by Hilary Williamson
| I was getting
near the end of my talk. Lizzie asked 'Are they
near the summit yet? Did your mother make it?'
'Almost there. After they rested they went up the Kibo glacier.
Isn't it beautiful? But it was very hard going, just one step for each
'Mom said the very top is flat, kind of disappointing
for the summit of all Africa. But I like its name. It's Uhuru,
Swahili for peace.'
'I wonder if Lieutenant Uhuru from Star Trek ever climbed
'Of course not,'
someone scoffed, 'she just said Beam me up
Scotty'. So my talk ended like it started, with
everyone laughing. But I didn't mind this time.
teacher said I'd brought the mountain to life, almost as if I'd been
there myself. I thought of something I overheard Siara say 'Only when you have crossed the river, can you say the
crocodile has a lump on his snout.' Was it only a dream or
had I and my friends somehow been on Kilimanjaro?
I looked at Amir and Lizzie. There was
recognition in their eyes as we all remembered Siara's voice - 'Dream and you will climb.'
I think that my friends see a different person now when they look at my
mother. I don't. Like Siara said, I can follow in her path and learn to
walk like her. Mom climbed Kilimanjaro. Some day I will too.
Of course Amir had the last word ...
not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.'
(Sir Edmund Hillary)
1. Diary of Kilimanjaro Climb (Mar 15-20,1986),
2. Guide to Mount Kenya & Kilimanjaro, Edited by Iain Allan,
Mountain Club of Kenya, 1981.
3. Animals of East Africa, C. T. Astley Maberly, Hodder and Stoughton,
4. African Proverbs, African
Proverbs, Sayings and Stories
5. African Proverbs, The Name
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