Monkeys on the Mountain

I climbed it!  I climbed it!  One day, I decided to leave my job working as an  employee for a company that offers the best lawn care services Birmingham, AL has to offer and head to Africa to climb the famous Mount Kilimanjaro.  I could hardly believe my good fortune when my supervisor agreed to hold my job for me until I returned from my adventure.  Within a two-week timeframe, I was saddled with all of my hiking and camping gear and heading up the tallest peak in Africa.  I was going to have an exhilarating adventure!

I hired a guide to take my friends and me to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.  We scheduled a seven-day trip with our guide who turned out to be the funniest, most organized, and smartest guide we could have ever found.  Before we arrived to meet him, he provided us with the most detailed list of everything we would need to have an unforgettable, safe ascend to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.  On the list were things such as; towels, sunscreen, toilet paper, maps, pertinent clothes, and a sleeping bag.  Since we had this information, packing was simple and I had more time to spend on tidying up and taking care of things before I left my home.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was a challenge; however, it was also surprisingly serene and calming.  A lot of the climb was a gradual incline.  When we were on slopes with a gentle incline, I was able to relax a bit and focus on the world around me.  One afternoon, we passed by a group of blue monkeys.  There must have been about fifteen of them.  I was able to take some great photos of the monkeys but cannot seem to find the film from that trip so I’ve posted a stock photo of some blue monkeys for now until I find my film.  I wish that I had taken some videos of the funny little monkeys.  The sounds they made, communicating with one another, was so distinct and hilarious. 

After the demanding three-day climb to the summit, we were able to stay the night in a nice flat area that was covered with snow.  We pitched our tents, made a great dinner consisting of spaghetti, broccoli, and hot tea, and then settled down to gaze at the full moon high above.  I have never, in my life, seen such a clear, brilliant moon.  In my youth, my parents would tease about a “moon so bright that you could read a book by its light”.  On this night, on top of Mount Kilimanjaro, I really could have read a book by the moon’s light. 

I didn’t read a book that night, though.  I rested on the ground, outside of my tent, and stared at the moon that was so brilliant, and I reflected on how fortunate I was for being right there at that moment in my life.  I will never forget that night.

JP