(Editor's Note: Due to connectivity issues, some of Tony's blogs are being routed through his home office for posting.)
Wednesday saw another beautiful day in Arusha, and with all the group in the hotel planning began in earnest. In the morning, we had some team building activities, followed by meeting the guides for Big Expeditions, the company dealing with all the logistics for this adventure. And what logistics are involved in this: making sure that we would all be safe is paramount on our minds and the guides, and then carrying all our gear plus feeding us on the mountain. No minor feat.
After going through the safety issues and the logistics, we were introduced to five of the 10 guides that would accompany us. Julius, James, Reggie, Samuel, and Edward -- between them they have had almost 800 ascents of Kilimanjaro!! We knew we were in good hands at this point!
Following lunch, we spent time going through the GLOBE protocols that we would use on the trip. The Mt Meru Hotel where we were staying had some great areas for practicing the protocols. It was wonderful to see the students get prepared and excited about taking the measurements. A shout out to Erika Podest, NASA SMAP campaign, for sending the soil moisture probes so we could use them in her absence. They work great! Thanks Erika.
Done with our work it was time for the GLOBE group photos and we took many, many images to record the ending to a day of preparation. Later that night, we all divided our gear into two bags, essential for daypacks and the remaining stuff into backpacks that the porters would carry.