No time for blogging really since Kili (which I promise to blog about when I get back home next week - long story short I summitted solo after a very sketchy night).

I have however kind of been managing the blog that the team here in Uganda is using to cover our trip, which you can find here, complete with pictures.

More soon.


I'm in Moshi, the town at the base of Kilimanjaro.

I'm gonna go up to my room, pack my backpack, pack my 2nd bag (the one the porters take), crash like a zombie til tomorrow morning, and then I'm climbing for 6 days. I'm on one of the much-lesser traveled of the 5 routes up, so that should make for an even more remote experience than the typical trip to the roof of Africa.

Those of you who know me well know that I'm pretty even keel - you don't get too worked up about something, and you don't get too let down by it either. Or as Public Enemy would put it - "Don't let a win get to your head or a loss get to your heart." So I wouldn't say I'm particularly bouncing with excitement, but I am glad that I haven't had more than 3 hours straight sleep since Tuesday night, because otherwise I probably wouldn't sleep well tonight, when I need it. (Wednesday night was flying overnight from Accra to Nairobi - I argued my way into a free biz class seat which was nice, but it was BC on Kenya Airways, which isn't saying much. Thursday night was up late crunching for the project close on Friday, after dinner with Melissa - she's in Nairobi on another WV project, we both used to be on the Walgreen's project at the same time although we didn't really know each other then. Friday night I was out late-ish for dinner and drinks with a bunch of Melissa's friends and then there was some wedding party across the street from the hotel. I got a call at 2am that I thought was my wake-up call, so I got up and almost made it into the shower before I realized that the wedding party was still going strong, so I checked the clock, and sure enough, it wasn't 5am yet. Gah.)

There certainly wasn't any dozing in the crazy bus-ride from Nairobi to Moshi, which involved a distinctly less-than-enjoyable 2+ hour stop at the Tanzania border, where they intentionally screwed me over for my visa fee and there really wasn't anything I could do about it (although thankfully it wasn't me that was the one delayed for the 2 hours). It was kinda nice though because I met a few of the folk who were headed all the way to Moshi with me (we dropped the majority off in Arusha on the way here). One older woman who does a lot of independent consulting with the UN, and 2 girls my age from Liverpool - we all had dinner together but they're taking the Rongai route up (mine's Machame and I'm due to summit a day before them).

I'm looking forward to the week. Light food, lots of water, tons of climbing, dead sleeps. I'm taking my current read (Gore's "The Assault on Reason") and my tiny-moleskin for writing / drawing. And a Bible. And those are the only non-gear toys. I should theoretically summit sometime around the early AM hours (5? 6?) on Thursday after starting at midnight from summit base camp. Nairobi time.

Friday I descend and Saturday I hop on a plane to meet up with the youth group folk in Entebbe, and we're off to Jinja for our week at the AIDS orphanage. Will try to blog at some point about the climb but it might not be til I'm back in the states.

I'm liking the looks of August so far.


Last week was all work, wrapping up interviews with WV's Area Development Programs, for the most part. Tuesday Lewis and I flew up to Tamale, the northernmost city one can fly to within Ghana, and had some meetings there at the Ghana Rural Water Programs office. That afternoon we drove up even further north to Bongo, a rural area that was seriously affected by the floods last year. We met with the ADP team there for the afternoon and then drove back to Tamale. Bongo's only 20km south of the border with Burkina Faso, but this trip was all work, so no time to see that country.

We got a late start coming back and so as we got closer to Tamale it was getting pretty dark. That's a problem, because the sheep / goats / cattle roaming about like to sit on the pavement because its still warm from the sun. Sure enough, our driver's going a little too fast to slow down in time when a couple of goats are crossing the road and...the Landcruiser won that one I guess.

The next morning we were back to Accra, and in the office again. Thursday we headed out to an ADP within driving distance of the city - Dmange.

Friday I presented my findings to WV Ghana's Senior Management Team and then mitigated the response - which for the most part was pretty good. Spent the afternoon getting to the only Shoprite in Ghana and back, traffic here is nightmarish - 2 hours to go 10kms.

Was going to go to Togo yesterday but the driver couldn't do it. Worked instead, and some today too. Thought I might go to Togo tomorrow but by now I'm thinking its not really worth the money, which I need to be saving for the Kili trip anyway. Ghana's kind of the go-to place in western Africa - Accra gets flooded every weekend with people from as far as Nigeria, as well as a few of the other surrounding countries here. Which makes me a little apprehensive about what the *other* countries are like.

I leave for Nairobi on Wednesday night and get in Thursday morning. 2 more days of work at the Africa regional office and then the project is over and I'm off for Kili. Probably won't be much blogging for those two weeks.