My One And Only Karabiner

Date July 18th a Saturday it was when everything was all based and depended on this small but most important equipment for the sake of my well being suspended above the ground.

Karabiner, am yet to learn the right pronunciation is (I can’t definitely define it) a buckle like safety equipment whenever you are doing climbs or suspension on ropes, from rock climbing etc.

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The image above is what is a Karabiner

Also below is a Karabiner

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Yes, imagine the whole day having to depend on that simple equipment and few ropes as the only security from your crush down below where you are suspended. The truth be told, it is a new vocabulary to me and to many were together on this day.

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As usual, it was at Hilton hotel right outside the Bata shop. I love telling people of where this adventure seekers meet before departure. It was at the usual gathering and meeting point of great domestic tourists as they meet up before their departures to great magical destinations in Mighty Kenya.

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We met up with fellow adventure seekers, fellow outdoor addicts to the new domestic tourists picking up the love of travel, discovery of the unknown destinations as other tried to confirm if it was the wrong addiction to befall this travel addiction (personally I don’t to be cured from this addiction)

On confirmation of all confirmed travelling group, we were set for our departure and ready for the awaiting adventures to a new destination for most of us all. Anxiously waiting because of the title of the day’s itinerary that was well spelt in bold letters

……HIGH ROPES ADVENTURE CHALLENGE, “set your thrill meter to high”

Advice to the new adventure seekers, “an itinerary title can give you a brief picture of what to expect” this I proved it after I got an invite from a friend, Warda Jebet of Yolo Adventures and Safaris.

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The drive was slow as the engine worked its mechanical magic with its pistons and fuel, pushing us towards Nairobi’s “diaspora”; Rongai town. (From the jokes shared I agree it is indeed a diaspora because you leave Nairobi and arrive in Kajiado county. Other stories fall behind this ” diaspora-sation” of this town)

On arrival, we gather up and get to warm up (I think to kick out our fears of ………) I will tell you what fear later on.

“My name is Moha………..I am from……and I am……”

“…..I am Ann……. I am anxiously here for adventure……”

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That is the introductions we mainly have whenever we travel to a new place whether with friends or strangers that later turn to great friends at the end of the day.

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The bosses of the day arrived (these were the people to whom our life and safety we were entrusting to.

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“Hamjambo? Sijui kama tunaelewa kiswahili wote?” Asked one of the safety instructors (I was worried for my new found friend whom I mistakenly thought had just landed from the Queen’s land. His English mmmmhhhh I regretted to having an English teacher who taught me this tongue of the queen with his burden of “R” and “L” and heavy dialect of our mother tongue, hope you have not forgotten the origin of my “chinkufake” name if you did, I am a very dark Kikuyu man hidden behind a Chinese face cover so expect me to have same burden as my English teacher, my “R” always turn into my “L”)

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English and mixture of Kiswahili was the official language for the day to be.
” my friends fellow here are Godwin Otieno but you can call him “Godi” the other is called Collins Ochieng also known as “Collo” and myself I am Victor Othiambo or “Othis”.
Don’t wonder how comes everyone had a shortness of his name; its kind of a way of naming where most of my great fellow Kenyans we do love shortness of names you will here one called Joseph but friends will call him ” Jose” as for me I tend to avoid it because I end up fake because “chinku” in slang (sheng) means fake.

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Our instructors took us through demonstrations on safety as we engaged on the new adventure of the day where it was to comprise of ropes and obstacles while being in help of the equipment I said above called a what………? Yes, that one.

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After briefing the bright faces had turned, jokes became fewer as now it was as though we were in the behind screen of the making for the great to watch and adventurous thing to do as seen in the great episodes of “NJINJA WARRIOR”

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May be as a way to help to swallow fear, tea was served with mandazi (English word am still looking for but something close to donuts) then the day begun officially afterwards.

Dressed in the safety pants (strips of ropes in that shape of a panty) then groups formed. Another lesson I learnt; names can have influence on your success.

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Mukimo (a traditional meal made out of smashing potatoes) I am still in denial even if I was a member of this.

Team Jasho (Jasho is sweat something that indicates effort and hard work) totally I agreed on this.

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Team Grizzly ( am researching for the meaning but must be something in relation to never giving up)

Mmmhhhhh one by one signed a confidential paper bearing all responsibility on whatever would happen to us as participants and not our hosts.

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Where were we? You may be asking. OK now, our destination was Diguna high ropes in areas of Rongai.

As by explanation of our instructors  Diguna  means “the Good News” in German. It is a more like a missionary station or a ministry station faith- based and multi-cultural team that is proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, equipping the local church and
responding to human needs.

