Today we headed to the mountain and hiked our first day.
Seeing Africa in the car
on the way to the Kilimanjaro entry gate for registration was fascinating!
It's a big place and really busy, with tons of wild motorcycles.
We drove to the Machame Gate, where we registered and organized our team.
We were each given a porter if we needed one.
I was introduced to mine, and I told him I didn't need him, that I
was planning on carrying my own pack.
I didn't see him for the rest of the hike.
We started our climb at 6,800 feet through the Montane rainforest
ending at 9,840 feet to our campsite for the night.
We saw monkeys in the trees, and they reminded me of the Nies ;)
All our meals are served in the dining tents (with tablecloths!).
Fresh water is always available, and toilets are set up all around our site.
It's truly amazing to be here.
Hiking today was around 8 hours.
Some of us are more aggressive hikers than others,
and I am determined to be at the front of the pack.
Today I feel like my mind is in a good place.
I'm learning words in Swahili, like:
polepole means slow.
asante means thank you.
jambo means how are you.
and, of course, hakuna matata means no worries.
Christian has picked up the language and is very confident
saying it to our porters; I, however, don't feel as confident.
We climbed into our sleeping bag/bed, talked about our first day,
said our prayers, and enjoyed our first cozy night together.