March 18, 2012 Arusha, Tanzania, Africa.
Hello everyone. This is Kevin again to give you a quick follow up on the screaming I heard on the climb.
So everyone has asked about the screaming at Barranco Camp on night three. I don’t really know what happened for sure but when I asked the guides they told me something probably happened to his eyes… snow blindness. Sometime porters don’t have sunglasses and in our case that day we went from 12,500 ft up to 15,000 ft then back down to 12,500 ft to camp. Around the 13,500 ft range everything was snow covered and by then we were above the clouds. The light literally was blinding, reflecting off the snow. I asked what that had to do with the coughing I heard coming from this person to along with the moaning and screaming and they really couldn’t give me any kind of answer. So I never really was able to find out for sure but it sounds like snow blindness. I also found out the day I left the hotel that while I was climbing, one person died from hypothermia and another from a heart attack on the mountain. Makes you realize just how dangerous the climb was.
I’m going to turn it over to Lori for today’s activities. And by the way, I met the gang right on time at 8:30pm at the airport.
Hi, this is Lori.
After something like thirty hours of airplanes and airports, we finally arrived in Tanzania. Grubby and exhausted, we collected our mountain of baggage containing medical supplies and we were elated to sail right through customs without a hitch.
Today was spent touring Arusha. Our inner clocks were eight hours off, meaning our 8:00 a.m. breakfast was occurring at 11:00 p.m. Wisconsin time. It was disorienting to wake up to tropical trees and a red eyed mongoose on our patio. We saw so many things today, but what made the biggest impression on me was the colorful and vibrant street life of Arusha.
Some things we saw were:
-Women carrying everything on their heads, buckets, baskets full of bananas, bundles of sticks. One woman in her Sunday best dress was carrying her bible on her head.
-Bony goats and cows and chickens wandering amongst cars and motorcycles and pedestrians
-Dusty streets filled with small, and I mean small, shops with corrugated metal roofs
-Men shouting “mzunga”, meaning “white people”—it seemed in a friendly way
-very colorful and graceful clothing of the women
I was also delighted to see some animals, the gecko in our hotel room, and a troop of black-faced velvet monkeys. While eating lunch in an open air restaurant, we saw a tree hyrax, which looks like a cute small teddy bear, but with the face of a marmot. It is a rodent, but cute anyway. And finally, we saw the cutest little dik-dik, which is a tiny deer, smaller than my dog.
Well, friends and family, supper awaits me. We would love to hear from home as the journey continues. Our internet connections will be sporadic, but Jeff and Sally said they will get your comments to us often.
[Here are a few pictures from Arusha. The team has been sleeping comfortably and eating well as they’ve been preparing to fly to Mwanza and begin their work. The team headed to the airport around 9:30 AM their time, and flew to Mwanza at noon. They were to arrive around 3 (7AM CDT). So they are probably unpacking and getting everything situated now! )
Here are some pictures from their lodge including the breakfast they enjoyed each morning: