Cathy, my lovely wife, has been my avid supporter for all my hiking adventures, be it small or big. She was there with my first hike to Mulanje mountain in 2011, and she got very busy last year in 2016 when I went up Kilimanjaro Mountain. She is also an active hiker in her own right, having gone to most of the mountains I have been to in Malawi. They say behind every successful man, there is a woman. To me, behind every successful hiker, there is an anchor. If it was not for Cathy, preparations for my hikes would have been painstakingly laborious.
Cathy was born a great organiser. She sucked it all up from her mother, Mai Kamwendo, who without effort is able to organise regular church events that feed hundreds of children at a time, or a league of women. Speaking of mum, which is what I call her mother, she makes a killer homemade soup that I have not found anywhere else in the world. I am yet, however, to pack the soup with me on one of my hiking expeditions. And who said you cannot have a bowl of soup from the top of a mountain? The thought of soup has made me digress. Now, last year sweet Cathy organised a surprise return party. She arranged for a reporter to interview me, whose article appeared in one of the leading newspapers in the country. And together with my beautiful Aunt Hendrina, she prepared themed T-shirts and distributed them among family and friends. The T-shirts were labelled on the front “Ndimakonda Mountain Hiking” meaning “I love mountain hiking”, from which the name of this blog has been taken. The short form of my name is Konda which is love as a verb, and most family members and family friends still call me Konda to this day. By the way, my full first name, Kondaine, means “love me”. So all that was broken and distilled into the catchy phrase.
That aside, Cathy is my number one cheerleader. She is always there firing up my morale, and even if the challenge is next to impossible, she will just beam her gorgeous smile and say it will be done. And it gets done! That is why I am comfortable to say there are more mountains to visit, bigger, more challenging, and much higher. I know she will be there by my side, saying, “Go on! God bless you!”. Now, you know my secret. Have support from family and friends, and half of your challenges has been sorted out already. Place all this on the solid foundation of putting trust in God, and surely all your challenges are under control.
More importantly she is a lovely companion. She is easy to chat with as a friend, but does not flatter me at all. That is just what I need to think through my moves, and get to make the best decisions. God knew my weakness and got me covered with Cathy. This gorgeous girl is tough as nails inside, and makes for a perfect hiking partner. I know she constantly prays for me, and that each time she comes along for an adventure, I feel complete.
So this is to my wonderful Cathy, and all such as her around the world that hold the hands of their partners and make things work, quietly, away from the eyes of the public.
I love you.