Introducing Your ICOs!
Every summer we send former trek participants out to our three most popular destinations to assist our in-country teams and be a familiar face to that years trekkers. We call these guys out In-Country Operatives. They undoubtedly make students' time in country more comfortable and enjoyable; they're always on hand to share trekking advice, point out local sites and give out hugs to those in need! Without further ado, please meet your ICOs for 2018!
First up are our Tanzania ICOs, Kieren and Evie! They'll be based in Springlands Hotel in Moshi, helping all our Kilimanjaro teams before and after their treks.
Kieren comes from the University of Kent, and is a former Kilimanjaro participant from 2017. He flew out to Tanzania in early August to help greet our US participants.
He says Kili 'was an amazing and eye opening experience (although very tough at the time!). I'm also currently training for the Bilbao Night Marathon this October which as you can imagine is quite a challenge in the Tanzanian heat!' I loved my brief insight in to Tanzanian culture when I was here and so when the opportunity to came to live for a MONTH in county I jumped at it! Having the chance to be surrounded by a completely different way of life is going to be such great fun!'
The thing he's most looking forward to in Tanzania is 'learning Swahili and hearing all of the exciting stories from all our fantastic participants after they summit!'
Evie is also a former Kilimanjaro participant, currently studying at Warwick University.
She says: 'I climbed Kilimanjaro just before starting my second year at University. I never expected to gain so much from the whole experience. I learnt a lot about myself and the importance of teamwork. Since, I have been more willing to travel and push myself further.'
'My main aim (in becoming an ICO) was to help out and I knew that by having done Kilimanjaro before, it would be reassuring to the students. The staff were so welcoming during my first stay that I knew they would be incredible colleagues. Also, I was keen to learn new skills. I'm looking forward to sharing my experience with other students and watching them successfully complete their challenge. And hopefully I can learn Swahili during my stay!'
Next up are the wonderful Leo and Frankie, our Peru ICOs. Leo will be based in Cusco, meeting teams as they arrive in country and helping out after their challenge. Frankie will be out in Huacachina, making sure those on our extension trip have a wonderful time!
Leo worked out in Peru for us last summer, and is fluent in Spanish, which makes him a huge asset to our students.
Frankie is a former Manchester University student. and Machu Picchu participant. She has not only undertaken the Salkantay trek herself, but she's also completed a ski season and done Camp America twice - she's a travel expert!
Last, but certainly not least, are Hannah and Macaulay, who will be based out in Kathmandu to keep an eye on our Everest Base Camp teams. One of them will transfer over with a group to Pokhara, should they be unable to fly to Lukla and need to undertake our alternate itinerary, Annapurna Base Camp
Macaulay is a recent Exeter graduate, who has tackled both our Iceland: Fire and Ice trek, and the Amsterdam Marathon, challenge leading the former. His experience as a challenge leader means he has prior experience helping motivate students, so our participants are in the very best hands, and can look forward to many inspiring pre-climb speeches!
Hannah graduated from Surrey in 2016. During her time there she completed our Kilimanjaro trek. Since then she has spent 18 months on a ski season, proving she is more than equipped for being out in the snowy Himalayas!
If you are interested in becoming an ICO for 2019, please like our Facebook page to keep an eye out for job listings, or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org