A St. Maartener conquers Kilimanjaro

POSTED: 02/6/14 1:50 PM

St. Maarten / By Milton G Pieters – The Be The Change Foundation was the first to offer words of congratulations to Tyrone Phelipa after he susccessufully ascended Mt Kilimanjaro over the weekend.

“We would like to congratulate Tyrone Phelipa on completing his journey. He successfully climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and made it to the very top. We are so grateful and honored that he represented our organization and we believe he is a true inspiration. You can do anything with determination and perseverance, thank you so much Tyrone.”

Such an achievement by a St. Maartener is definitely one for the island’s history books. Phelipa proudly displayed the national flag for a rare photo opportunity at the mountain’s summit, though he was not alone.

One of his team mates held up a poster with the Be The Change Foundation and Art Saves Lives Foundation boldly written, and another held a poster with Capoeira related art illustrations. That moment will no doubt always have a special significance in his private memoirs.

The Today was lucky to get in touch with Phelipa via Facebook while he was on the final stages of his 25 hour return journey to his home in Los Fresnos, Texas. Exhausted from such an ardous trek up the 19,341 foot mountain, Phelipa nevertheless spoke briefly about the journey up the highest mountain in Tanzania.

“I feel great, definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I went by myself but ended up with a group of 11 others who are now lifelong friends. I was able to really spread the word on the charities I climbed for and now more than ever determined to continue being an advocate for the youth of St Maarten,” he said.

According to Phelipa, he spent two days in Amsterdam prior to the trip giving Capoeira workshops to kids from St Maarten. After that period, he spent 10 more days in Tanzania and 8 days on the mountain.

Phelipa will likely have a lot to talk about now that he is back on the flats. But that will only be possible after he has recuperated 100 percent and is ready to put things into perspective.

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