On Friday 17th June 2016, between 12pm-1pm AEST, Jenni Tarrant, Owner and Creative Director of Canberra’s Bond Hair Religion reached the summit of Africa’s highest mountain, Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, with the sole purpose of raising money for charity.
The climb had been six months in the making, with Jenni undertaking intense training whilst simultaneously raising money – over $40,000* – and awareness for two charities close to her heart – Bravehearts and Canberra Lifeline – a national and local charity (respectively) educating, empowering and protecting Australian kids from sexual assault.
Says Jenni, “While I would love to raise money by sitting on my backside, the truth is that you need to do something beyond most people’s experiences and comfort zone to raise money these days.”
Having been raising funds for Bravehearts and Canberra LifeLine for years, Jenni was dedicated to taking on another challenge and embracing the adventure that lay ahead of her.
“The experience on Kilimanjaro was life changing. Pushing my body and mind beyond anything I have in my lifetime can’t be anything other than life-changing. That climb made my Kokoda Track hike in 2013 feel like a stroll,” says Jenni.
“I arrived at the summit with my two loyal walkers who I met on my first day of the climb – Charlotte and Louise from the UK – and the wonderful guides who helped us all the way: Mussa and Said. When I reached the top, the relief was so overwhelming I just cried and cried until I had no tears left. All the determination, intense training and the six months of fundraising was tough and I was just so glad to have done it.”
“There were times on Mount Kilimanjaro when I truly imagined I was on the moon. As you ascend, flora and fauna cease to exist. The thick ‘skreet’ that covers the last ascent to the summit is incredibly challenging. It’s like walking on a sand dune with very little oxygen for eight hours straight.”
“The experience of climbing Kilimanjaro, the experience of being in Tanzania with the Tanzanian people who live their lives with only a tiny portion of what we have and still have so much, was humbling. These people live in a world of poverty, corruption and extremes. The flipside shown to me was incredibly compassionate, loving, community-minded people who have the same beliefs for the future as we do: Education, health and a bright future for their children.“