Unfortunately, this trip did have to end. After such a great adventure I was sad to leave. We packed up and headed back to the airport. This time I was more prepared to travel, but luckily we didn’t have to travel through Nairobi again, so I didn’t have anybody with guns pointed at me. This time we had 5 airports to go through again, totaling 26 hours of flying and 38 hours of traveling. We went Moshi to Dar es Salaam to Amsterdam to Philidelphia to San Diego. This time the flying felt much longer because I wasn’t as eager to get home as I was to get to Africa. My least favorite part about
After all of the trouble to get to the summit, I have to say it was completely worth it. The trip was unforgettable and truly once in a lifetime. I am truly grateful that Uncle Chris and my parents gave me the opportunity to do this, and I will never forget this trip.
The guides were one of my favorite parts of the trip. There were three of them: Pacion, Aloyius (Marco), and Valerian (Vale).
Pacion was the lead guide. He told us that he had been to the top of the mountain over 200 times which is unbelievable. He was funny and very interesting to talk to. He made up the nickname “Simba” for me, and called me that for the rest of the trip. He was always happy, but always very smart about the hike. He said that he had a trip where somebody insisted on staying up one extra day. Pacion advised against it, but the man insisted. The guy ended up getting Pulmonary Edema and almost died. That changed how Pacion did his job, and he is now much more cautious. He was an amazing guide, and I don’t think I’ll be forgetting him soon.
One of the assistant guides was Vale. He was much more quiet than the other two were. However, when he did talk, he was very interesting. Uncle Chris and I talked to him about ivory from elephants and the crisis that it is causing and talked a lot about the upcoming election. We made fun of him for always wearing blue jeans on the hike because they are the least athletic pants. Despite this, he was an amazing athlete. Whenever he was in front we always went twice as fast (which proved troublesome on the summit day) and he never seemed to get tired. He was a great guide and was very memorable
The other assistant guide Aloyius, otherwise known as Marco, probably had the biggest impact. He was the most social of the three, and was very funny. He was always cracking jokes and often singing on the trail. He made up the nickname “I’m a man” for
me after I summitted and called me that for the rest of the time. Whenever I needed help, he was there. I remember there was a day when we had to hike down a chasm of sorts. Donna struggled with it, and Aloyius and Uncle Chris helped her down. It was an amazing show of the character of both men that I respect.
The guides were definitely one of the best parts of the trip. They were very helpful but also fun to hang out with. They made an impact on me and I hope that somehow I was able to do the same for them.