Jonah Villegas

August 17, 2021

As we set out with a group of 14 teenagers to climb the Ngong Hills, there was so much excitement in the air coming from the trainer, ourselves, and the teenagers! Unlike Karura Forest which does not have steep hills, Ngong Hills is very tedious and not for the faint hearted. The teenagers were so energized and looking forward to the hike. The Ngong Hills are 7 magnificent hills that stretch out with wonderful views of the Rift Valley. We managed to conquer 5 of the hills. We set out early in the morning; it was foggy and very cold. It was really difficult to make out what was ahead of us which made some of us both apprehensive, and excited at the same time!

Every hill taught us something: patience, endurance, tolerance, teamwork. It also taught us persistence and gratitude. Mountains and hills will teach you about change and being prepared for change. It will also teach you why it is so important to conserve the environment.

The altitude trains lungs to become stronger; the struggle becomes less and less every time you hike. There’s a lot to learn from exercising in nature.

Climbing a mountain or hills is the furthest thing from easy. Long stretches of constant vertical climbing can be the most exhausting and hardest type of exercise. Both the physical difficulties and the the mental difficulties will test endurance. Exposed and tricky climbing and route finding can get the best of your mental abilities. The classic quote that tells you “not to look at the whole mountain, but to take it one piece at a time,” becomes imperative when climbing. Giving up is not an option, and the motivation comes from the realization that the reward will be worth the work. The experience is akin to reaching a goal, achieving a dream and figuring out that anything is possible. Where there is a will; there is a way.

Courage and fear both reside in the heart, they are inseparable. The real issue is which is stronger. The biggest test of courage is the first climb, subsequent ascents nurture courage until fear is overcome.

Protecting these majestic environments is the single best step to keeping them available for human enjoyment and generations to come. After climbing mountains and hills, an awe-struck respect is gained for the Earth and its incomparable beauty and wonder.

The Activity Chart marks our achievements for the day! The teenagers did extremely well, and our trainer was pleased with our efforts.

In addition to the climb, we also had time to talk to the teenagers on matters affecting them like maintaining good hygiene, managing relationships, and making good use of their time. They were pleased to have achieved so much and to have bonded in the process. They saw the need to conserve the environment.

Everyone made it to the peak; there was a lot of encouragement along the way that taught us all the value of teamwork and being each other’s keeper. Those who were ahead and more fit offered the others encouragement not to give up; the more physically fit among us, ensured that everyone achieved the goal we set- to reach the peak of hill number 5. The hills were a lesson to all of us. We have it in us to conquer any obstacles in our lives; we just need to focus, be determined and persistent until we reach the goal.

After the hike, we settled down to have lunch. Pizza was the meal of choice for the young boys and girls.

It was a day very well spent!

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