This morning Kylie and I woke up with semi-dampened spirits. The weather had taken a turn for the worse and was cold and wet and miserable. My largest concern was whether Kylie would be okay since the cold often posed a problem for her. Despite our hesitation about the climb ahead, we packed up our gear and waited. Nearly an hour after the scheduled time we still had no sight of William who said he would arrive at 8:30. Fortunately. One of Joyce’s friends gave us a tour of the place, explained a little about Tanzania and kept us entertained. Nearly 1.5 hours after he scheduled time, William showed up with the team to begin our climb. The heavy rain had caused their van to get stuck in the mud and had delayed them. Without much explanation after that, we hopped in the van and began the drive to the base of the marangu route. Along the way we got a Tanzanian sim, and picked up our guides, Abdul, and Allen. Both were quite young, but very experienced mountain climbers.
As we started the trek we became familiar with the phrase ‘pole pole’ which means to take it slowly… And take it slowly we did! To cover the 8 kilometers that we were to hike that day, it took us nearly 5 hours. The hike provided me a great chance to think and reflect on various events of life (in addition to learn more about Tanzania from Abdul. We also spent a fair bit of time talking about the Wades and their climb. Abdul said that it was like ‘hiking with Angels’ they really noticed the light of Christ in them. It was an incredible hike up this first morning and I’ve already learned so much about not only the mountain, but also the culture of the people who call Tanzania home.