For the past 25 some years I have dreamt of Kilimanjaro. When I was 24 I travelled to Tanzania, visiting my father who was working his final years for Sida (a Swedish government agency for reducing poverty in the world). We went on a two week safari and on the way there we slept one night at the foot of the mountain.
I awoke early, just before sunrise, and crept out of the small bungalow. Walking along the road were hundreds of Africans, men women and children, off to work and school before the heat set in. Everyone was friendly, calling out – Jambo, madam – and many stopped to ask me what my name meant. They were all equally puzzeled when I told them European names don’t always have meaning.
As it got lighter the view of the mountain took over. It was a clear sunrise with no clouds around the top, as on the picture above. But the picture cannot begin to capture the raw beauty that emanated from the vision. In a few moments I felt head over heels in love with the magnificence and magnitude and as I continued my walk together with the Africans, I solemnly swore to myself that I would be back before I was 50 to climb it.
Now, life has taken many turns and twists, and somewhere along the way I forgot my promise to myself. Then as my fiftieth birthday was approaching it dawned on me again, both my promise and that being 50 really is like standing on top of life’s mountain. So should I go or not? I knew that if I wouldn’t do it I would forever be dissapointed with myself. But could I really make it? It felt like a huge stretch, much more than comfortable, but then I looked at all the times in the past where I had stretched and grown and decided to go for it.
So now my reservation is made. My flight is booked and my training has started. Your support in this is greatly appreciated and I will keep you posted as the journey continues!