The Perfect Hat-Trick


Sometimes you have to go knocking down doors looking for opportunity, and other times it appears in your inbox wrapped up as the perfect hat-trick wearing a bow.

It was mid August when the email from Compassion International entitled “It’s the adventure of a lifetime in Tanzania!” arrived.  First, let it be noted that I am HORRIBLE about reading my email and prove even more deplorable when it comes to answering.  Sometimes days go by before I realize I have not checked it.  I can hear you all saying “I wish I could go days without checking my email!”  That is just one of the many perks of early retirement. I know, I am incredibly blessed.  So it was divine intervention that I happened to read my email this particular morning.

It read…

Dear Holly,

Do you live for adventure? Do you even know what my title is? I am The DIRECTOR of Adventuring!

And for bringing hope?  Um yes, I happen to be a big fan of hope and try to spread it often.  I Love Hope!  Faith, Love and Hope, it’s my mantra.  I am hopelessly hopeful.

Then I’ve got just the challenge for you.  Please join me on a once in a lifetime trip to Tanzania!  There are only 15 spots available-so be sure to sign up today! This is a unique opportunity to experience things you never imagined…and bring more joy than you’ve ever imagined to children in need.  I hope to see you there!

Looming overhead of this text was a majestic shot of a snow capped mountain surrounded by just the right amount of translucent, wispy clouds in front of a perfect blue sky with the words “Compassion Cause Trek KILIMANJARO CHALLENGE”.


Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro has been on my bucket list since 2001 when I first learned it was even a thing, like a real life activity that the powers that be allow you to do. *First Score!

After reading further I learned that if we had a sponsor child in Tanzania we would get to meet them in person and spend an entire day together.  Enter Emmanuel, our Compassion Sponsor child.  We would get to meet Emmanuel in the flesh!  He would no longer be just a picture of a serious little boy sans smile, sporting pants too small for him standing in a dirt patch.  He would become more to us than just letters from a child half way around the world trying to tell us about a life we couldn’t possibly comprehend from the comforts of our home in the very privileged United States of America.  We get to meet him, and hug him and have him see our smiles and our excitement to meet him.  He will learn that he is important enough to us to make the long trek from where we live to meet him in his home country.  When we chose Emmanuel years ago, we specifically chose a child from Tanzania with the incredibly far fetched dream that if we ever were able to go visit, we would be able to climb our mountain as well.  What a grand trip that would be!  *Second Score! 

The trek is part mission trip working on projects at a Compassion assisted Child Development Center, part raising awareness about sponsoring a child through Compassion International, and part raising funds for CLEAN WATER by getting sponsors to climb Mt. Kili.  Access to clean water for all has been a cause our family has been passionate about for a number of years.  We donate annually to clean water initiatives around the globe and this Cause Trek will directly benefit HUNDREDS of children and families right there at Kilimanjaro!  *Third Score!  

*The Perfect Hat-Trick.  It’s a done deal.  Signed, Sealed and Delivered.

Sometimes in life the stars perfectly align so it is impossible to deny an opportunity was meant to be.  I love those times I can say “Huh, I see what you did there God.  I like it!”  There have been so many other factors leading up to this trip for years that I can’t wait to share them all with you.

This opportunity is not short on challenges however.  Did I mention I have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus that causes joint pain and fatigue that caused my early retirement?  Yeah, I take prescription pain killers and need to take naps almost everyday.  Does that sound like a good candidate to go scale the world’s highest freestanding mountain to you?  Or did I mention that the entire trip + fundraising amount we pledged to raise as a family totals $30,000?! (Gulp) I know that may be pocket change to some, but to us that is a scary, huge amount. What in the world did we commit to?

Remember that part about Hope?  Yes, we have hope.  We are hopelessly hopeful.  It is going to be the adventure of a lifetime in Tanzania.

You are all invited to join us in this adventure!

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