SKYDIVE SUCCESS!!

So, we did it!
Not only did we all jump out of a plane for the children and staff of Nkoaranga, we raised a fantastic sum of around £2,500….and donations are still coming in! Myself, Emily, Jasmine, Charlotte and Sorcha are so thankful to you for the help and amazing support you have given us and the motivation it provided us with in order to achieve this ‘dare-devil’ experience.
After an issue with the high winds that were over the limits in the morning, the disappointment that we felt when we were told we wouldn’t be able to jump at that point, highlighted for all of us how much we actually wanted to do this, not only for the children, but for ourselves and for you.

Travelling up to the Airfield went very smoothly. I was expecting something to go wrong at some point, that’s just ‘Murphy’s law,’ right? But all went perfectly. We all met at the station, with the exception of Charlotte, who was at the airfield already with her mum and sister, arrived in March, taxied over to our accommodation where we stayed – the ‘rough and ready’ bunk cabin. Okay, so the level of comfort resembled something of that we received in Africa on occasion, but we were together. And doing this.

As much as we, and our amazing support crew and spectators on the ground, endured a 7 hour wait, my god, it was totally worth it!
This was one of the scariest experiences of my life so far but also one of the most spectacular. I was so full of emotion, frightened, happy and excited all at the same time.
As I sat on the edge of the door waiting to jump, my smile grew bigger and bigger. I could see the English countryside far off below me, the sky was magical, and probably one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. We were above the clouds and my thoughts were in Africa.

My instructor counted to three and we fell. It was surreal. As we were freefalling I looked up at the plane and couldn’t believe that I had actually jumped, willingly, happily from somewhere safe into oblivion. I must be nuts!!

The feeling of free falling is totally unexplainable, realising what in fact you are doing seems pretty crazy but it’s so relaxing and adrenaline pumping all at the same time.

The classic line; once I got to the bottom, I just wanted to go up and do it all over again….

Here, Emily explains the day’s events and her skydive experience.
On the train, as I sat there on my own, excited at the thought that I would be seeing everyone again in about half an hour, it started to hit me that I was going to be jumping out of a plane in less than 24 hours. This is when the nervous breakdown started. OK, so it wasn’t a real nervous breakdown, just a mini one. I started fidgeting, and shaking. I just couldn’t sit still or concentrate. My breathing had increased to a crazy amount and I started to feel really claustrophobic. So, I got up and stood by the doors, waiting for the train to pull into the station- I must have looked really eager as I stood there for about 20 minutes waiting.
We arrived at the bunk house. The whole situation felt like something out of a horror movie- it was pitch black, freezing cold and we kept hearing terrifying noises. We stayed in the ‘rough and ready’ bunkhouse and boy was it cold!! A combination of nerves, fear and coldness kept us tossing and turning all night, so when the alarm went off at 6:30 we weren’t feeling too peachy.

After getting registered for the jump the next morning and completing the training we sat waiting for our turn to skydive. Then the dreaded moment came, mine and Bethan’s names were called into the office and we knew this was it; it was time to jump out of a plane. We got all kitted up looking extremely cool in our jumpsuits, then Charlotte, Jasmine and Sorcha were called through- they were going to be on the flight after us.
Bethan and I started walking towards the plane with our instructors whilst everyone in the crowd cheered and waved us off. It was one of the single most terrifying moments of my life. We sat on the plane, hearts racing, breath short and fast, hands shaking. Then the plane started to move. We went to the end of the run way and I thought ‘Yeah, I think I can do this’, then the worst thing happened, the pilot shook his head. The wind had shot up to 30 miles per hour (way over the limit for skydiving) and we had to turn around and go back. Well, it’s fair to say that we were more than disappointed.

For the next 7 hours we sat around waiting and hoping that the wind would start to drop. More and more people decided to give up and go home and it was looking like all hope was lost. Then we overheard one of the instructors tell another one that “we were going”. We all jumped up excitedly; was this it? Were we actually going to get the chance to skydive? Or was he just telling his friend that he was going home?

The next thing we knew all of our names were being announced over the speaker system and we were heading to the office. Jumping with excitement, we filled out the final forms and got kitted up again. It turned out we were all going to be on the same flight, which was amazing because it meant we were going to be able to jump all together!
So, there we were, back at the beginning, making our way to the plane. Before we knew what was going on, we were sat on the plane and this time, we were actually taking off! Unfortunately for me, I was sat at the front, which meant I would be the first to jump- words cannot describe how petrified I was. I just kept saying to myself, ‘just think of the kids, it’s all for the kids.’ As they opened the hanger door I thought of the kids beautiful faces, their cheeky grins smiling at me and I knew I could do this. The next thing I knew, I was hanging out of the edge of the plane attached to an instructor, faced with a beautiful sky as the sun was beginning to set. Then we dropped.
As we were falling through the sky we turned and looked at the plane and it was the best feeling in the world; knowing that I had just jumped out of that plane despite my horrific fear of heights was incredible, and as I looked out at the sky around me I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear.
Once we had landed and were all back on the ground we were absolutely buzzing. Bethan and I ran up to one another and enveloped each other in a big hug and cheers of joy. When everyone was back together, I looked around the circle and just couldn’t stop grinning. I’m so proud of every single one of those people that jumped out of that plane. Bethan, Jasmine, Charlotte and Sorcha, you are my heroes and I feel honoured to know you. My Dad, Megan and Bekka were incredible as they braced the cold and 7 hour wait to support us throughout the day, so thank you, I am eternally grateful.
The sponsored skydive was, hands down, one of the greatest and most terrifying experiences of my life, and I would do it a million times over again. Never would I have imagined that we would get such a huge amount of support, so from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
Here’s our lovely Jasmine with her ecstatic feelings on the jump!
We did it; we actually did it! After months and months, and then hours and hours (on the actual day) of waiting, we actually did it! WE SKYDIVED; and all for our babies! During the many hours that led up to our delayed dive, I remember having to, frequently, calm myself; I felt instant calm just by reminding myself of all the special little things about each child, such as: Maureeni’s little kisses, Baracka’s laugh/smile, little David’s hysterical laugh, Ericki’s hugs, Stevie’s MASSIVE grin, Simoni’s “NDIZI”, Vickys cute smile, little Maureens chatter to herself and all of the other amazingly unique special things about each of them.By the time I was actually jumping I felt pretty at ease, by just remembering why I was doing this crazy dive.I want to say a massive thank you to all sponsors; your help is so massively appreciated and will make such a difference to the kids’ lives.
On behalf of Emily, Sorcha, Charlotte, Jasmine and myself, I think it’s safe to say that one of the best feelings about doing this jump was for the amazing cause we did it for. As much as the children probably won’t understand right now, that we recently just jumped from around 13,000 ft out of the sky for them! – There is no better reason for why we did it. The children and the mamas are such beautiful, loving individuals – all so different, unique and wonderful. They inspire us.
Emily states how proud she is of everything we have achieved over the past few weeks. We are so excited to be going back over for Christmas!


We thank you everyone, for being such wonderful inspirations and for helping us to achieve such incredible work. You are the reason that Stevie, Eriki and Dainessi are going to school next year. You are the reason that we are able to hire another Mama to care for our beautiful children. You are the reason the children of Nkoaranga are safe, so thank you.
We also want to wish a special happy birthday to Ebenezer – little man was so tiny and sick when he arrived, and is such a gorgeous, healthy little boy now. We are so proud of you, and so grateful to everyone who has helped us to support the orphanage and the kids!