September 18, 2015 at 11:32 am Leave a comment

2Jackson Garner (19), an unsighted student from Birmingham University in the United Kingdom (UK) has something to smile and proud of he managed to reach at a top Mt Kilimanjaro representing a cause for blinds and other disabled people.

As Jackson recalls it was around 7.30am on September 1, 2015 after a breath taking two and half hour slow walk from Stella Point that he managed to reach Uhuru Peak (5,895metres, above sea level) of Mt Kilimanjaro which is also famously known as the ‘Roof of Africa’!

“For some seconds I totally forgot that I came along with my fellow students from Birmingham and Kent Universities; then some 15minutes or so later turning I saw them coming towards me in a second group and it downed on me he has made it!” the totally blind student explained cheerfully with tears of joy during the exclusive interviews at the Zara’s Springlands hotel in Moshi.

5He recollected that he was the culmination of “our six day Mt Kilimanjaro climb” through the Machame route that to him still seems like a dream. “Reaching Uhuru peak was a dream come true but the actual climb is a long episode that one’s need to grow old first to forget,” he noted

“I do like the challenge that’s why I come to scale Mt Kilimanjaro though I’m totally blind and I’m very much appreciative myself that I made it to the Uhuru peak with the ‘great assistance’ from Innocent Thadei, a professional Chief Mountain Tour Guide with Zara Tanzania Adventures and his assistant Shaffi Daffa.” Garner further explained during the interviews.

According to Garner he dreamed of scaling Mt Kilimanjaro for a long time to prove to the world that ‘Anything is Possible if you like’ and that the disabled can do if assisted.

“I used to climb some hill in the UK and when we formed this group dubbed ‘Choose a Challenge for Charity ‘under the UK based charity organization called Meningitis Research Foundation; some of my fellow students thought I can’t made it to the highest peak of Mt Kilimanjaro (Uhuru Peak) due to my disability (blindness), but I thank God that I made it to Uhuru Peak after a good assistance from Innocent Thadei and Shaffi Daffa from ZARA Tanzania Adventures who were very patient and to me. They assisted me very much to fulfill my dream and next time I will come to scale again the highest peak of Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro……” the totally blind University student explained with the tears of Joy.

When he landed in Moshi, all climbers were lodged at Springlands Hotel located in Pasua area; one of Zara Tanzania Adventures facility.

We were introduced to ZARA Tour Guide, Innocent Thadei and received detailed briefing on the actual climb, and prepared for the first hike early next day Machame.

At dawn on September 6, 2015, we left the hotel in one Zara Adventures minibuses for a ride to Machame Gate. After formalities which included registration for each climber a flag-off function was organized for our expedition.

The first day trek was tough by all measures. “Walking the some seven kilometers from Machame Gate to Shira was beyond my expectation and that of my fellow climbers….. I arrived totally exhausted. I was in fact feeling ill, wishing to go back and return to London for good.”

However, the expedition Tour Guide (Innocent) in fact managed to cajole me to move on during the second and each of the following days.

However, the real examination came on the 10th September, 2015 when the expedition was summiting. We left Barafu Camp where we arrived earlier in the afternoon at 10pm to start the most daring climb to Stella Point and ultimately Uhuru was freezing cold and at Barafu winds were blowing crazily.

The climb was very slow and the chief guide called for constant breathing breaks. I felt my body aching all over, air was thinner and waliking with a torch on the forehead was tricky. At times I find myself sleeping but the requirement was to keep on waliking ahead and more so above.

At dawn our expedition managed to reach Stella Point, I thought that was it but I was proved wrong. The order came from the chief guide: “Climbers should stand up and move ahead to cover the last 200metres to Uhuru Peak!”

“To say the truth, I don’t believe the remaining distance was really 200metres. Because we walk and walk for over 2hours lucky enough I and my young brother George we ultimately made it.

I had many people to thank for the feat but much salutes goes to the ZARA Tanzania Adventures staffs particularly Shaffi Daffi and his fellow Kilian Christian who throughout the expedition played a role of my guardian father.

“The other important person was Zainab Ansell, the managing director of ZARA Tanzania Adventures who encourages me so much to fulfill my dream to reach Uhuru Peak (5,895metres above sea level)!” he pointed out.

Innocent Thadei, a professional mountain Chief Tour Guide from ZARA Tanzania Adventures who led the group of 34trekkers from Birmingham and Kent Universities under the expedition dubbed “Choose a Challenge” explained that, in general the expedition was good and total of 32trekkers made it to the highest peak of Mt Kilimanjaro name Stella Point and Uhuru peak, and only two of them failed to reach the highest peak!”

5“A total of 32trekkers out of 34 made it to the highest peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro; but much salutes goes to the Jackson Garner, a totally blind student who was the first to reach the highest peak of the “Roof of African though we found some few difficulties on the way due to the ‘blindness’ of his client, but he made it…..’ he explained.

The Managing Director of ZARA Tanzania Adventures Zainab Ansell, congratulates Jackson Garner as he fulfilled the dream of scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro to Uhuru Peak.

About Zara; ZARA Tours has evolved into Tanzania’s largest Kilimanjaro outfitter and one of the largest safari operators in the region; currently operate 2Hotels and 4-tented Camps in the northern circuit of Tanzania. Provide VIP, honeymoon and regular tours; Airport transfer, city-to-city transfer, ground handling services, groups and corporations from all over the world.

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Source: The Guardian.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.


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