Our trek started on 4 August. The morning before setting off was the last hot shower we would have, and the last buffet breakfast we could pick from until we returned on the 9 August, coinciding with Womens Day, a public holiday in South Africa.
By the first night, reality set in for me when I had to go to bed without my usual bath, cleaning myself as best I could with just wet wipes. After supper I retired to our bunk beds, crept into my sleeping bag and prayed for sleep to come. I knew that waking up to use the loo was inevitable after drinking about 2 liters of water for the day. The only problem with that is the loo is outside the hut, about 40m away….
Every comfort that is known to me, is no longer there. I don’t have my comfortable bed with loads of cushions. There no bathrooms to just stroll into and do your thing. My fridge to open up whenever I feel like and scan it’s contents is very far from where I am. Lengthy meal plan discussions are none existent. Selecting the days clothes from a closet full has been scaled down to a 15 kg duffel bag. Viewing posts on social media is such a thing of the past.
I realise that if I don’t wrap my head around all of this real quick, I am just going to be giving myself a difficult time. I already know that none of this is permanent, so all I have to now do is be grateful for what I do have. I might not have what I want, but I have everything that I need.
We have enough drinking water. Nutritional meals. A place to lay our heads. And not to mention loads of tea!
But what really stood out for me was that I was surrounded constantly with people and nature . Now I don’t normally do well with large groups of people, but I think I did pretty well with what has now become new family, from all walks of life, different journeys, all coming together for the same cause.
As for the nature part? I was able to take in as much as I could. There were no other commitments to rush off to….Just taking in all of what God has blessed us with.
It wasn’t until we got off the mountain when it all became clear to me…It really isn’t what you have in life. It’s who you have in your life and what you surround yourself with. I was privileged to have spent my once in a lifetime journey with amazing human beings. Had it not been so, the entire trip could have turned out to be a complete disaster. I now have new appreciation for the people closest to me…after all, it is them who makes our lives a little more beautiful.