Caribbean Focus Takes a Trek to the North Pole with Dwayne Fields
Part 2 of 3
Even amidst the breath-taking beauty of the arctic, death lurked for the unsuspecting traveller—both man and beast.
Dwayne recalls one of his team’s most poignant moments when he spotted a baby musk ox stuck on a ledge. Dwayne freed himself of his pulk and climbed up the snow bank and helped the animal down. Falling through snow and finally landing on its feet, the musk ox was so grateful that he stationed himself close to Dwayne’s legs and proceeded to follow him around for the next three days. The whole team grew attached to the musk ox, which Dwayne named Henry. But they were unable to feed it since they had no milk. The creature grew weaker and hungrier. The team tried to carry it on one of the pulks, but it seemed uncomfortable and eventually, as the helpless creature failed to keep up with them, they were forced to leave it behind and allow nature to take its course. They all cried as the baby musk ox’s own cries faded into the distance.
Death almost touched the team itself, or so they thought, when they were walking across the frozen ocean one day.
“It was a bitterly cold day,” Dwayne recalls. “We could hear the ice cracking and there were gaps in the ice. Suddenly, I fell into one of the holes, up to my waist. ‘Don’t come near! The ice is breaking. I’m gonna die!’ he yelled to Ali and Linda. But even as these words crossed his lips, Dwayne recalled having had a gun held to his head in Hackney and seeing the trigger pulled twice. He remembered being stabbed on another occasion in his abdomen and between his shoulders, and somehow he knew that he had not been spared death on those occasions to die in this way beneath the ice. Mustering all his energy, he kicked and pushed himself out of that hole. Once on the surface again, he peered down into the hole and was unable to see the bottom! There was no telling how deep it actually was and had it not been for his arms bracing on the surface of the ice and his pulk attached to his waist that kept him from falling further, he might easily have been a fatality statistic.
“I was much more cautious after that,” Dwayne said. “But, you know, the frightening thing was having to continue walking across that ice, knowing we were walking in the middle of a frozen ocean and hearing the ice cracking under our feet all the time.”
Dwayne admitted, “I like being on my own at times so there were occasions when I felt frustrated and got angry with Ali and Linda because everywhere I turned, there they were. It was particularly hard being in such close quarters with them in our tiny tent. But as we continued our journey across that frozen ocean, I looked around and saw nothing but the horizon in every direction and I knew that out there in the middle of nowhere, there as no one—just me, Ali, Linda and God. It was during that time that I really grew to appreciate Ali and Linda.
“Ali, Linda and I are all from different backgrounds, but for the most part we really gelled well together. The whole experience taught me that anyone can get along and achieve and succeed together. I learned to appreciate strangers and even the painful days were worthwhile.”
Twenty-two days after they first set out, the brave team finally arrived at the finish line. “There was just no emotion like that as we crossed it,” Dwayne said.
Back in London, he has no doubt indulged in more than a few Indian takeaways, but his mission is far from over. He has since participated in the Chara Challenge, an army style race across Dartmoor, and he plans to trek to the South Pole in 2012. The funds he raised for the Polar and Chara Challenges went to the charities Action for Children and Mothers Against Violence. Dwayne is also now raising funds for the Dwayne Fields Youth Foundation, other charities and for his South Pole Challenge in 2012. He is also looking for team members to join him for the 2012 South Pole race and for this he needs two reasonably fit individuals between the ages of 18 and 30. Donors, sponsors and aspiring team members may contact Dwayne on tel: 07863566917 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also wish to join Dwayne on facebook.
“After the South Pole, I plan to do Everest,” Dwayne said. “Then I’ll do some warmer challenges in the Caribbean region—from the tip of South America to Panama.”
In the meantime, London is a busy mission field as Dwayne sets about continuing to prepare himself for a life of service to young people.
If you would like to know more about fund raising for the Dwayne Fields’ Youth Foundation, see poster at: low res A3 poster for Dwaynes event.