A 42 year old mum from Redhouse undertook a life changing experience in 2009 and one year on she’s delighted that her efforts are continuing to change the lives of African children every day.
Psychotherapist Rachel Arnold trekked 75 miles over five days in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia, facing high altitudes, wolves and baboons.
Hiking for Computer Aid, she raised £3,000 to equip Eweket Leheberele High School in Addis Adaba.
Rachel said, “it was an amazing trip. We walked around the edge of this stunning canyon at altitudes ranging from 3,400 metres to the highest point of 4,750 metres. Many of the 14 people on the trek were hit badly by altitude sickness but I was lucky and escaped the worst effects.
“We had a local guide and two guards with guns to ward off the wildlife. I did get chased by a very fierce male Gelada baboon who thought I was getting a bit too close to his wives and babies.
“The views were incredible. Every day we covered different terrain – sometimes almost a pastoral English scene and at other times it was completely barren with amazing cacti. We walked 15 miles a day and camped under the stars each night.
“Even in these remote areas the children go to school and they walk anything up to 6 miles a day to get there. After school their chores are to look after the smaller animals such as the goats, sheep and chickens.”
On the first day in the country the group visited a classroom in Addis Adaba where sixty children aged 11 to 18 years and their teachers showed off their IT skills.
Rachel added, “the school was featured in The Independent’s recent Christmas Appeal and I was thrilled to see that the children are still as enthusiastic about their ICT lessons. Education is giving Ethiopia the opportunity to support itself in the future.
“The trek totally changed my attitude to life. I now sponsor a child in the mountain region so he can attend school, and I’ve made the commitment to work 100 per cent in my therapy practice, and enjoy the simpler things much more – such as walking, cooking, being with family and friends.”
• See more of Rachel’s pictures at www.swindonlink.com
Computeraid is extremely short of monitors and is in need of both old style 15” and 17” CRT monitors and TFT flat screens manufactured after year 2002. To help call 020 8361 5540 or mail: email@example.com