Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Saturday, October 31, 2009

On Mt. Kilimanjaro again (Post 1 of several)

When climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro last year I was not sure I would succeed in reaching the summit having taken seriously the warnings of the effects of altitude sickness on many first-time climbers. The person who designed a t-shirt with the words: "If you can't climb it, drink it", [If you can't climb the mountain, drink Kilimanjaro Lager] could be one of those climbers who succumbed to altitude sickness before reaching the summit.

I decided last year if I succeeded I would climb the mountain every year to raise money for charity. This year I climbed between October 1 - 8 and here is my experience divided up into several posts to provide some breathing space to readers.
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28 September 2009
Sometime late in the morning, after I received an unexpected payment, I realized and decided that I could afford to depart from Butiama and spend the night at Mwanza before flying from Mwanza to the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) through Dar es Salaam.

One of my sponsors last year, Air Tanzania Corporation, has been kind enough to give me free passage on their Dash 8 aircraft in support of my efforts to raise funds for charity.
Air Tanzania's De Havilland Dash 8
Rather than worry about how ill-prepared I am for climbing Kilimanjaro (experts recommend two months of intense exercising (I could count only about two weeks of riding around in a bicycle around Dar es Salaam), I am worried about the writing assignments I should complete before I set out to climb. I am due to write two articles for my regular column with the Sunday News, and a few extra assignments for the 10th anniversary of Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere's death. I was worried that I had bitten more than I could chew.

As I was about to drive off after midday I discovered both the car insurance premium and the road license had expired. I decided I had no option but to risk confronting the wrath of the law, but if the worse happened I decided I would plead for leniency because I was on my way to raise money for charity.

My heart skipped a beat on the way when at Bunda I was flagged down by a policeman who, to my relief, asked for a ride to the Baboon Bridge police post.

I spent the night trying to complete one of the my writing assignments. I slept at 0400.

Next: Where are you from?