I was traveling alone to Tanzania. My first trip overseas by myself. I was very nervous. I would later find out I wasn’t the only one who was nervous. 10 strangers came together to accomplish a common bucket list item. These are the 10 people I summited with:
Rose— is 26 and in the Navy in Australia. Originally from India, Rose moved to Australia with her family when she was 16 years old.
Rachel—is 39 and an accountant with a firm in New Zealand. She came to Kilimanjaro with her father.
Colin—is 67, the oldest yet most energetic in the group. He is retired and the father of Rachel. These two are the only ones on this trip who knew each other prior.
Jessica—is 30 and from the UK. She recently earned her PhD and took some time off for a holiday (vacation in the UK and many other countries) to travel before starting a new job.
Christina—is 27 and a nurse in the UK. When she told a coworker she was going to Kilimanjaro, the coworker asked if she was going to hike the mountain. As if that wasn’t the reason to go to Kilimanjaro.
Tom—a fellow American from New Jersey, he works for JP Morgan. Tom is 30 years old.
Curt—owns his own seafood company in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He had a story written about his journey in his local newspaper upon his return home. He is 51.
Andy—an IT specialist from Townsville, Australia. He was a very quiet guy, but when he did talk, he had some funny jokes or interesting facts to share.
Connor—the youngest in our group at 19, he was definitely like a little brother to all of us. His Australian accent was the thickest and hardest to understand. He was the most comical guy in the group.
Day 2 12 January 2019
Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira 1 Camp 9 km
Elevation 3800 m (12,467 ft)
My best friend Gigi turned 40! Wish I could have been there. Man. This day. It was hard. Really hard. I decided that I was going slow. And for once, I believed it when I said it was ok. It truly is about making it. No one gets a prize for finishing first. It’s about finishing. The guides were amazing. They truly cared about how I was feeling. They were worried about how I was feeling and if I was getting sick. At one point I wanted to cry. But I kept telling myself “pole pole” and one step at a time. I remembered everyone’s messages from Facebook. It kept me going. I did get to see a neat lizard along the way. I have been asking God to teach me patience and this trip is definitely teaching me that. Teaching me to enjoy the journey to the big prize. Tomorrow is a short day, which will be nice. Today’s hike was a total of 6 hours and it was a B I T C H! Especially after lunch. But we made it!