The mountain looks close and more audacious as we approach. As usual our three oldest kids are troopers and gap us well to reach campsite, at least 25 mins before we get there with our Moo baby. It turns out she typically will have a reason to stay back …like ” I need my sunglasses Daddy” but then she insists she would like to hike between DH and myself the rest of the time . This would be fine if she would keep up her pace or not want play 25 guessing games that invariably no one wins but she, because the thoughts are so random, and hardly guess able with a brain just trying to do the basis/ grab oxygen from this “oxygen very thin air “😏. Besides the more she talks she mouth breathes and that is not ideal. Trying to convince an 8 yrs to walk in silence is tricky especially when she has a captive audience in her mom and dad!
This camp is significant as all are , but this is the last stop before summit!!!! It’s also cold as heck and it’s elevation is about 4673m that is about 15000ft in American speak! The air is thinner and you can absolutely feel it. Thankfully no headache that have persisted but I have felt weaker, needing a nap. Kids on the other hand are acting like little solar powered machines. On the other hand, I just find myself reminding them in between my naps saying “ no talking too much please conserve your energy ” which tends to fall on deaf ears….ah well, hakuna mata.😏
We would have to wake up at 3 Am to begin our accent to summit Kilimanjaro which will take till close to noon to accomplish. Our senior guide thought it better to wake up at this time to avoid hiking in the dark and for so long without the warmth of the sun. We have come to trust them and so we listen to the instructions shared every night at dinner . He really tried to communicate well including on the “food issues” to make sure the kids will be offered food choices that they would actually wanna eat. For example after I made pancake infront of the chef and his audience, he reproduced that at lunch today and made 4 kids extremely happy when he topped it with fried chicken!!!! Say whaaaat???!!!!😁
Prosper asked if I could cook Mac and cheese tonight for dinner based on Amara ‘s and the rest of the kids request…and so there I was after an hour nap , in that warm , poorly lite kitchen , again with the whole crew who are watching and helping while some watched Naija movies on their phones besides the gas stove I was cooking on. I really couldn’t make up this even if I tried but there I was warmed by the gas stove and the crowded kitchen tent crew as I and attempted to improvise and American mac and cheese at base camp. My daughters had initially said they’d come help but then chose to play play UNO with their brothers and DH in the tent , over cooking in a tent kitchen. I really couldn’t blame them for real.
Dinner is served and they like it enough. It’s not velveeta from the box so there is a slight ” base camp” variation. Most finish their big portions with some persuasion from us . We also had muffin that they seemed to like a lot and ofcourse leek soup! Everyone is content and understands the plans for tomorrow We brush teeth, give kids melatonin aka mountain sleeping lifesaver and they are warm in their sleeping bags.
Tomorrow is our twins birthday and I wish them first and foremost health , then happiness and joy, peace and love and their hearts desire which right now is a puppy whom they have already named teddy Theodore Kilimanjaro Loynd , a bishon teacup who they promise does not shed and is smart……all righty then!
Honestly, I’ve enjoyed a lot about this trip , the time we are getting to spend together as a family is priceless it’s like a comedy show without commercials. The kids are cute no doubt and strangers do come up to DH and myself to remark on how our kids should model, or that they look like “magazine kids or kids on cereal boxes”… I have to admit the cereal box compliment is a brand new one but we’ll take that graciously.
More than their physical attributes, I truly value their connection to eachother , the growth I see occurring in them even visible over these few days on the mountain , understanding the power of POSITIVE THOUGHTS and it’s impact on outcome. It is also very comforting to see the ease with which they seemingly maneuver through wherever with ease. My prayer is that doors be open to them in the future so they are maneuver with their natural ability and they not be judged solely physical attributes such as the color of their skin…
For now it’s hakuna mata in the motherland and when we get back to the Lou, we keep managing as we have so far lol
I must also tell you how much I have also really enjoyed the locals we met, they seem so genuinely , so simple and smart and eager to help. Our senior guide once told me when I was in the beginnings of a freak out when I thought couldn’t find my cellphone but later did in my pocket that “ there’s no way you can loose something with me behind you “ and he was typically trailing behind me.
Everyone has such a warm smile on the road even the porter that are carrying what appeared like tons of load, they are polite with passing us on the trials with greetings. The porters are majority males and very rarely there is a woman porter. Baracca recognizes a woman porter from his village on our trip today, it was the woman’s first trip up Kilimanjaro . As they exchanged pleasantries I noticed she didn’t have proper hiking boots like every other else . What if I leave my hiking boots after the summit for her? I found out her name is Happiness, and I think our shoe sizes may be similar- well just a thought for now since I still need my beloved hiking boots to make it to the summit and back! Happiness will have to wait .
Overall I’m ecstatic at how well our family is doing. DH and I found some moments to connect more vs being so practical and planned ( aka anxious lol). That helped but I still miss him in a more tender , non mountainous sort of way. Does that make sense? Anyways I better get good night rest before I’m woken up at 3am for the biggest summit of our life! God please be with us carry us when we need you and let the time go by fast so we can appreciate and respect the mountain and get back down to where we belong- Solid ground as close to sea level as possible 😉