08/08/2008 at 5:41 am #100853
This topic has been set us to encourage feedback from family and friends of trekkers who have returned home with fond memories of their trek. As you know, we offer live updates whilst your loved ones are out on the track walking with us. If you enjoyed following their progress, please let us know by posting here.
This topic is also for other trekkers who have never walked with us but who are regulars on our forum. Do you find the forum useful and informative? Did it help to prepare you for your own trek?
Is there any other topics you would like us to create and so on. Thank you in advance
Gail Thomas (Boss Meri)
Someone asked me last night what my pen name stands for. The answer: in pidgin Meri translates to 'woman' which makes me the 'Boss Woman'. Russell, my business partner is the 'Boss Man'15/08/2008 at 4:11 pm #100852
I would love to post a comment! I love the updates! It brings such peace of mind and comfort knowing I can check in daily (hourly if I'm at home!!) and see where they are. I can mark it on my map and know roughly what lies ahead.
It's great to be able to read what is going on and see the photo's of places they are walking and visiting. Such beautiful places.
Thank you so much to you and your team for making this service available. It is a great relief off my mind knowing even though I can't actually speak with my husband – I can see what he is up to – where he is at – and know he is okay. I can also feel included and be a part of the adventure.
As a wife who misses her husband – I am greatly appreciative.
Thank you.16/08/2008 at 1:16 am #100858
Gail , It was great to be able to have some sort of info on what was going on. I didn't know at the onset that this was going to be the case. I found that by keeping an eye on things and being able to post my messages and thoughts that my excitement for the team grew and grew.
Thanks for the opportunity to do so. But I must add – at the last posting they were "lost". A bit worried about this!! I hope you find them soon
Editors Update: Trekkers found alive and well Spent last night at Alola and today will walk out into Kokoda.
Trek_463.jpg16/08/2008 at 2:34 am #10086216/08/2008 at 5:00 am #100867
Dear Gail and Russell
I seem to be saying "Thank You" to you a lot lately !!! Yet thank you does not seem to say near enough –
I have entrusted my husband, three sons, and seven dear friends to Kokoda Trekking and have not felt that they were unsafe or uncared for at any time. Your wonderful son Nathan made it possible for our loved ones to meet with their guides Rod and Wallace well before they embarked on their trek which added to our confidence that we had made the right decision and that they were in safe, experienced hands. THis confidence has made it a lot easier for those of us waiting at home.
Just to be able to see photos and keep in touch each day has meant so much to each of us. This contact on your part I know is under difficult circumstances having tried to call PNG a couple times myself, I know the frustration of phone lines and the unreliable communication services.
It has opened my eyes to actually see the areas and surrounds where our guys are each day and I personally feel that I have developed such a great respect a genuine love for the people and culture of PNG.
I am sure I can speak on behalf of the wives, girfriends, mothers and friends of our group in saying that this forum has helped us not in just checking in on our guys, but in that we are able to communicate with each other as well – We are all sharing the same experience.
I know this will not have been a "walk in the park" for our guys and that some days the going would have been tough, but I am wondering if the bonds of friendship and reliance on each other may far out weigh any physical pains they may have experienced.
Apart from keeping in touch with our guys, the site also allows you to share with other groups as well and brings to light amazing stories as that of Alan Hazell and his son Jackson. I must admit that the tears fell when I read his story and saw the faces of the beautiful children left without parents to care for them. How does one say thank you to a man like this – obviously the village people know how and have shown him the honour that he is worthy of. So thank you for sharing this as well – God bless you Mr Hazell for the wonderful work you have done – we have so much they have so little but have a great deal more for having met a man like yourself. Another plus for your forum !!!
So Gail and Russell, I hope that all who trek Kokoda with your company will take the time to sit a write just a few words of encouragement to you both, as well as their loved ones. You provide an amazing service – one that I will be recommending to anyone who may wish to extend or challenge themselves by walking Kokoda.
Once again, I can only say "Thank You"
Trek_4633.jpg16/08/2008 at 6:05 am #100873
Hi Gail & Russell,
I haven't trekked with you guys, but have been a member of the forum for almost a year now and must say this forum has been an absolute Godsend with the information and updates of the trekkers.
It has helped me immensly with my preparation of my trek answering a lot of questions and really opening my eyes as to what it is like. Nothing can even come close to actually being there in the moment – right then and there walking the track that our diggers fought – but you guys provide such a wonderful pictoral and informative place to be, that it's quite an experience just reading about it all and seeing the photos.
I admire your company (KTL) and have a great deal of respect for your company and of the so many wonderful projects you continue to do over in PNG. If I hadn't already made arrangements with another company, I would surely be trekking with you. Your compassion for your trekkers and dedication of your porters is an outstanding asset and really makes you feel like part of the 'Kokoda Family' not just 'another tourist trekker'.
What I like most is also how there is a strong connection between your company and the locals. Many other companies seem to just be in it for the publicity and the money. But KTL really stands out from the rest in that they not only provide a trekking service (for lack of a better word) but also delve in with vigour and passion to make the lives of many local PNG people easier/more comfortable (eg – providing pumps to pump water, building village huts, providing transport, mowers and even making Kokoda Airport/Airstrip actually look like one for goodness sake! – Like how many other companies do that?!)
There seems to be such a deep respect for people all over – our family is your family. I see great bonds have developed between many trekkers and their porters. It takes a special company to be able to nurture that and allow others to share in it. KTL is one such company and I feel honoured that I can share in that via this forum.
Brooke (aka fluppy)17/08/2008 at 10:58 am #100948
Thank you so much for your photos and updates. It made the absence of loved ones easier and I know the men have shared a great experience that they will never forget.
Nancy21/04/2009 at 12:41 pm #101997
The Sutherland boys arrived home last night a lot more sore and tired than they left – but incredibly elated and buzzing. Thank you so much for all you did to help – especially in my hour of need (when Jackson missed his flight). It was a stressful time, since Jack had been planning and longing for this trip for such a long time. Anyway, all is well that ends well – and end well it did!! Jack has told both his brothers that they WILL have to accompany him on another trek in a few years J
Jack just LOVES his t-shirt, which he has not had off his back since he got it a few days ago (peeewww!!).
A very heartfelt thanks for the wonderful trip offered my oldest 2 boys!!!
PS The boys were wondering how Wayne, their guide, was doing now after his hospital trip. Could you please pass on their sincerest regards – I have heard the most amazing stories about him.
Editors Note: their guide was Wayne Urina the second fastest person to ever cross the Kokoda Track. His time – an amazing 18 hours. The track record is 16 hours 34 minutes set in 2009 by Brendan Buka, a porter from Goroka who now calls Kokoda home. Wayne came second in this race. At the end of this trek he was suffering from a bout of Malaria and was taken to hospital to get a needle. He is ok now and back home in Kokoda.
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