Before I arrived in Africa, I took another quick hike in the hills around Boulder to try to prepare myself for the coming adventure. It was a beautiful Saturday and the area looked its best: clear blue skies, a little coolness in the air…..a wonderful day to hike. The environment of course is different than Kilimanjaro in that Colorado is drier and has a different type of vegetation. The exercise and being out is what was important in my preparation.
I left Denver on Sunday morning and arrived at Kilimanjaro airport at 7:30 pm on Monday night….a long time to travel to begin this adventure. After getting my visa and meeting with the Big Expeditions staff I was driven the 45 minutes to the hotel in Arusha for my first night in Tanzania. It was incredibly dark on the drive to the hotel….giving a sense of remoteness. Despite its proximity to the equator, Arusha’s elevation of 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) on the southern slopes of Mount Meru keeps temperatures relatively low and alleviates humidity. The temperature here today will reach a high of 28C (83F).
Tuesday while waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, Barbara Monday and I visited with a local family. Descendants of Masi, they welcomed us into their home in Arusha and we learned about their lives, some Swahili, and had images taken in native Masi dress. It was wonderful to get out and meet some of the local people of
Arusha. They opened their hearts and home to us.
Wednesday holds a day of meetings with the team and some acclimatization. We will practice GLOBE protocols and get to know each other. It should be a fun and busy day.