Relax Chez Kibo Huts – 2019 Kili Initiative # 16

The 2019 Kili Initiative team was happy to be at the Kibo Slopes Guest House in Loitikikok. I hadn’t been eaten by hyenas, no one had gotten sick, and we had conquered the birthplace of all thorns, Lolapange. Larry’s ankle was a little tweaked from the morning run, otherwise we were in one piece.

“How far we walk,” asked Laikyn.

“About 180 kilometres,” answered JM, the head guide. “About 120 miles in six days. I think we are in good shape for Kilimanjaro, but the rest of the day is yours. Wash up and then we’ll meet for breakfast. Just remember we will be staying in tents tonight.”

“So we will have to hear Mzee snoring again?” asked Jackman.

“I talk in my sleep. Ma’we snores.”

We laughed and emptied our bags.

“Funny, after all that walking I don’t feel dirty.”

“Feeling is one thing. Smelling is another.” JM had already showered in the common bath.

“Okay, I’ll shower.”

I stripped off my clothes and soaped myself in hot water.

A true luxury.

Clean clothes.


Breakfast was served in the dining room.

Food prepared by someone else.

The team was joking about their cooking.

“Who was the best?”

They exchanged glances. Their eyes settled on Jackman and Maureen said, “Jackman makes the best ugali.”

Jubbah or Young Steve argued that his was the best. “Jackman tastes like dust.”

I left them dining room. Ubah was on her phone. She was speaking with her mother. I modded to her and went to the garden.

A fringe of snow hung onto the rim of Kilimanjaro.

Tim said that in twenty years the glacier will be gone.

I called him in Geneva. No one answered and I texted that everyone was safe and happy to be off the trail.

I found my tent and went to sleep.

I love a morning snooze.

The team was chilling around a table.

They were back in their trekking gear.

Mine was dry and I got back into my outfit.

An outsider only by age.

No one had money and I asked, “Who wants a soda?”

They all did and I ordered drinks from David at the restaurant. He served them on the patio.

JM came over and said, “Enjoy yourselves, because tomorrow we’re starting the ‘solo’.”

I had heard about the ‘solo’ in New York Tim had said that I didn’t need to go with the team.

“Are you going?” asked Ubah.

“Tim said I didn’t.” Staying forty-eight hours alone in a makeshift shelter without any lights wasn’t too appealing, but I answered, “We are a team and a team stays together.”


We slap high-fives and I wandered off to my tent.

Ma’we followed and asked, “Are you really going on the solo?”

“Why not?”

“Because if I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t.”

“Me too, but you’re going, so is JM and Steve and I’m here to watch over you all, but not now. Let’s go to town.”

“The usual?”

“”Yes, the usual.”

It was a short walk.

Through fields.

To a friendly place for old men.

And the Konyagi was a happy sight for Mzee and Ma’we.


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