The last two days have been extremely tough for me. I have been completely taken out of my comfort zone. We hiked from Camp Kisanjanj to Camp Olkerio. The hike itself was incredible, as we saw giraffes and zebras on the way. We also saw some elephant trails. I was the navigator of the group so I used the map and compass to get us to each of our check points. The toughest part for me was definitely Loloipange! We were told that it was going to be steep but I was not prepared for what awaited us. Half-way up the hill my fear of heights starting getting to me and I ended up crying the rest of the way up. I am proud of myself that I didn’t give up, but Loloipange won’t be seeing me for a while! What helped me was that a few of the team members helped me, and really encouraged me going up. We had lunch on top of the hill and as much as the view was great I couldn’t relax. I was just thinking about the trek down. After we left Loloipange we made our way to Olkerio, which was a beautiful hike. We were quite behind schedule, so didn’t end up going the usual route. Instead we took a shortcut. The view of Mount Kilimanjaro is what kept me going after an already intense day! We all arrived at camp extremely tired and just wanted to go to bed. The following day was another challenging one for me. We went rock climbing and absailing. Again my fear of heights hindered me from getting to the top of the rock but I managed to get at least half-way, with a lot of encouragement from Mawe, Steve, Flo and Papa. I was already anxious on the way to the rock, and had already started crying before I even there. Despite everything I made it out alive! The rock was definitely a struggle for a few of us, and I think that we failed as a team in encouraging each other. I hope that next time we will be more supportive of one another. I found the reflection session after lunch really helpful as I think that it helped all of us understand each other better. I am looking forward to what we do in the next few days to prepare for the climb, but I think the thing I’m most excited about right now is to have shower!
– Akinyi Obama-Manners, 12/10-21