It is January 16, 2009, at approximately noon local time and BARRY FINLAY and his son CHRIS are propped against a rock, struggling to draw a breath at Stella Point on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. Their destination is tantalizingly close, yet there are two factors that will determine what happens next: the weather and — more importantly — the state of their health. Where they go from here is in the hands of their guides. They await the decision.
They are half a world away from their home in Ottawa, Canada. It has been an incredible journey from couch to mountaintop for Barry who just reached his 60th birthday the month before. Before leaving he develops a severe head cold limiting the amount of air he can take in when it is desperately required at altitude. Chris has two tears in the meniscus of his knee, which become excruciatingly painful during the climb. But overcoming the odds, they make their way up the mountainside. They experience the beautiful vistas from the mountain as they stop for rest and nourishment and they are simultaneously awestruck by the sheer beauty of the glaciers and saddened by the knowledge that they are disappearing. They can hear the blood pounding in their ears from the exertion and they experience the feeling of a damp towel clamped firmly over their mouths and noses as the altitude sucks the air from their lungs.
The journey doesn’t end on Kilimanjaro for Barry and Chris. In their hands is a Canadian flag bearing the names of over 200 donors who contributed to projects to help a desperate community on the shores of polluted Lake Victoria in Tanzania. As they see the smiling faces of the children, they understand that these kids and many more just like them around the world can have opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have with a little help from ordinary people who have more than enough. While presenting the flag at the school Barry is so moved by the experience that he continues to raise the money to complete funding for the extra classrooms and a well that will immediately benefit over 800 children and 50 households.
Barry describes his journey like this, “It is like entering into my senior years while looking through the eyes of our three-year old granddaughter as every day brings new meaning.” The experience is described in a sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, often exciting and always interesting way. The reader will come to the realization that anything can be accomplished and that there is nothing more satisfying than reaching a goal and giving others the opportunity to achieve theirs.
REVIEWS AND PRESS:
“50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” – The Authors Show (2012)
Winner – Reader Views Reviewer Choice Award – Best Inspirational/Spiritual Book (2012)
Winner – Reader Views Reviewer Choice Award – Best Nonfiction book on an Environmental Subject (2012)
Finalist – Eric Hoffer Awards – Finalist in the First Horizon competition for best debut author (2012)
“…honest, funny, very engaging and truly written from the heart.” – Alysha Atma, Salem-News.com, Oregon, U.S.A.
“After reading the first few chapters, I knew this would be a book I would have to read in one sitting, if possible.” Finiston, Ottawa, Ontario
“The book is a really warm and inspiring story, and I think highlights perfectly how a couple of regular people can really accomplish something amazing.” – Shannon Singh, Program Coordinator, Plan Canada
“This book is a testament to all of us that dreams can come true with a little grit and determination. If you’re the kind of person who can usually find any excuse to talk yourself out of a great idea this book is the inspiration you need to get out your comfort zone and make things happen. An inspiring read.” – Helen Osler, author of Cameras of Kilimanjaro – Australia
“Kilimanjaro and Beyond, A Life-Changing Journey,” will challenge all who read it to consider how they too can make a difference, not only for others, but for themselves as well.” – Reader Views, Austin, Texas
Finished this GREAT BOOK! Breathtaking, awe inspiring, funny! You feel like you are along for the climb…live your dream & you get so much more in return. Quite a journey & it continues beyond these pages. Read this & wow! It will stay with you. – Marc Davey, Ottawa, Ontario
“Such a journey – I really do think that reading your book is a great stepping stone for folks who would like to climb Kili one day!” – Meagan McGrath – Borden, Ontario
“Seriously, the book is terrific. I started reading it immediately when I took it out of the envelope. And right away, I was drawn into the story. Such a good sign! I love the way it’s all come together.” – Kip Kirby – Nashville, TN
“I’ve been reading every book about climbing Kili I can find and your book has been the most helpful so far. Thanks!” – Karen Simpson
“The book is amazing!!! I keep getting goose bumps!” – Stacey K. Black, Los Angeles, California
“I highly recommend “Kilimanjaro and Beyond” ~ to all who seek to rise above limitation in their lives, or to simply partake in a most wonderful, transcendent and exhilarating journey, for as Barry Finlay shares with us, there is nothing that cannot be overcome nor achieved with right determination and preparation. Yes, Kilimanjaro…And Beyond! A life changing experience!!!” – Reverend Dr. Linda De Coff
“Engrossing story and what comes after is nothing short of incredible!” – Readers Favorite review
“Kilimanjaro and Beyond (A Life-Changing Journey) by Chris Finlay and Barry Finlay is a beautifully written tale about a spiritual journey, a physical embarking, and so much more.” – Goodbooks Today Reviews