Jambo! Word from the mountain seems positive. The group rested for 24 hours at a base camp, 17,000 feet, before they will make their final ascent, beginning this morning.
This helps them to acclimatize to the thin air, as well as gives their bodies some relief from climbing. They remain in good spirits… for this final push to the top!
They have had their challenges… weather… altitude sickness… muscle strain and soreness. Just being outside in the elements presents its own challenges, with a constant exposure to rain, sleet and snow. The porters and guides are very experienced, though, and have provided our group with good support, food and well set up camps, for rest and regrouping.
The guides and porters are amazing themselves. Their livelihoods are dependent on people who come to climb Kilimanjaro. The porters carry everything for the camps in baskets on their heads and use short cuts to stay ahead of the climbing groups. These short cuts are steep and very rugged and the porters are always at risk, themselves. A few of the porters were quite young… 16 years old. It is a rough way to earn a living, but there is so little opportunity here, that this work is considered to be good work.
The guides are extremely experienced in weather conditions and people’s responses to the altitude. They assume this responsibility with courage, grace and great caring.
It takes them years to develop the necessary skills and proven strength for this work. When Sam became ill, it was one of the guides, Daniel, who brought him safely …and very quickly!… down the mountain. We are grateful for the skill and strength demonstrated by Honest and Daniel, the guides for our group.