| That night I dreamt I was on
Kilimanjaro. Mom's group was up ahead, and Amir and Lizzie were walking
with me. It was spooky. No-one spoke. We had an easy
hike uphill for three hours through thick, warm rain forest. The
trees were all covered in moss, dripping down on us like melting
candles. We waded through a sea of ferns, taller than we
were. That was fun. Then we followed the porters on a trail
across moorland, where old tree roots tried to trip us. Funny - the
porters didn't seem to see us, just like we were ghosts, but when we
got to the Mandara huts, the chief guide Siara nodded to
It was the next day in
my dream. We walked uphill for six hours to Horombo.
There were weird looking plants called lobelia, bigger than us, and
groundsel that looked like giant cabbages. We hung around the huts for
a whole day to get used to the altitude.
My friends and I explored together till Amir got a
bad headache and lay down. The others still didn't seem to see us
- except for Siara, who grinned every once in a while. He sure bossed
the other guides around and once he seemed to be talking to us 'The moon moves slowly, but it crosses the town.'
We were getting tired anyway so we took the hint and rested.
The dream continued
the next morning, cool and sunny. We kept on up the mountain, walking
slower and slower all the time. It seemed like we couldn't get enough
air in our lungs. The others walked at a steady pace so we tried to do
the same - breathe in, step, step, breathe out. Siara passed by
with more advice - 'When you follow in the path
of your mother, you learn to walk like her.' I guess that's
what we were doing.
Mawenzi and Kibo is a flat volcanic saddle, with rocks scattered, as if
the brothers were playing with giant marbles. The barren plain and our
careful movements made us feel like we were walking on the moon ... 'One small step ...' I joked. Aside
from having to breathe, it was easy crossing to the bottom of
Kibo. Then at midnight the summit climb started and the going got
real tough. We didn't feel so tough ourselves, but we got going
anyway and climbed - up, breathe, up - through the night.