Back to the activities. There are about 10 obstacles all inclusive some suspended on ropes others you need to clung on them to walking on them to holding on them and later walking on a log not forgetting being lowered down on a single rope. From this another lesson is that the size and weight of somebody doesn’t equate to strength or courage it nears to none.

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On the first is the Giant swing.

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As the name says, this is an obstacle that need mental concentration as it is logs on ropes that you need to walk by moving from one to the other for about 8 metres ( it is not an easy thing) since everything here swings!!!!

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You tackle the Giant swing, you take a breath and get to the Second obstacle known as Tremor bridge. Look for the definition of Tremor and you will know. It is on this obstacle I saw that I can dance with no music or sound only that of laughter and your heart pumping

At this point, a rope is the only support you have until you get to the middle point not until you get instructions that the rope holding you has to be set loose on one side then have the rope go under your legs then hold it tight then crossover to the next one.

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Tight rope, is another. Here you walk over a tight rope like the acrobats in a circus only difference is there are other ropes on top to hold on to as you walk on the tight rope.

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Quick over it is another that tests your mental calculations, judgement to strength of your hands ( I loved at a cartoon that onced sung “ma-bicepts ma-bicepts, maskwembe maskwembe, but at this point I saw the cartoon character laughing at me) welcome to the Swinging logs!!!

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An obstacle made of logs on ropes you need to step on then swing to another rope to another and another then to another.

After the struggling and sweating you get a relief waiting for a safety rope to go up a ladder made of ropes, yes!!! Again nothing to laugh about as it all goes on ” dance dance dance”

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Little rest then on to another challenge, The bucket rope!!! As the name defines it, pipes folded into shapes of buckets and again suspended by ropes and to complete it you have to overcome it by walking holding unto the rope ( don’t be fooled its not a laughing matter)

Complete this and it goes on to other 3 stages that end up with a lowing of the exhausted you and self at speed that made a few forget their hearts at the platform way up ( now am serious, there are those who ………………..)

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When all is done it is description and explanations of how great a dancer you are, how “mukimo” you are (this is to mean how coward you are or how disappointing you are) don’t laugh not until you see yourself try overcome not all but half of the challenges.

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However, the challenges to the Karabiner or the dances to the sweaty tired self is not what makes this an essential thing to do to survive or even how “mukimo” you are.

After we did enjoy our evening tea, best of the best came. May be I can say that is when the day begins!!!!

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“What was the most dangerous stage? Which was your simplest to overcome? Did you enjoy?” Collo asked and gave an opportunity to Godi who begun our day a fresh making us end up “haiiiyyyaaaaa”

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Lesson as revealed to us by a joyful Godi:

1. The whole idea behind Diguma high ropes is equated to our day to day life. We did forget our fears of falling due to the small help of a tiny equipment the one and only Karabiner in relation to our life, we have no fear in life when we are at our comfort zones ( platforms well place at the end of each challenge tackled) but to get to our comfort zones we need to stay focus and remain connected to people around you though at times you can overcome some life obstacles by yourself ( to cross over you needed a friend to show you a tactic to overcome. Other challenges you could do them all by yourself)

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The truth is that in life you need to be focus, stay connected ( this was the major lesson because all through the challenges everyone remained connected to the safety cable and that Karabiner), in life you will fall but when connected to right people you are sure you will get back on feet ( whenever one fell from the challenges the safety cable held you and with the safety cable the instructor pulled you back to your original position). Above all be fit to stand against all challenges in life and know you at times need to go though challenges all by yourself with no one to help you but yourself.

Hints to overcome the high ropes challenges:

– be courageous
– be skillful
– be disciplined.
– don’t let fear overcome you (don’t forget this one)

Then the day ended as we returned to town.

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14 thoughts on “My One And Only Karabiner

  1. Chinkufake you couldn’t have written it better. New friends, facing challenges and great lessons from our instructors. It was awesome.

  2. I arrived stranger to the whole group that morning . I had invited friends who let me down but we adventure seekers have this undying spirit so I decided to be my own company and make new friends. Best decision ever. When you meet a bunch of 22 crazy people who love adventure as much as you do, people who can dare suspend on a rope, have tears suspending from their eye lids, scream like babies then still insist that they are having fun, then you can say you have lived.
    But we adventure seekers never never get enough of the pain, the struggle and the joy that comes with overcoming fear. We always want more. Its by meeting new people, going to new places and doing more new and fun things that you savor life. For life is a daring adventure. Go ahead, dare once more you little adventure seeker 🙂

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