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  • Writer's pictureLaurel Werner

Kilimanjaro Technology Foundation, aka, KiliTech, is live!

Today is the day KiliTech web site goes live! First, a little history, upon my return from Kilimanjaro a couple of weeks ago I told my husband what an amazing trip it has been and showed him all the pictures, told him all the stories, and he now understands why I am so passionate about Kilimanjaro and Tanzania! Tony and I decided that since I am serious about staying involved we should create a non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation so people can make tax deductible donations and I can have a wonderful project to dedicate my time and efforts to (with tax benefits), knowing I am doing something good for people who have so fewer opportunities that us and live in some of the poorest conditions.

For so many years now I have focused on our micro world-our personal life, the dogs, houses, family, vacations, doing some charity work but not much. After climbing Kilimanjaro in February I realized I have so much potential to do more. I fell in love with the people, the porters, the Kilimanjaro area! As soon as I returned from Mt. Kilimanjaro I knew I had to go back. It was only a week after our return that I volunteered through Tanzania Volunteers, Ltd. to teach at Moshi Institute of Technology. My husband at first was kind of freaked out, who could blame him! I was so hell bent on returning so after a few "discussions" he became supportive and has been my biggest fan. I knew that this was my time, this was my calling, or at least something was calling me. I was not going to change my mind, the plane ticket was booked and volunteer deposit made so I worked out the details, got a dog/house sitter, agreed on the timing with my husband, and then when the time came I had so much anticipation and excitement and surprisingly very little trepidation.

Fast forward (read the previous blogs), I am now back in Philadelphia and being in Kilimanjaro these past three weeks has made me feel like I have a bigger purpose in life. It is also ironic how many coincidences there have been associated with my time there - Tony was walking the dogs and came across a sign that said, "Free Books," he looked down and the book that was there was "Out of Africa." The people I have met I feel like I have known them for years, maybe even in a previous life. I started a Go Fund Me campaign and the words of encouragement and love have truly been inspiring. I am reminded by my mother, she always says, "Some things are just meant to be." I know me and Kilimanjaro are just meant to be!

Thank you, Tony, for being a wonderful husband, listening to my schemes and dreams, and helping form the foundation! I hope to make you, our kids, and my family proud, but most of all I hope I can make a difference helping others in Kilimanjaro that have so little but appreciate so much. I hope that with this web site, my experiences, relationships, stories and photos I am able to give some inspiration, however small, to others and encourage the pursuit of one's dreams and passions. After all, we only live once that we remember and life is short.

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