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Facing Mt. Kenya


“Once upon a time, I read about Mt. Kenya, but last year, between October 26th and 31st, I experienced its magnificent views, an escapade I will never forget. Prior to the climb, I had training through the trails of Ngong Hills, Elephant Hills and Rumeria hills (more on this later).  For those that have forgotten their geography, the latter two are found along the Aberdare Range. The range straddles across the counties of Nyandarua, Nyeri, Muranga, Kiambu and Laikipia and is 160km long. In this expedition, I was one in a group of thirty looking to raise a shilling for each step we made for the children’s ministry at All Saints Cathedral. Out of the 100 Million the church targeted to raise, we brought in over 20 Million.

Take us back to when it all began

Kimani, my high school friend and fellow Stratizen pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree, invited me to their church’s initiative dubbed “Step 4 Jesus”. The church, All Saints Cathedral, is building a Children and Teens Center (CTC), a platform envisioned to attract, develop and disseminate resources that equip the church to effectively nurture children and teenagers into Godly nations. The tremendous facility will help equip children and teens with all that mobilizes them to be great stewards wherever they are or go.  Later this month, the 30 hikers will meet again to review our climb as we plan the way forward.

On facing the Mountain!

The climb was an uphill battle – literally, but the views were worth every ache. We averaged 14km per day. However, on day two, we traversed through 22km. To get ready for day two, we slept at 6 p.m. so as to get up at 1a.m. to transverse the highest point in Kenya. This allowed us to get to the summit in time to see the sun oozing from the horizon at 6a.m. At some parts of the journey, it rained but the intensity of the drops was not a mission stopper. It was interesting to be between the clouds, unlike the fluffy view we get from the low altitudes. They are actually icy!

Ooh! To food matters, ‘Carb – loading’ we called it. Breakfast included arrowroots, sweet potatoes, and of course, sausages. We kept the lunch light since we were still on the move. Dinner was usually heavy with lots of meat on the plate. Hydration was not optional.  Each hiker was required to take a minimum of three  liters of water prior and seven liters for the day. This is because as one climbs, the level of oxygen drops and water helps the blood increase the oxygen levels. Without enough oxygen, a hiker could suffer altitude sickness. After the end of the hike, we were advised to eat a lot of protein to help build back our muscles.

For body, mind and soul

After this venture, my mental fortitude definitely went up a notch. My ability to focus and execute solutions when faced with  uncertainty or adversity is up a grade. This has also translated to my course work – I am more patient with myself as I explore alternatives to hurdles in my studies and life ‘manenos’. I have also come to learn that opportunities to give to society are endless. Donating cash is just one way while giving in kind through your time and action is one more option. Another refresher for me was that in life, we need each other – I do not think I would have randomly gone to climb Mt. Kenya. The people we meet become our support system through the journeys of life. Who is your Kimani?  It is my hope that this year you will find a mountain/hill to climb and when you get to the top, take a deep breath and enjoy the view. Don’t forget to bring a friend with you.  And remember Maddy Malhotra said that adversity is inevitable, but you have to work to develop the strength to get through it successfully.

My name is Imran Kasumba, a 2nd year student at Strathmore Institute of Mathematical Sciences pursuing Actuarial Science (Imran means Happiness in Arabic). Wondering how you can help? Visit All Saints Cathedral as we take more “Steps 4 Jesus”.


This article was written by Annete Karanja. 



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