(February 17th)- At breakfast, all of us were so upset that this was coming to an end. The porters sang the Kilimanjaro song and the Hakuna Matata song with high spirits. I can't stop humming it even now.
KILIMANJARO KILIMANJARO KILIMANJARO
KILIMANJARO MILIMA MREEFU SANA,
NA MAWENZI NA MAWENZI NAMAWENZI
NA MAWENZII MILIMA MREFU SANA.
JAMBO JAMBO BWANA,
HABARI GANI? NZURISANA
KILIMANJARO HAKUNA MATATA
TWENDE KILIMANJARO HAKUNA MATATA
TWENDENI POLEPOLE HAKUNA MATATA
MLIMA WA KUPENDEZA HAKUNA MATATAA
We gave tips to the porters and they were quite jubilant as it was the day they would go home to meet their families after working so hard for us. One of the porters hollered just as we were breaking camp, "See you tomorrow!" like he would do every day. We laughed. I wanted to say 'Hope not', but I knew that I would miss them even in the comfort of my home, my bed and an attached bathroom. Our Good Earth crew did everything to make us feel comfortable in the harshest situation and for that I will be eternally grateful.
The air in Mweka camp was very festive with most of the campers heading back after a successful climb. By 11.40 am, Pi and I reached the Mweka Gate after 45 miles of walking in the wild and that’s where we had our first tryst with the modern world- clean flushable toilets.
Kilimanjaro in the end wasn't just about the mystical mountain with snow in the middle of Africa. It was about the Chagga people, swahili music, the abundant wildlife, the cheer in the air, the strength of people of all ages who attempt to climb Kilimanjaro, the humility of the best at the face of adversity, the shimmering African sky, the unbelievable vegetation, the hot masala tea, and a pletora of memories that will take me to Kilimanjaro whenever I want to be there.