From January 25th to February 5th, 11 people will climb Mount Kilimanjaro to support CARE’s work to empower women and girls. We asked Steve Wicary, online political editor for The Globe and Mail, about his decision to join Climb for CARE 2012 and climb the highest mountain in Africa.
What motivated you to sign up for Climb for CARE?
It certainly helped that my wife, Christina, is a CARE staff member and wanted to take the challenge together. Obviously though, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so it wasn’t too hard to convince me.
What did your friends/family think when you told them you’d be taking on this challenge?
Everyone was fairly jealous. My family had a little bit skepticism because it’s a physical challenge and there are risks involved, but everyone has been really supportive and I think that showed through in our fundraising drive.
How is your fundraising going?
We managed to hit our goal of raising $5,000 each after a couple of months. It helps that I have a pretty good network of people on Parliament Hill and lots of colleagues in Toronto that were willing to chip in. I wouldn’t say it was easy – it’s always a challenge asking for money.
“My wife Christina and I often enjoy hiking and the outdoors with our dog Bruno. Together, we’ve summited mountains in Central America and Europe – some of our fondest memories. Climbing Kili is an opportunity to discover new challenges and make new memories while supporting CARE’s work – an organization I’ve gotten to know and respect. I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to make a contribution to defending dignity and fighting poverty.”
How have you trained for the climb?
Before the weather turned cold, we were hiking more than we would normally have. We also have a stationary bike set up in our apartment and we both do yoga and cross-country ski. We definitely increased our exercise regimen in anticipation of the climb.
What do you think will be your biggest challenge?
For me, it’s probably going to be just disconnecting totally. I spend my entire day online and connected, so shutting off from the outside world for 12 days is probably going to be my biggest challenge. The physical climb is going to be a challenge as well, but I think disconnecting is going to be odd for me. You get used to being able to pick up on hundreds of strands of information and follow them throughout a day, whereas on the mountain you’re just climbing and, of course, interacting with people on the climb.
What are you looking forward to most?
The exercise, the scenery and also the same thing that I’m going to miss most. I’m looking forward to being disconnected. It will be a nice change.
It’s not too late to sponsor a climber and help the 2012 team reach their fundraising goal!