Post #133: AFRICA or Bust! #Africaisawesome Friday June 20, 2014.
Here we begin a new chapter, a new continent, a new trip. Summer is arriving and I get to travel to Africa for the first time and I’m heading there as a leader of 12 members in my group. We will attempt a climb of Kilimanjaro and then finish the two week trip with four days of safaris to three different parts of Tanzania. (Once we are in Africa or about to get there I will talk ore about the country and the climb….for now, we need introductions).
It’s the middle of the night and I find myself surrounded by new friends and old in a dark and packed plane. We officially took off around Midnight from DIA as Thursday turned into Friday. Some of the members are anxious, some a little bit nervous, and all are excited.
I think everyone is super-motivated to get to the top of Africa, but more importantly, all are thrilled to be a part of this journey. I’ve always heard nothing but great things about Kilimanjaro and about Africa and Tanzania, so I am hoping for the best.
Salutations. Of course no expedition would be interesting without the main characters of this story: Here is a List of the team and Where They are from:
Laureen Hopkins, Vail, CO
Kelly Dantas, Vail, CO
Sonya Wilson, Asuza, CA
Mark Matyazic, Southern CA
Sandra Cespedes, Southern CA
Lisa Vandevanter, Spokane, WA
Tara Nichols, Loveland CO
Anne Marie Migl, Centennial, CO
Hendrik Sybrandy, Denver CO
Leonard Madrid, Denver CO
Sandra Madrid, Denver, CO
Erica Madrid, Front Range, CO
Twelve folks and a great adventure to come. We will be literally writing our own story on this trip. I will try to post updates daily, and sometimes group members will provide a post of their own from their perspectives as the trip moves forward.
There are some extraordinary individuals on this team, and I know we will tell some of their stories throughout our journey.
Our first leg of the trip today was getting to the airport and meeting up with 8 of us to start. The anxiety of meeting new faces, the social interaction, it’s always interesting.
Anne Marie’s mom and dad were generous enough to have Sonya Tara and myself over for dinner and then take us to the airport. Once at the airport a very nice woman named Jennifer Kaptain checked us in (Thanks Deb Brookes!) and we were even seated into economy plus class. The airport wasn’t too busy considering we were there around 9pm.
Once you check a duffel, you always think about if that was going to be the last time you ever get to see your bag. Yes, there is always a fear that the bag will go missing and never arrive. But there is nothing you can do about things you can and can’t control. Controlling things you can control will be the key to success on this trip, and I am sure I will come across tons of these little examples while we head up this 19,340’ volcano.
So, everyone is in good spirits, and we have arrived in Washington DC. In a few hours we’ll board a plane and head to Ethiopia. That is all for now, will check in once we get to Africa!
Thanks to my Sponsors and partners, we will for sure be sporting your products and gear: Zeal Optics, Goal Zero, Silver Oak Cellars, Honey Stinger, Acli-mate, GoPro, Pakems, Clif Bar and GoScope.
Cheers- Dr. Jon