Arusha, Day 8 4,600 feet
Inspiring. Surprising. Encouraging. That is how this trip has made me feel: encouraged. If a group of people this diverse can come together and push through rain, snow, headaches and physical difficulty to get to the highest point in Africa then imagine what we can do as a collective society. As we all stood on the summit together, that was the thought that was resonating with me the most. I find myself wondering if these climbers could have made it to the summit climbing as individuals. The power of the collective certainly carried them to the summit in a way that is hard to explain and that is encouraging to know that we, as a community, can achieve anything.
After a cold hour spent on the summit, everyone descended to a lower camp for the night. Snores could be heard all around camp, but that was all. After 13 hours and 15 miles, sleep came easy for the climbers.
The next morning, after 6000 feet of descent, we arrived back in Arusha, everyone refreshed and excited to see light switches and menus. After such an endurance climb, I expected everyone to be tired and need some time alone but the chatter happening all around reminded me once again why we are all here, and also told me that the work is only just beginning. It has been amazing to arrive to messages of support and knowledge that people (YOU!) are getting educated about this crisis and sending water. It doesn’t end here, though. The sore legs will recover and the sunburns will heal, but the initiation of change and awareness is something that we can carry on as a community, but we need your help. Thank you for following this amazing journey with some spectacular people, who turned out to be great climbers as well. As the climb of Kilimanjaro comes to an end, the real climb is still ahead.
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