Lisa Valaika
Lisa Valaika

Arriving in Africa
Monday, February 20
We’ve made it! It was a long day of travel for all of us. Many of us including myself were on a plane for just short of 20 hours. As soon as we landed, I was struck by how warm and humid it is here. We got into Kilimanjaro Airport just about 9 p.m. local time. We were greeted as soon as we made it through the loooong line getting our Visas by our guide, Freddie, and several members of his team who will be leading the way up the mountain. They loaded all our gear bags and we headed to our hotel for the night. With such a long day and much excitement many of us were not able to go to sleep until 2 or 3 in the morning. We can see just the very top of the mountain from the third floor on our hotel. It looks really amazing, rising up above the clouds. It’s hard to believe that we will be there shortly.
We are beginning to get acclimated to our new environment. We are all spending the day together on our first day exploring the local village of Moshi. We enjoyed seeing all the street vendors with fresh local produce and artists selling all their creative drawings, bead work and much more. After visiting the town, we all get to spend some down time at the hotel and took the time to rearrange our packs one last time. Tonight we will have a team dinner together, have our gear checked and receive our final briefing for our journey.

Our trek kicks off tomorrow with a four-hour drive to the trail head. We begin our trek at the Londorossi Gate which is just about 7,800 feet elevation. We’ll end our four-hour hike for the day at about 9,000 feet elevation at Mt. Mkubawa camp (which means “Big Tree”).
Thank you again to all our supporters, family and friends. With your help and generosity, we have raised over $250,000 - 90% of which will go directly to much needed research and related programs.
See you at the summit! Asante.

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