Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Monday, 31 January 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2010 (post 6 of 12)

This is the sixth of twelve posts on the December 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.
Tuesday 7 December, 2010
Rather appropriate for the ocassion, I had a mountain of tasks to complete in the morning. Yesterday, I failed to log on to the Internet and I thought the system was down. In reality, I found out this morning, I had run out of credit. There were three urgent tasks I had to complete before embarking for the 3rd annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb:
  • email photos of yesterday's press conference to journalists
  • file next week's article for my weekly newspaper column
  • email parts photos to equipment manufacturer Hydraform 
I somehow managed and rushed to have breakfast before the restaurant closed. I probably was the last customer to have breakfast. By the time I took my shower Jaffar, Yahoo, our guide, and Ludovick, one of the porters, were already waiting for me in the car.

Jaffar is in good spirits, which is an extremely important character trait ahead of any Kilimanjaro climb. Before we boarded the car he called everyone who was near the car - there were about 15 porters waiting for other clients - and insisted we take a photo together in front of the Land Rover.

Find the Land Rover, if you can. Porters join us for a photo in front of the Land Rover that is completely obstructed from view. Zara's Springlands Hotel at Moshi is an extremely busy location and the starting point for Mt. Kilimanjaro climbs. At any one time there are several climbers leaving for Mt. Kilimanjaro through various routes. The porters normally gather each morning at the hotel for the daily departures.
We made our first stop at an equipment rental shop, Gladys Adventure & Safaris to hire extra gear we could not obtain at Zara Tanzania Adventure's Springlands Hotel. Yahoo explained later that a group of over fifty Australian students who were also climbing the mountain, and who were particularly vociferous at night, had depleted Zara's mountain climbing equipment.

When we stopped at the supermarket on the Moshi - Arusha road, one of two policemen on patrol recognized me and later told me he is from Butiama. Later they recognized Jaffar and from their excitement I thought they would have asked for an autograph. They did not.

L-R, the author of this post, Jaffar Amin, and Yahoo, out experienced mountain guide.
It has been raining since yesterday morning and, consequently, the road from Londorossi Gate to the drop-off point at the edge of the forest was so rough and treacherous that we were dropped about 30 minutes' walk from the normal departure point, which we reached at 1600hrs.

Before today, I imagined trekking in the rain presented no extra challenges. I was wrong. The slopes are slippery and physically testing, both on ascents and descents.

Because it was overcast, darkness came quickly and I was the only one who carried a head torch. I had the extra task not only of lighting the path ahead of Yahoo, our guide, but also for Jaffar, in the middle. Furthermore, I also had to light up my own path. It was a case of swinging up for Yahoo, midway for Jaffar, and down at my feet.

At Mti Mkubwa camp I thought I heard Jaffar groaning in pain in his tent, and I feared this year's climb might end early. I was mistaken, because at dinner he seemed fine.

Next: The Seven Hills challenge.

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Friday, 21 January 2011

Elifariji Lima donates Sh.1.5 million to the recent Kilimanjaro charity climb

Mr. Elifariji Lima has donated a total of Sh.1,500,000/- to the recently concluded Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb. Of the amount, one million shillings goes to the Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls' Secondary School and Shs.500,000/- goes to Bukoba Disabled Assistance Group (Budap).

A woman offloads part of the consignment of cement donated by Elifariji Lima after the 2008 Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb
Mr. Lima also donated cement for construction of students' dormitories following the first Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb in 2008.

Current donors to Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls' Secondary School (CEWGSS):
1. Tanzania Gatsby Trust - Shs.500,000/-
2. Dina Mrango - Shs.100,000/-
3. Notburga Maskini - Shs.100,000/-
4. Elifariji K. Lima - Shs.1,000,000/-

Current donors to Budap:

1. Notburga Maskini - Shs.100,000/-
2. Elifariji K. Lima - Shs.500,000/-

Total donations to CEWGSS: Shs.1,700,000/-
Total donations to Budap: Shs.600,000/-

If you wish to donate, please follow the instructions on the following link:

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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2010 (post 5 of 12)

This is the fifth of twelve posts on the December 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb. 

Monday 6 December, 2010
The two other members on this year's climb, Mary Kalikawe of Kiroyera Tours and William Rutta of Bukoba Disabled Assistance Group (Budap), who arrived from Arusha today, joined me and Jaffar Amin at Kahawa House for a press conference to publicize the climb. I did not see the articles that emerged from the press conference although someone mentioned seeing the news reports.

After the press conference at Kahawa House, L-R, Mary Kalikawe, Madaraka Nyerere, Jaffar Amin, and William Rutta
After the press conference we crossed over to the open cafe' opposite Kahawa House for coffee and later dispersed. Mary and William begin their climb tomorrow on the 6-day Marangu route while Jaffar and I will embark on the Lemosho 8-day route. I asked them to check their handset in boxes for text messages so that we could communicate during the climb.

Next: The first day of the climb. 

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Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2010 (post 4 of 12)

Sunday 5 December 2010
In the morning I moved to the Springlands Hotel, the hotel I have used for the two past annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro charity climbs.

Later I went to the Kilimanjaro International Airport to meet Jaffar Amin who was arriving in the afternoon. He told me he was looking forward to the climb, although he mentioned his concern about his knee joints and mentioned a need for a massage, which he promptly received after he arrived at the hotel.

From the hotel, when the clouds cleared, we saw a clear view of Kilimanjaro, its two peaks Kibo and Mawenzi rising imposingly towards the sky.

Next: The other climbers, Mary Kalikawe and William Rutta, arrive in Moshi

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Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Mwalimu Nyerere scholarships offered by the African Union

I received information on these scholarships offered by the African Union a while ago, but had a large backlog of emails to clear and by the time I reached the email containing this information sent to me by Prof. Sospeter Muhongo, I found out that the deadline for submitting applications is only around the corner: 20th January 2011.

The scholarships are offered under the Mwalimu Nyerere Program of the African Union 2011 Africa-India Capacity Building Scholarship. More details at the AU's website at http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/index/index.htm

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Monday, 3 January 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2010 (post 3 of 12)

This is the third of twelve posts on the December 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.

Saturday 4 December 2010
Yesterday, on my way back from a one-day visit to Tanga, I caught a glimpse of both peaks, Kibo and Mawenzi, with Mawenzi partly covered by clouds.
Approaching Himo, I saw Kilimanjaro's two peaks at a distance.
There is always a tinge of excitement when I see the mountain prior to a climb.

As I waited for the restoration of electricity to complete an article, I visited an equipment rental shop to pass the time and chat. This is where last year's assistant mountain guide, Ben, is works as a shop assistant.

"Aren't you climbing Kilimanjaro anymore?" I asked him.

He said he is taking time off, adding: "Si mlima uko?" [Isn't the mountain still there?]

This is a variation of a saying that employees of clearing and forwarding companies have been heard saying in Dar es Salaam: "As long as the sea has not dried up, there is always a means of making money."

I talked to the shop manager of my intention to buy climbing gear to avoid the annual equipment rental costs. He told me they regularly buy equipment from climbers who after ascending from Kilimanjaro decide to sell some of their equipment. At other times, he said, guides and porters offer for sale items that are given to them by climbers. In fact, he told me, that same morning a porter had offered a sleeping bag for sale for Shs.25,000/-. The manager said they rent sleeping bags for $US20 per trip.

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