Hi everyone, and sorry I’ve not posted for a bit.  I’ve been terribly busy finding my footing back in the United States, jetlag having been really bad this trip for some reason.  I’ve also already prepped for and held a major meeting among the members of the U.S. board since we are coming off such a seminal year.

There has been so much to wrap up as well as to make ready.  It’s dizzying, really.  Luckily, tomorrow I am off for a ten-day vacation during which I have zero plans to check email or even think about work.  I know it’s all about the hapa kazi tu, but at some point, a girl’s gotta get a break!

Anyhoo, check out this article I randomly came across on BBC News’s online edition in Scotland.  It’s a great human interest story about an amazing woman who trekked Mt. Kilimanjaro recently.  I bring it to your attention, of course because of Toa and because it centers around having a disability and pushing the boundaries of that disability, but also because I met this group briefly in Moshi just before I left!

I had gone swimming at a lodge a little ways out of town and staying at this hotel and preparing to hike the next day was this group from Finding Your Feet.  We chatted a bit about Toa and the work we do with schoolchildren with learning difficulties and also about their upcoming climb.  I have wondered what happened, and if Corinne made it to the top.  Appears she did!  Check out the story below….


A woman who has no hands or feet is believed to be the first female quadruple amputee to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Corinne Hutton, from Renfrewshire, lost her limbs after suffering from acute pneumonia and septicaemia.

She reached the peak of Africa’s highest mountain on Friday, accompanied by 10 supporters from the Finding Your Feet amputee charity.

They raised more than £30,000 for the charity she set up after her illness.

The group completed their descent of the 16,100ft (4,900m) mountain in Tanzania on Sunday morning.

Ms Hutton said: “I’ve had blisters on my legs since day one, and each morning I’ve had to put my prosthetics on and do it all over again.

“I’ve been breathless, even when we’re not climbing.  I had a worrying cough develop over the last couple of days, but I just put one foot in front of the other and knew nothing would stop me getting to the top.

“I hope I encourage other people to get out there and climb their own mountains, whatever they may be.

“I said after I lost my hands and legs below the knee that I never wanted to be considered ‘disabled’ and I think I’ve proved that this weekend.”

In a statement on the its Facebook page, the Finding Your Feet charity said “each and every one of us is on top of the world with them.”

It added: “We went to sleep with nothing from the mountain other than growing concern.”

“They battled through breathlessness in darkness and the freezing cold.”

“We believe Corinne is the first female quadruple amputee to summit Kilimanjaro…. what a feat with no hands or feet.”

Ms. Hutton, who lives in Lochwinnoch, had previously become the first female quadruple amputee to climb Ben Nevis.

In 2017, she had almost a whole lung removed following an infection.

She trained for the Kilimanjaro trek in a chamber at the University of the West of Scotland, which replicates environmental extremes.