Thoughts from the Mountain

Margaret Casey, a long-time CODE supporter, took part in the CODE's Summit for Literacy: the Kilimanjaro Climb in July 2014 to raise funds for CODE's literacy programs in Africa. This blog post summarizes her thoughts on Day 6 of the journey, the day before the team was scheduled to reach the summit.

We head this morning to Barafu (which is the Tanzanian word for ice). It is at an elevation of 15,000 feet. We are all doing well but feel the cold at our current elevation of 13,500 feet. It is strange to enjoy long underwear in early July! The sun has come up but we are still in the shade. Soon, the temperature will rise dramatically as the sun hits our camp site.

We are all impressed and thankful for the skill and talents of our Tanzanian Tusker team. We marvel as the porters carry their personal packs (about 40 pounds) and something on their heads (our gear, food, tents, chairs etc. which weigh 30 pounds‎). We walk slowly sometimes, given the effort we take to walk and the thinner oxygen. But the porters pass us easily, always with a smile.

Margaret Casey climbed with her husband John (left) and their son, Grant.

The scenery is fabulous and we have seen many angles of the summit. I am saddened to see how little of the glacier is actually left due to climate change. However, some of us have seen the quick alpenglow on it and watched the quick sunset above the clouds at our last three camp sites ‎.

We all enjoyed meeting Pilli Dumea, Executive Secretary of the Children's Book Project on our arrival in Moshi a week ago. Her presentation to us and the books and materials they have produced were all very inspiring. How uninformed we Westerners are of the challenges and circumstances that face Tanzania in providing a good education to youth! Glad to see that CBP is showing the government how to overcome the many complex problems facing them.

Pilli's talk inspires me (and the rest of the climbers) to reach the summit tomorrow. Our fundraising efforts on behalf of CODE will continue.


Sunday, July 6, 2014