R.A. Dickey prepares for Kilimanjaro

R. A. Dickey, the Mets pitcher, will climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for  one of Wellspring International’s projects, Bombay Teen Challenge. BTC is an organization that rescues and cares for women and girls in Mumbai, India who are at risk of being abused and exploited.
You can read Dickey’s complete New York Times article here

It was Alexander Graham Bell who once said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Presently, I am in the final hours of my own preparation to ascend the largest free-standing mountain that this Earth has to offer, Mount Kilimanjaro.

The time for second-guessing is over. The research has been done, the miles have been hiked, the lungs have been taxed and the equipment has been gathered. In five days, I will travel via Detroit to Amsterdam, finally arriving at Kilimanjaro’s airport after a journey of 18 hours 25 minutes, and 8,674 miles. Needless to say, if you have a hard time with planes, you might want to scoot this one down your list of things to do a bit.

As for success, that will, I hope, come in the form of a sunrise summit at 19,300 feet on Jan. 14, 2012. I try sometimes to wrap my mind around what it will be like to see the sun come up from the highest point in Africa, how small I will feel looking out over such an incredibly glorious expanse with the sky about to catch fire.

Although the excitement is growing as the departure date draws near, the anxiety is there as well. It’s as if I’m 6 years old all over again and in line for my first “big boy” roller coaster, the one that has the steep drop and a couple of gigantic loops. I know it’s going to be a fun experience, but as the waves of people board and the screams erupt, it brings me one step closer to the unknown, a setting where fear meets anticipation. It is an exhilarating place to be, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do something I have longed to do for some time.

More important, we have raised $50,000 and are halfway to our fund-raising goal for Bombay Teen Challenge, an outreach organization dedicated to putting an end to human trafficking in Mumbai, India. With $100,000, Bombay Teen Challenge will be able to purchase a health clinic right in the heart of the red-light district. This will allow hundreds of young women who have been trafficked into the brothels to become introduced to Bombay Teen Challenge and, ultimately, have a chance at freedom.

You can read the rest of R.A. Dickey’s article for the New York Times here.


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