By Oxfam Trailwalker

Can Hear the Trail Shouting Out to Me Again

Shilpa Pal, Team 118, Invincibles

The Oxfam 100km trail walk was something sitting in my bucket list for a long time, and now even though I have proudly ticked it off, finishing it in our first attempt, in under 28 hours, I can hear the trail shouting out to me again.

I had heard of Oxfam and all the wonderful work they do but honestly didn't know what I was getting into. Learning more about the difference Oxfam makes in people's lives helped my determination get stronger. I knew I was doing this for myself, but thought if my body gives up and my mind doesn't support me either, there would be something that would  still be motivating and keep me going - the fight against gender inequality. And so when it was time to sign up, I looked for a team of 2 guys and another woman and myself and decided that now there was no turning back.

It was an exhilarating experience and when we started off on the trail, I can only remember asking the fellow walkers why they would ever come back, year after year... And by sundown I had my answer... Enroute we stopped at a couple of schools for our much required REST and was happy to know that they were also supported by Oxfam. It was satisfying to know that I also had a small contribution to make to their cause.

And we moved on with sprained ankles, hurting knees, blistered feet and with the moon for company.

When I look back I still can't believe it's all over. I can still hear friends and family say...why do you wanna do this, it's crazy, you are getting nothing out of this. But this taught me that nothing is unachievable if you really want it. I had signed up not knowing anyone, but finished strong with 3 new friends and the most awesome Oxfam team in Bombay who has always been very prompt, supportive and encouraging right through the first call I made to Oxfam to this very day.

(A big thank you to all of you - Sarvesh, Jenif, Swapnil, Anand and all the names I'm missing) so I only hope and pray that there are more people out there like me, who want it and who want to make that difference. Look forward to seeing lots more of you on the Mumbai 2018 trail.

Cheers and Good luck!!

If you wish to help Shilpa and her team raise more funds, please do so here: trailwalker.oxfamindia.org/TEAM2916. The last date for fundraising is 28 February 2018.