Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Monday, July 11, 2011

The sherpas of Mt. Kilimanjaro

The Sherpas of Mt. Kilimanjaro are known as “wagumu”, the tough ones.

There is little dispute that they are engaged in strenuous work, carrying heavy loads of food, tents, and equipment for the mountain climbing expeditions. It takes only a pass through some of the tough sections of the climb, for example, the Breakfast Climb from Barranco to Karanga camp, for any novice trekker, carrying a much lighter day pack, to realize that the “wagumu” are indeed of a different breed.

They soon leave behind the groups of trekkers led on a slower pace by the mountain guides as they rush with the heavy loads to the next destination to set up the tents and meals for the trekkers.
 
Kibo peak is seen behind a group of Kilimanjaro porters, posing with two trekkers, on the last day of an expedition at Mweka Camp. Photo courtesy: Dmitry.
The tough work invariably engenders a lavish spending spree after each successive expedition. On receiving their pay, a majority of the Kilimanjaro porters are said to spend their money excessively on drinking binges. A barmaid in Moshi told me recently that he has seen many who drink their entire earnings in a matter of hours and then inflict wounds on themselves and stagger back to their homes to lie to their wives they were mugged.

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