Climb Day 1

Team members have trained and worked hard raising funds for well projects much of 2010, and the day finally arrived for us to embark on the climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Everyone was buzzing with anticipation, excitement and some apprehension as we ate breakfast together before leaving the hotel.

Immediately after breakfast the team loaded into three buses for the one and half hour drive to the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. At 10:30 am we drove through the Machame Gate where we double-checked our daypacks and turned our larger bags over to the porters who would be carrying them up the mountain for us.

Simon Leishman, our lead tour guide for the climb (from Summits Africa Trekking Co.) briefed the team on some important climbing details, John Bongiorno shared some inspiring words, Kristian Walker quoted some strategic scriptures and prayed for the day’s climb, and then we were off…

We started up the trail with the sun shining down on us through the jungle foliage. However, the forecast for the climb had called for rain, and as we sat down to eat lunch sure enough, the rain began to fall. Everyone put their rain gear on to stay dry, then after the rain had fallen for an hour the skies began to clear, and we continued the rest of our ascent to Machame Camp. Just before sunset we arrived at our destination at an elevation of 10,000 feet.

We were greeted at the camp by 100 of our porters singing traditional Tanzanian songs and dancing in a circle. It was an amazing welcome. We had successfully made it to our first checkpoint, now it was time for dinner and sleep. Tomorrow holds new challenges for everyone in the group, especially with many working through sore muscles resulting from today’s rigorous ascent…

Thank you for your prayers!

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