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The Road to Success -Climbing Mount Eloumden

The road to success is plagued with stumbling blocks, with trials, failure as common ingredients to success. A large number of individuals aspire to follow this route, but only a few people really do. Nonetheless, the toughest and most demanding task is to maintain your success after you have achieved it.

Program Facilitator and lead Mentor, Kingsley Toulack in addidas wear and the (pre)-scholars

One August 14th 2021, one of the most exciting stages of the Open Dreams Summer Academy 2021 took place. Open Dreams scholars and pre-scholars embarked on a journey that turned out to be more than just simple hiking across Mount Eloumden on a chilly but beautiful Saturday morning.

We officially began our hiking activity a few minutes after 8 a.m., intending to depart from Neptune, a petroleum station near Simbock Yaounde, and ascending the mountain to its top. We fixed our shoelaces, got some water for the journey, and set out right away to the bottom of the mountain - at a village known as Ancienne Ridge. Mentally and physically prepared for the long and seemingly exhausting journey ahead of us. It had not been an easy voyage. To reach the top of the mountain, we had to walk for around two hours. We had to deal with several difficulties throughout our ascent, including tremendous weariness, despair, and complaints, among others, but we always managed to find a way out. Thanks to the presence of a few motivational speakers, the scholars and pre-scholars were able to keep the flame burning, as we continuously compared the climbing across the mountain to the struggles one goes through while applying for scholarships.

“We all got our scholarships” two hours after we left the Neptune fuel station. Hurray! We were successful. We were at the summit of Mount Eloumden, at an elevation of 1150 meters above sea level, and had hiked around 4 kilometers to get there. We all cheered and had fun as we shot a large number of photographs of the sky, the cloud close to us, the far-looking villages and houses, and even images of ourselves, happy and impressed by the efforts everyone had put into getting there. We had to leave after a well-deserved rest and lunch.

“Getting a scholarship is challenging, but keeping it is much more difficult!” These few words kept replaying in our heads as we embarked on yet another arduous descent down the mountain, this time on a more challenging trail. Once more, we compared hiking to the process of obtaining a scholarship, emphasizing to everyone that obtaining a scholarship is not an end in itself. Instead, that is when you will need to step up your game if you want to maintain your scholarship. The route down the mountain exemplified the meaning of those simple words.

The pre-scholars and scholars, driven and full of energy, gladly embark on the trip down the mountain to preserve their scholarships. We were, once again, confronted with challenging problems, but we were able to handle them with ease. We arrived at the bottom of the mountain about 53 minutes later. We were quite concerned, despite being pleased with what we had just accomplished. After doing a google map search of our current location, we learned that we had around 5 kilometers to walk to get to Entree Simbock, where we could hire some taxis. After making up our minds, we embarked on the last journey with a grin on our faces and entertaining conversations throughout the journey.

An hour later, we were at Entree Simbock, and we could finally declare we had made it. After chatting about our experiences during the tour, we had to head back to the Open Dreams Center for the weekly cleaning. Once again, it was teamwork that made the dream work. We finished cleaning in an hour. We all headed back to our respective houses, after a brief discussion over a quick meal to recover from the stressful, strenuous, and exhausting trek through Mt. Eloumden.

We were all exhausted when we got home, but we were ecstatic with how well the day had gone. Once again, Open Dreams has provided us with the opportunity to learn and explore. We were able to appreciate the tall trees, the flowers, fruits, and, most importantly, the water supply that originated directly from the mountain.

Program Facilitators Clement Ngosong at the extreme left, Mohamed Moumie in red track suit and Kingsley Toulack guide the team of pre-scholars 2021

We encourage everyone to take part in more of these activities, not only for the sake of having fun, but also to better understand the phases and the importance of working hard in all we do. Yes, life is full of challenges, disappointments, opportunities, highs and lows yet, with the right mindset, we can conquer any mountain that comes our way!

Mohamed Moumie’20,

Program Facilitator at Open Dreams #MountEloumden #ODSA2021

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