"The poverty and quality of life really
opened my eyes."
Jonathan Ingram who took part in the
Kilimanjaro 2006 expedition. US19-103A0
Picture By: Aidan O'Reilly
A LISBURN teenager has returned from a Team
Challenge expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro.
In May the Star reported how Jonathan Ingram,
17, one of 26 pupils from the Royal Belfast Academical
Institute, was heading to Africa for a month.
Although Jonathan didn't make it to the
mountain summit he said he had a fantastic experience.
"I am gutted that I didn't reach the summit
but I developed altitude sickness and had to stop when I had
only five hours to go before reaching the end," said Jonathan.
The adventurous student who worked on
projects, which will benefit the people of Tanzania, said that
the trip was "character building."
He added: "I really enjoyed it. We interacted
with both young and old and they seemed very pleased to see us.
We were made to feel so welcome." During the project phase of
the expedition Jonathan and his team-mates painted classrooms in
a secondary school and helped repair the tin corrugated roofs as
well as teaching the children.
"We walked about through different villages
and lots of children would greet us as we arrived," explained
Jonathan. "The poverty and quality of life really opened my
"It was a bit of a culture shock to be
"Being able to help in some small way was
very rewarding and I would encourage others to do the same."
Jonathan received a number of donations before he left for
Tanzania. Showing his gratitude he said: "I would like to thank
all the Star readers who sent me money for the expedition.
"I would especially like to thank one
gentleman in particular - who would prefer to remain anonymous -
for his extremely generous donation. It was very kind."