Long time, no write. I have just noticed that I have not updated my blog since I came back from the North Ridge of Ama Dablam in November last year, but I guess that even though I enjoy being in Switzerland in the winters and do a lot of amazing things, I never feel that I have much to tell that could be of huge interest.
So, here is a short update of what has been happening and what is on the cards. I have been working for the Swiss Humanitarian Aid for the past four months dealing with communications and media work in relation to Switzerland’s humanitarian assistance for the victims of the Syria crisis. It has been extremely interesting but also very frustrating given that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, that more than 11.7 million people are in need of humanitarian aid and 2.5 million people have fled to the neighbouring countries of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.
And for these countries, this conflict has also become an increasing burden and the scale of this humanitarian crisis is unprecedented. If you imagine that Lebanon, with a population of about 4 million people, is now hosting almost one million Syrian refugees, you can see that every fifth person in that country is a Syrian refugees. I know that the work we do is only a drop in the ocean and does not solve the problem, however, I am hoping that the people of Syria will soon be relieved of this awful situation and can start to rebuild their country and their lives.
In February, I was back on Kilimanjaro with a very fun group from the United States. Everything went smoothly even though we were faced with a blizzard on summit day (I haven’t been out walking in such bad weather for years!) and climbing Kili became a real mountaineering experience. It has to be said that even though Kilimanjaro is not an 8,000-metre peak, I take my hat off to everyone who manages to get their head around climbing up that steep scree slope and enduring many hours of plodding (we had a 20 hour day). So once again, congratulation to my amazing team, who summited on 16 February 2014.
My next challenge will be running the marathon in Rome on 23 March 2014 and other than in Berlin in September last year, this time I will be running with good friends. My friends Chrissie (who I guess will be running it a lot faster) and Ale will join the run and my sister and my very good friend Evi from Garmisch will come as support group. I will also be doing something I have never done before but is being done a lot in the UK and the US: I will be raising money for charity. My friend Declan, who runs an organisation helping poor children in Kathmandu (just-one.org), has had this great idea and I will be posting more on this very shortly. So if you feel like helping somewhere but you cannot decide where and how, this could be a chance – but of course, no obligation.
At the end of March I will be flying back to Kathmandu to resume my work with Miss Elizabeth Hawley and the Himalayan Database and on 12 April 2014 I will embark on a new journey. I will be going back to Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world, which I attempted in autumn 2012 but had to retreat due to bad weather. I am really looking forward to it and I guess the good thing about not getting up a beautiful peak the first time is the fact that you get to go back and enjoy the beauty and the climb once again.
From now on I will be updating my website more often again, but in the meantime I hope you all had a good winter – or summer if you are in the southern hemisphere – and I am looking forward to sharing my new adventure with you again.