July 11, 2015

simbas, twigas, and tembos oh my!

Safari was the real thing, the real lion king. It was amazing. Awkwardly they thought we were starting safari saturday...mama sinyati messed up cause i told her fridayyy!! but it worked out we just started safar a few hours late. We first went to Lake Manyara. It was amazing seeing the animals in their natural environment. We then stayed at a hotel, but camped by it...lol. Dinner was good we then had the most amazing show i have ever seen. lol it was hilarious. it was an acrobat show. they got veryyy close lol. We were with other tve safari car and the people were new and from the other house (twiga) so I didn't know them very well so it was fun getting to know them.

The next morning we drove a lot. you drive A LOT on safaris if you didn't know. I didn't really realize it. and it's a lot of african bumpy roads. We stopped at a maasai village which was cool to see and i learned a lot more about them. They only eat meat and drink goats blood. They make jewerly and really like jumping. They moved a lot cause of the grass. and they have some of them get education to teach the otherrs and they don't speak swahili which was weird because i couldn't speak to them! They have multiple wives but not always. they have different tribes and all have a meeting once a month with other tribes, the men attend. There huts are cool, the women make them and they sleep on leather, oh man i couldn't live like them..We then went to the Serengeti, saw the big five (lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos and buffalo). SO many animals. I loved listening to music and driving down those roads. We got to the campsite and it started to pour!! It sucked but was really cool to see a thunderstorm in the serengeti. I heard crazy animal sounds that night.

We woke up at like 5 to catch the sunrise! so glad we did cause it was amazingggggg. we saw a lion eating a wildabeast...so that was cool. sooo many animals. we then left to get an amazing brunch fed to us. We then packed up the cars and headed to another campsite to the ngorongoro crater. it was beautiful. We met some more maasai men. they are everywhere. that night we saw an elephant on our campsite while eating dinner, it was so cool. and at night you could here these warthogs stomping around eating which since i was in my own tent i got a little scared lol. You just hear sooo many animals at night it's so cool.

We woke up early again to see the crater. It was really cool. You drive way down into it and see tons of animals. the hippos might have been my fav. besides the lions!!! soooo many flamingos you would be amazed. we saw sooo many zebras and wilabeasts that you got bored of them lol. Richard was our tour guide btw, he was really funny. the happiest man you have met, his laugh was the funniest thing. Safari is a dream and it felt nice just sitting after kili. 

We then drove to the airport to go home :( It was bittersweet. The drive there was long and towards the airport it was sunset and it was amazing. I could see kili and mt meru. Which is very uncommon cause it had been cloudy almost the whole time i was there cause of the rainy season. It felt weird to leave. and then we get to the airport and they canceled our flight!!! WHAT. it was the most stressful thing of my life. kenyan airways...never book with third world country airlines!! they emailed us at 1 that we should leave at 6 instead of 9 to go to nairobi and then paris. we got there at like 7 so we didn't make it. but yeah we didn't get the email cause first we aren't in our own country and don't get service and we were in safari. so idk what my dad did but we all got flights to amsterdam and then home which was free and got us home early...so it worked out good but it was so stressful cause my parent got tickets and i didn't. So I had to wait by myself crying to the guy that I was going to miss my best friends wedding if I didn't get on that flight. anyways it worked cause i got a confirmation number just barely in time for the flight. man oh man that was an experience.

Anyways I love africa and I hope to go back some day. It was a trip of a lifetime.

July 10, 2015

"pole pole"

Kilimanjaro was an experience all on it's own. Can I just say I appreciate life so much more after this trip?! Like camping and not showering for 6 days was difficult. I am so thankful that my parents came to do this with me, for if they were not there I wouldn't have done this. It was so freaking amazing. I really don't know how to describe my experience. 

Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, the roof of Africa and one of the world's largest volcanos. I did it. I climbed mount kilimanjaro. It feels so good to say that. The climb was amazing, you climbed through 5 different climate zones, the cultivated zone, the forest, the heather and moorland, the desert, and the summit (glacier). We climbed with G adventures and I am so glad we did because they are the best! Gipson was our main guide and then eden and danny. We had about 20 porters. They were amazing!! They held so much and some of them didn't have the best hiking shoes. We hiked up the Rongai route and down the marangu route which was great cause we got to see more of the mountain. And Rongai is beautiful and less crowded so there was barely anyone ont he mountain. Here's a day to day on how we climbed in 6 days.

