We awoke to the sound of a rooster crowing this morning in Moshi,Tanzania. We were very rested after traveling 27 hours to get to here The travel was not too bad – 19 of these hours we were actually flying from Ft. Lauderdale.
It was dark when we arrived so we had no view of Mt. Kilimanjaro before sleeping; yet the mountain was in my mind all throughout the night.
Geoffrey and I both instinctively went to the window as our feet hit the floor this morning to get our first view of Mt. Kili. In the distance we could see the base, but the top was engulfed in heavy clouds. It’s probably better that way for now!
At breakfast we met David and David, a father and son duo who just came off of the mountain yesterday! They are from Virginia,USA and David is now working in Nyrobi.
The Moshi locals are delightful, outgoing and quite social. We walked downtown to change money and found people selling everything right on the street.
I went in search of deodorant because mine exploded on the way. I explained that I did not want liquid to one of our new friends and he went searching all over town for me.
As we neared the gates to our hotel, here came Sijam, running towards me with a small travel size deodorant. He ran more than four blocks to make this sale! It was that important to him, and I was humbled.
There is no power today throughout all of Moshi because electricity is rationed. No one is quite sure when it will return, most likely tomorrow. So the shops are dark, but life goes on as if this is just how it is supposed to be.
We had lunch in a beautiful park – our fried chicken and chips (fries) with a coke for 8,000 Tz Shilling made up for what we spent on Tanzanian Soccer shirts and carved necklaces. We supported the local economy in a big way with our meager purchases, but it’s okay, tourism is important to this community.
Everyone asks if we are climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and when you tell them yes, they immediately say “pole, pole” which means slowly in Swahili. One local taught me how slowly I need to walk to make it to the summit! And it was very, very slow! Slower than I could have ever imagined.
The air is filled with the smell of wood burning – I mean really full of the smell, and you can here generators humming at some places. It is so foreign to imagine living where electricity comes and goes at random. But it does not dampen the spirits of the locals, it just seems natural.
The clouds parted by 3:00 o’clock and the sky is amazingly blue. The presence of the mountain is much more vivid now, but the top still quite illusive. I have a feeling it will remain this way, and maybe there is a reason, because I think seeing it more clearly would only bring a sense of fear to those of is who have decided to climb her.
We are so incredibly blessed to be here to drink in the local culture. It is simple and quiet and as you walk along the streets on dirt sidewalks you realize there is another world outside our existence.
After an hour nap, I sat in a swing on the rooftop with a young boy named Wesley. He is eight years and from Niarobi, Kenya. Sometime later Geoff joined us and all of a sudden, as if the mountain waited, the clouds parted to reveal to very top of The Kibo summit. It was as if she waited to reveal her most precious jewel when Geoffrey was there!
I am filled with a sense of hope and optimism. Just seeing the summit with my own eyes was a long-anticipated milestone, One of many to come. And the greatest one will be on the day we have a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
There’s always gonna be another mountain…in the distance I hear Wesley and Geoffrey singing (I Yi Yi, I Yi Yi Yi) and all I feel is joy!