Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Saturday, 21 April 2012

My version of the year 2011 in review: 26 February

On the third day of the Cross Learning Visit to Arusha region organized by the Cultural Tourism Coordinator of the Cultural Tourism Programme under the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), we woke up at Longido near the Kenyan border.
When I looked out of the window I saw a mountain in the distance and, as with most people who have climbed mountains, wondered what mountain it was and wondered whether anyone had climbed this mountain. As I continued to observe the mountain's silhouette against the rising sun, I realized I was looking at Mt. Kilimanjaro, which I had already climbed three times. I had never observed Kilimanjaro from this far west and it took a while to recognize some of its familiar features.

On this trip mountains seem to have the effect of influencing group behaviour towards posing for a group photograph. Yesterday, it was Mt. Meru, today we had Mt. Longido as a backdrop. The Longido area, including slopes of Mt. Longido, was part of the battlefields pitting German Imperial forces and the British Army in the East African campaign of World War I.
As we continued our trek for the day our guide, Samwel Mollel, told us: "If you look above the hills, just above the clouds, you will see the snow peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro." It took a little adjustment against the bright morning sun but we managed to just barely make out the outline of the mountain.

We eventually reached our destination: the spot where young Masai warriors meet to go through their rites of passage under the tutelage of those who have advanced to older age groups.
The basic objective of the Cultural Tourism Programme is to enable local communities to earn income from tourism through various services, including the sales of handicrafts to visitors. At the end of the trek we visited a handicrafts market.

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