Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kili Team 2015: Jo Hoffman

Did you know: Kilimanjaro has 2.2 square kilometers of glacial ice and is losing it quickly due to global warming. The glaciers have shrunk 82% since 1912 and declined 33% since 1989. It may be ice free within 20 years, dramatically affecting local drinking water, crop irrigation, and hydroelectric power.

While that is certainly a concerning environmental issue, one woman who will be able witness this issue first-hand is Jo Hoffman.  Jo is also part of the 2015 Mt. Kilimanjaro team.  You can learn more about her journey here:

"I am a "Fifty Something" Mother of two boys aged 19 and 17 and partner of Pippa for 29 years (but who's counting).  We live in Langley, British Columbia on 5 acres with 2 horses, one standard poodle, one cat and 3 goldfish.  I am a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice. The focus of my work is using 'talk therapy' to help people, most of whom are having troubles related to past traumas.

When I first read the promo material from about the Kilimanjaro climb my first thought was that my eldest son Aidan, who had spent two summers on Outward Bound programs would love to have a chance some day to climb Kili. But then, another  thought,  a far more dangerous thought came to mind,  "Why not me?"  "Why not now?"  I gave it some thought. There seemed to be lots of good reasons for it to be me, and for it to be now. But mostly, I heard the Knock of Opportunity. And as ususal, it seemed to me to be a good idea to answer. 

But then there was the fund raising.  Yikes! The effort involved in preparing to climb a mountain is one thing, but fund raising, that's a whole other level of challenge. Once I managed to calm the anxiety caused by the thought of shy old me having to ask people for money, I saw the importance of the fund raising component.

I have first hand experience with how outdoor leadship experiences can change lives.  As a young adult I led canoe trips for youths, both for 'Junior Rangers' in Northern Ontario and for troubled youths who lived in a facility in Edmonton.  As was true with my own son, you could see them  flourish  in the ability to take responsibility for themselves and to care about the well being of others. As a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, I have no doubt of the benefits for survivors of trauma.  At this point in my life, I'd like to do what I can to enable others to experience these benefits through Outward Bound's scholarship program. 

So its really a win-win all round.  I get the chance to challenge myself in a whole new way (both mountain climbing and fund raising) and I have a chance to 'pay forward' all the opportunities I've been fortunate enough to have.

So here's to challenges, in what ever form they appear!  Its a chance to live out of the best parts of ourselves! "

To support Jo in her journey, please consider giving to her personal giving page here.

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