Unfinished Essay of Mine: Africa

Echoes of Kibo

roger (swedish diplomat) and wife (owner of Zara)
Moshi Town and other female named town close to Kili
Lady died, agressive germans and big tent for drinking
coke after hikes, watermellons, pine trees and Monkeys
crazy car ride to mountain, Arusha National Park, Ramadan singing at night
morning swim, breakfast and dinner pavilion, big crane, fires burning, local artwork
ugali-food, old motorcycles and toyota trucks, snake farm, nature hike by hotel
young guide with maleria, ATM & shillings, market lady that yelled at me and smiled,
Our fat guide David and him choosing porters, washing clothes in stream, kids walking home from school, land fill, big crows, our “tour” with 7-Summits sold to Zara,
Bus ride from Airport to hotel, smell of fire, small villiages, dropped girl off at house, moon and the mysterious mountain that we never saw the peak of until on it, pepsi signs, get rich or die trying artwork, “Obama Country”, brian ripped zipper, machine gun man at weigh station, laborers at front gate, primitive toilets, aclimation hikes, helicoptor pad, the only other americans were 3 rich young bachelor jerks that had their crew sing to them, David asking about tipping from Brians book, Flies that lay eggs in skin-don’t hang clothes outside in jungle areas, school kids asleep on bicycles, wood stacked high on bikes, gates of hotel, finding our bus from airport, the British father-son-daughter trio on bus ride, beautiful trees in airport parking lot with “different” bug sound at night, BP gas stations along way to hotel, banana leaf artwork from friend(weed dealer – dad was chief of police)…he said, “respect” and gave me good luck bracelett from Tanzania. kid that followed me on trail tour, expensive gift shop outside of Arusha and in Moshi town (indian?) hidden pockets for cash, snickers at the convinient store, porters & guides are off one weekend a month.

It was just another hot summer day of 2010. It was late August. I had almost missed my afternoon flight from Austin to Detroit. Somehow with all the excitement of the upcoming trip in my blood, along with a healthy dose of anti-maleria pills, I got on the wrong plane. There were two of us. We each had the same seat. I was already comfortably tucked away awaiting my departure with a huge cool-aid smile on my face. The other poor lady, standing directly over me, wondered aloud whether or not there had been mistake. There had been. The stewardess informed me that the mistake was all mine. I hurried off the plane and headed back into the boarding area. Of course the gate checker gentleman completely forgot to notice that I had boarded the wrong flight, a flight that would have taken me to god knows where. Me and my two completely full carry-ons were in dire need to be in Detroit at a very specific time to meet my friends Brian & Cecily. From there we would set sail across the Atlantic towards Europe to Amsterdam and then from there a straight shot to Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro is the name the White Man gave to the area that is home to the highest peak in Africa, as well as being the highest free-standing mountain on Earth. However, the natives prefer to call it Kibo, the original name of the mountain before the erupting volcano or the White Man.
The flight from Holland to the Kilimanjaro International Airport lasted approximately __ hours. We were to land in Tanzania much after dark, sometime around 9pm. I was relieved that my luggage, consisting of everything that I would need for the climb, was resting quietly in the compartment overhead. Brian & Cecily, both attorneys from Arizona, had managed to work out a deal with some fellow passengers to secure two seats just to the left of mine. As we scurried across the sky, we talked with excitement about our upcoming adventure together. We had planned for this since day one of this new year.
Planning for a trip of this complexity took careful attention to detail. First there were the vaccination shots, adminersted in multiple stages, beginning 6 months out. Yellow Fever, Hepatitis B & C, Typhoid Fever, etc.

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