Ever since meeting you and Jay for the first time in the Drakensberg some time back I knew that we would all just get on like a house on fire...your easy going, fun loving attitude is contagious and it's just always an absolute blast to be around you. Sharing your life story with us and just seeing how you live each moment to the fullest has really made me want to be a better person and just appreciate each moment and experience so much more, remembering not to take anything for granted!
Your passion and drive are admirable, and the work you are doing in support of The Sunflower Fund and SANBS is inspirational to say the least. I have to confess that I knew very little of these 2 worthy causes until I started doing some research upon reading your story...and I cannot wait to go and sort out being put on the register, I know that if I ever needed my life to be saved I would hope that everyone I knew was on that registry!
You are a wonderful father, and I loved watching you and Jay interact over the 2 weeks we spent abroad. Your love for your family shines through in everything you do and you really are the definition of the ultimate 'family man'. You have definitely taught me a thing or two on just taking it easy...not to sweat the small stuff...and just to live each minute to the max. Who can forget the 'bug box' at night, in an oil barrel on a mountain in Russia?? We had amazing laughs and tough times, but your calm perspective just always seemed to put things in place. I cannot wait to climb many more mountains with you and hopefully get to know your family better!
Quote for you:
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." Harriet Tubman
Jay - AKA Stretch, JaySUN & Little Funnell (he is by no means little!!)....
You were just our fountain of youth in Russia - although I still feel very young, I think I sometimes forget how to also act young...and you are so your father's child! Nothing stressed you out, you took it all in your stride and just cracked a joke which made us all roll around laughing...You really are an amazing guy, and what you have accomplished so far is just awe inspiring! I can see how you appreciate all the time you have with your dad and how you love conquering these mountains together. Don't ever stop reaching these amazing goals...your dad has given you an amazing platform and don't forget us little people when you're famous ok??!
I had an absolute jol with you and our Vodka After Party will forever be in my memory...as well as those nasty hand things....you got me good every time!! You can be super proud of yourself, at your age most guys are goofing off and not interested in serious goals...I cannot wait for the next adventure I get to share with you guys...you better keep me posted in December!!
Quote for you:
"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." Patrick Henry
|Dr Nick Saragas|
Doc, spending the time on the mountain with you and getting to know you better has really enriched my life, and I'm sure everyone else's as well! You have the patience of a Saint and your giving and fatherly nature are admirable to say the least. You always looked out for me, you never put yourself first and you always had a smile or a positive word for anyone who needed it. Your wife and daughters can be so proud of you, and I'm so blessed to have spent this time with you. Your passion in everything you speak of and love is amazing and I loved hearing all the stories you had to tell.
You made us laugh, and your stressing about boarding just lightened the mood each time...just what the doctor ordered :-)
You are very special and I look forward to growing our friendship in future...you have an amazing wife and beautiful daughters...must be those Greek genes!
Quote for you:
"I am a lucky man. I have had a dream and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men." Sir Edmund Hillary
Robby - AKA Tin Tin & Fatty (and sometimes Robert if he was naughty).....oh fearless leader....where to start....
I don't think I have ever laughed so much BEFORE a trip has even started properly...your sense of humour and quick wit were a breath of fresh air to say the least! We all got on with you so well, you always managed to crack a joke or two about any situation, diffusing stressful times and just letting us get on with it. I love how you made jokes at your own expense...I will never forget 'Batman' and the "boep out" at the spa...thanks for always keeping the laughter flowing...without laughter what is there?
You always pushed on even though we all knew you must be in pain, not once did you moan or mention it. Your zest for life and enthusiasm for adventure is contagious, and I've learnt a lot from listening to your stories and experiences. I look forward to a very long friendship with you...and maybe a book or three!
Quote for you:
"All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." T.E. Lawrence
As always...it was a blast! This is our second of the 7 summits together, and the journey has been incredible. I love how you appreciate and really get into the experiences you are having, appreciating being able to be there and just bubbling over with excitement. The best thing I heard on this trip to Russia was when you screamed at the top of your lungs, on the chair lift surrounded by huge peaks "God is amazing" - and you are right, those sights are once in a lifetime, and to be appreciated to the utmost.
Thanks for dealing with my packing issues, my moaning about the snoring (thank God for pink ear plugs) and for always having my back...this is just the start, we have many more peaks to climb and sunrises to see - I can't wait!
Quote for you:
"Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe