as I was climbing my own personal mountain as well…….something that changed me forever and as you put it just put the world in a whole different light. What a role model you are and a strong person. The greatest of luck to you in everything that you do!

The first review of the book appeared on Amazon.com this week as well (I think they finally started delivering the book). If you purchased the book from eitherAmazon.com or Amazon.ca, please consider leaving a review on the respective site. I think book sales are going well but every little bit of spreading the word helps. We entered it into the Banff Festival of Mountain Books and I have lots of body parts crossed that it gets accepted for the festival.

I should go and play with my gear piles. Thanks so much for your support over the past five months as I’ve prepared for Kilimanjaro. I know the mountain has much to teach me and I look forward to sharing the lessons. I hope you will follow along and keep the team in your thoughts and prayers. I’ll be posting towww.taloeffler.com and www.myeverest.com

Take good care and I’ll catch you next from Africa.

TA

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