We got to Moshi where we got to the hotel and met the staff and other clients in our group! We had orientation and packed and such. I was very anxious. We hiked with yuya, hannah, lara, and rebecca. It was fun getting to know them throughout the trip. We were like family by the end. We seriously were the best group! I was surprised how well we got along. 
We woke up early to drive about 3 hours to the start of Rongai route. We hiked through a forest pretty much all day to Simba camp. We had the same lunches everyday which we pretty gross. The hike wasn't that steep and it rained just a bit which was the only day it rained. The squat pot there was so gross...that's pretty much all I remember and that we went straight to sleep right when we got there. Also the diamox made us pee a bunch and have tingly hands, so fun right!? i got REALLY good at going to the bathroom while squatting, it's a talent. The dinners were always really good. soup!!!
We then hiked to kikelelwa camp. Pretty much the bushes just got smaller and smaller. And it got colder at night. BUT the stars oh heavens the stars the next few nights were unREAL. like we had perfect weather. and the stars being the high up..gah. perfect. also I loved playing card games with the boys. I taught them B.S. it was so funny holy cow.
We hiked to Mawenzi Tarn camp. It was a long day through grassy slopes and majestic views. Mawenzi is a little peak on the mountain and we camped next to a little lake. It was way pretty. That night Lara really didn't feel good and so she left the next day with danny :( dang altitude sickness. the boys did lots of dancing and singing for us. oh my goodness they are great. We made up a little song to "in the jungle the mighty jungle" for them. 
Then we hiked slowly to kibo hut which is base camp. We hiked through the saddle and got to see an airplane that crashed several years ago so that was pretty cool. I started really feeling the altitude then. I felt fine though. It's just a little hard to breathe with no air, you feel me!? "can't live can't breathe without air" -jordin sparks. getting to base camp was a good feeling but it meant that night we summited...SO much anxiety. We took a nap when we go there in the afternoon, woke up at dinner, and then went back to sleep, got three hours of sleep, wake up at 11pm to summit. It's all a blur cause i was so tired.
We had our headlamps, gloves, layers of clothes, gators, chocolate, jelly beans and moms electrolytes. It took us a long time to summit. I think I could have gone faster but we were a team and some people were really not feeling well. Erick, took my bag like halfway up which was so helpful. He was so nice and we bonded cause we were the same age and he played music I knew off his phone. We went sooooo slow. All I heard those 6 days was "pole pole" which means slowly slowly. We were pretty much slow motion it was hilarious (kind of). I was feeling okay I just had my mind on the peak and I was not going to let myself not make it. Mind set is everything! Gipson, Lazareth, Eden, and Erick took us up. They were AMAZING. they had soooo much energy when all of us had the hardest time breathing. I never was cold, only my fingers. I had to take off layers at the top. the boys sang us up the whole way. I couldn't have done it without them. They kept us going. We all encouraged eachother up. It took us over 6 hours to get to the top at gilman's point. We got there right at sunrise. The sunrise was beautiful!!!! ah amazing. I was so happy to get there and then gipson said okay let's get to the peak, the highest point it Uhuru. I saw it across the mountain and it looked so far....in reality it wasn't so bad but with the altitude and with how tired we were it was so hard. I was dying. I finally made it to the top and it was amazing. You could see mt meru and ahhh i love being above the clouds. You could see the glaciers and the crater. We took some pictures and grabbed some rocks and then headed back down. I felt so weird. I really didn't feel good. Luckily I had gators cause we like slid down the sleet which would have been fun if i didn't feel like crap. I was so dehydrated and I needed food. Cause I barely ate or drank anything. Getting to base camp was an amazing site. I felt like crap though. We took a nap, ate, and then headed to horombo hut. I felt a lot better and it was fun going down another route. so pretty. the sunset was gorg that night. horombo hut actually had huts, lol but we were in tents, i was so sick of camping. It was so cold every night. I was so happy to have summited.
The last dayyy! shower dayy! it was a long day hiking down but i was so happy. We had a warm lunch which was good. I hiked the last half with hannah, yuya, and gipson. Hiking through the forest was beautiful. When I saw the end sign...i couldn't believe my eyes. We got certificates for making it to the top. I was so proud of myself and everyone!!! SO amazing. On the bus riding to the hotel I was a little sad that this adventure was over. We had gotten so close. I miss everyone! I couldn't have done it without them.

I still can't believe I hiked it. I hiked the tallest mountain in africa. what. I learned that if you have your mind set on something you can do anything. It was the hardest physical thing I have done but it was the best thing.