In October 2016, a team supportingBooks over the Sea will be climbing Mt Washington, the highest point on Kadavu Island, Fiji. The King Kong Climb will be BOTS major fundraiser for the year, and money raised will go towards two new school library projects planned for 2017.
Mt Washington, also known as King Kong Mountain (after being used in the 1933 King Kong movie) is an inactive volcano that rises to 805m above sea level. The mountain rises steeply from Lomati village presenting a challenging 3-4 hour trek to the mist covered top. The jungle swamp at the top of mountain is home to some of the island’s unique plants and animals, lots to explore… before the long trek back down!!!!
By climbing the mountain this year we aim to raise $20,000 – Your sponsorship of the climb would be greatly appreciated.
Update – We Made It!
The boys did an amazing job getting to the top in just over 2 hours! Dom didn’t miss a beat and matched the fittest guys stride for stride up the mountain. Really pleased to have raised enough funds for our next project, the Kadavu Provincial Secondary School Library rebuild. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously.
Dom Altobelli has had a long interest in the island of Kadavu and its people going back to his first visit over 15 years ago. From assisting Vacalea Primary school with sporting equipment and stationery to now being a founding board member for Books over the Sea, Dom has a great heart to see the children of Kadavu have every chance to become all that they can be.
But Dom has also had his own challenges to overcome. Long standing medical issues meant Dom has had a constant battle keeping his weight under control. Faced with some confronting long term outcomes and after some heart to heart talks with his doctors, Dom embraced a major lifestyle change. Strict diet modifications and regular exercise convinced his doctors he would be a successful candidate for gastric sleeve surgery which he undertook in late 2014.
The results for Dom have been amazing. From regularly topping the scales over 145kg Dom has now got his weight consistently around the 90kg mark – losing almost a staggering 40% of his body weight!!!
However, Dom’s desire for change hasn’t ended there. Despite reaching his weight loss goals Dom really wanted to set himself a fitness challenge as well. The chance to raise money for the kids in Kadavu meant the King Kong Climb was a perfect fit. But it’s not going to be easy. Climbing from sea level to the summit at 805m with at times mostly very steep inclines means Dom has a lot of training to do if he is going to complete the climb.
It would make Dom’s efforts all the more worthwhile if we could celebrate he’s great determination to change with raising money that will change the lives of many children. Your sponsorships and donations will be much appreciated. Thanks for digging deep!!!!
Dom (right) back in 2010
A much trimmer Dom in 2015
Peter Couvaras’ perfect holiday is staying in a simple shack in a remote location. So in 2012 he didn’t need much convincing to join his mate Andrew Verus for one his trips to Kadavu. He enjoyed it so much he came back again in 2014. This second trip coincided with initial discussions to build a library for Vacalea Primary School, where let’s just say his architectural skills were put to good use!!!
Returning from this trip he put his team at Couvaras Architects to work, designing a 50 square metre library for the school. Not only did he do this as a gift to the school but he brought his whole team back in June 2015 to commence initial construction. This trip was an amazing experience for the guys, working side by side with new found Fijian friends. They came to Fiji wanting to give something back, but all came home feeling they received far more in return.
This year Peter, with Chris Austin and Michael Krowka are back again and are joined by structural engineer Alex Montgomery to conquer King Kong Mountain and raise money to help more children in Kadavu know the joy of having books to read and a library to read them in.
From its beginnings, Books over the Sea has been a team effort and the boys of Couvaras Architects epitomise what can be done when people offer their skills to achieve something amazing. You too can be part of achieving something incredible for some more schools in Kadavu by sponsoring the boys in their climb. No donation is too big or small, everything dollar makes a difference.
The boys from Couvaras Architects ready to fly to Kadavu in 2015
Relaxing after a day working on Vacalea School Library
Peter at the Vacalea School Library build, June 2015