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.
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