Leaving the Mountain

Our final day was an easy hike down from the Mweka camp to a village at 1400 m.  We had a final glance of the mountain at one point as we descended.  It looked beautiful with its fresh covering of snow.

Kilimanjaro, with a fresh coat of snow, as seen from our final descent.  

We were definitely in the rain forest biome again and the lush forest surrounded us as on our first day. We also saw the elephant trunk flower, (Impatiens kilimanjarii), a semi-official logo of the mountain.   

Elephant trunk flower found along the side of the trail

As we approached the village and the end of our hike, we crossed a stream. The students stopped to take GLOBE measurements here.  They also recorded additional soil and water data, this would be the final collection site for future science expeditions.  

A boy takes a soil measurement.
Student taking soil moisture measurements, using probes supplied by NASA JPL, at the final collection site

Data collected by the students on the mountain are available in the GLOBE database found here.  Everyone can freely access the data.  If you are not familiar with accessing data, you should view the tutorials also available on the website.  
The final data collected, we continued on our journey to the village where the porters and guides awaited us with great songs and welcome.  It was an incredible reception that the whole group received and a final lunch before we headed back to Arusha.  


A colorful banner is seen with silhouettes of African animals.
The flag that is created for each expedition.

My final reflections on this experience can be found in the next community letter.

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