Lawrence felt so high

The Cayman national women’s rugby
team is in action again this week with a visit from a top United States

The Massachusetts Institute of
Technology will play a 15-a-side match at the South Sound Rugby Club on
Saturday at 4pm.

Captained by the courageous Rowena
Lawrence, facing gigantic Americans on the rugby field is nothing compared to
climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain.

Lawrence did it last November to
raise money for the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation.  

Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, is
5,892 metres (19,331 ft) high. Although the climb is pretty straight forward
the freezing temperatures at night and the rough terrain make it difficult for
many. Altitude sickness is a problem for even the fittest of people.

“The Marangu route, which is the
one I did, takes five days (3.5 days up, 1.5 days down),” said Lawrence. “The
peak day is by far the hardest day as you start climbing at midnight and hike
for approximately 11-15 hours.

“When I booked the trip, I was told
I would be climbing with a group of people but it turned out when I got there
that no one else was doing the same route as me.

“Five days climbing with an African
guide whose English was limited made the trip challenging mentally. It was
lonely at times and not being able to share the experience with anyone was

“However, my guide was great and
with his help, I managed to get to the peak at 5.30am on 29 November.

“Unfortunately, as I had climbed the
peak a little quickly, I had quite severe altitude sickness and could not wait
at the top for sunrise.

“The views as I was descending and
the sun was rising were incredible but I could not fully appreciate them due to
the illness I was feeling.

“I got back to base camp at 8am and
had a quick sleep before a further 2 hour hike to the next camp down. There was
only one day left then and I felt much better by the time I got to the camp on
my last night.

“I raised over CI$2,000 for the
Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation and almost £1,000 (CI$1,300) for Macmillan
Cancer Nurses in UK.”