Ain’t no mountain high enough…
Except for Mount Meru. And Mount Kilimanjaro. They are high enough. In fact they are too high for me to climb. I think all mountains are just out of my league and I should stick to hills and bumps in the road.
This past weekend I learned another fact about myself, and that is that I do not like hiking. Up the mountain, down the mountain: hapana Asante, no thank you.
So how did I come to this conclusion you might ask… Well this past weekend Jenn and I went on a hike up Mt. Meru. We only did a day hike up the mountain, but a day was just enough. We climbed up and up for 3 and a half hours before we reached our waterfall destination. All that kept me going was the fact that bikini season is soon for me (Zanzibar here I come!) But as much as by butt and thighs hated me the way up, I was in complete amazement. The entire journey was beautiful. We walked through farmland the whole time. These farms put Johnson’s farm to shame. I felt like I was walking in a post card the whole time, the scenery was literally picture perfect.
When we got to the waterfall the view was breathtaking. We had to climb down these steep steps which were terrifying with the level of exhaustion I was at, but the sound of our final destination kept us going. The waterfall was gorgeous, and so was the area around us. The water was so cold too! And our guide told us that it was safe to drunk, so I pulled out my handy dandy safety straw and Jenn and I took turns drinking from the river (If we get sick we get sick, TIA)
After enjoying the view and some chipate (it’s kind of like a tortilla) we hiked some more…. Uphill again. This time there really wasn’t a path, we were climbing through a jungle. It was during that trip that Jenn and I took a tumble (don’t worry we stuck the landing!) While hiking I was making a list in my head of all the poisonous creatures that could be hanging out in my pathway. Our guide was kind enough to point out to us which plants were poisonous (all of them), so I just pretended that I was immune to them. We kept walking through the jungle hoping to see monkeys, but luck was not on our side that day, so we headed back to the main road. It took only a few extra hours to get there because our guides were so kind enough to get lost on the way down. In the end we made it, exhausted, but in one piece.
The next day we had another trip planned with the same tour company, Hakuna Matata (catchy name right?) this time we were going to a Massai Village…. I still don’t know if were spelling it right. After a few crazy rides on the dala dala, we finally reached the village. First we got yelled at by the people in the village for taking picture a of them. A lot of people here don’t like photos to be taken of them so it is always polite to ask first.
After being berated in a different language, we went into our guides mother in laws home. She was so incredibly happy to welcome us into her home. We all sat in her dark hut and she gave us a tour. Most homes are just one room that has the bedroom, kitchen and a sitting area all tucked inside.
When we finished visiting the mother in laws home, we continued walking. We were going to climb this hill to get a good view. Clearly I was stoked because I LOVE climbing. The whole walk up this little boy held my hand. I gave him one of my bracelets that I have been handing out that says, smiling is my favorite. When we got to the top, the view was amazing. McKenna, Julia, and I even broke out into a great rendition of ” the hills are alive, with the sound of music” (we would have made the Vantropp family proud!)
After lunch and our short musical, we headed down the hill to visit a Boma. A Boma is a group of mud huts in a Massai Village. While there we met the children and the chief who all lived in the Boma. They were very inviting and showed us their homes. The children all wanted to know our names and kept practicing their English with us. It was adorable.
But as all good things do, our visit for the day had to come to an end ( and we decided it was over when they started asking for money). We walked back to the main road to catch a daladala home… Only there wasn’t one, for miles. And if one came by, it was too full. So I did what anyone would do in the situation, stuck out my thumb and hopped in the first car that stopped by…. Mom you said to always trust strangers right? Nah I’m just kidding guys. I did try and hitchhike but a reasonably empty daladala came before I got the chance to hitch a ride. ( it would have made a good story though).
So as you can see, Jenn and I are staying busy here in Tanzania, just trying to fit in as locals (I think were almost there). It’s sad to think that our days here are numbered. What’s weird is I’m finally starting to feel like I’m home here. I guess home really is where the heart is… And I guess I can have my heart in many places.. So Jersey, Gettysburg, and now Tanzania.