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Somehow, I managed to drag my body all the way to the summit of Kilimanjaro and back down. I'm glad that I didn't really know what I was doing when I started the journey on day one. If I had known, I simply wouldn't have done it. To be honest, I don't remember much from the last six days, hardly anything at all. But I kept a diary for the first four days, so I'm going to use the material from there to describe my experience of the journey.
…The route we ended up taking has earned it's nickname as "the whiskey-route". It's famous for being the route with the most beautiful wiewes. But I don't think I paid enough money for the guides to occasionally point somewhere in the fog, telling us that there normally is a lot of nice things to see here. And by the way, there IS a "coca-cola route" available. This route is less steep, you'll get provided with nice food every day, and you'll sleep inside a hut during the nights (read: pillow and mattress). So, yeah, if you want to punish your body by dragging it up to the Uhuru-peak some time, I would advice you to take a different route from the one I took, and to bring your own gear if possible. I've actually heard people who've taken the Marangu- (coca-cola)route, and describing it as a nice, yes, NICE experience!
Anyway, here is my description of climbing Kili:
We hiked trough a forrest, and got to see a lot of some awesome-looking Kilimanjari-flowers. You can't find this specie anywhere in the world, except from right here. However the last part of the hike was challenging, that I felt dizzy but happy when we reached the first campsite.
A very wet day. The "waterproof" gear we rented from the company we went with, proved to not to be waterproof at all. It was raining so heavily the whole day that ...
D. 11 februar
Efter en fed søndag, kom mandag d. 11. og det var tid til, at sige farvel til Nanna og Olivia. De skulle flytte til Trinity School og undervise i stedet.
Camilla flyttede ind på mit værelse og da vi skulle tømme skraldespanden, gik vi ud med poserne i børnehjemmets blå plastictønder (skraldespande). Det var tid til oprydnings/arbejde, hvilket blandt andet var at tømme de blå tønder. Børnene viste os, hvor det skulle bæres hen og vi blev noget overrasket over deres "system". Vi havde godt set et af hjørnerne på den store grund, hvor koen står i løbet af dagen og spiser skrald, men at gå på det område med bare fødder...
Deres "system" er at forsøge på, at samle skraldet i de blå tønder.. Går sjældent særlig godt, men når det lykkes og tønderne er fyldt, bæres de ned i et hæsligt hjørne af grunden. Her tømmes skraldet i et KÆMPE jordhul og der sættes dernæst ild til. Det der falder ved siden af hullet, bliver koen sat til at spise…
Mens vi bar skraldespandene, kom lastbilen med det kæmpe ugentlige læs af gamle palmeblade og kokosskaller - det bruges som brænde i børnenes køkken. Det tog en krig for dem at læsse af!!! De 6 mænd i lastbilen, kravlede op på læsset og smed 1 stykke ned af gangen – COME ON GUYS!
Om aftenen blev jeg spurgt om jeg ville øse snacks op (kikærter stegt m. chilli og løg) på børnenes ”fade”. Det var noget sværere end det ser ud og jeg fik da lidt sved ...
Chantal Antheunisse (Netherlands) and her friend Maxim Kolijn (Netherlands) spent 3 months at a care placement in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania beginning in March of 2012. The experience left a lasting impression on the volunteers so they created their own home video for their family and friends.
The September Born American chose to come to Jamaica because she wanted to help children and experience a culture that she has never experienced before. “I really like trying new things” she says. She loves art, loves to teach games and wanted to work with children.
Marianne is a born leader. She effectively guides and directs activities at her placement in Montego Bay, a quality which enabled her to be the 2012 Utah ambassador in the HOBY (Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership) World Leadership Congress. The work she does is leadership skills based on serving communities and reaching out to people around the world.
She is a people lover. “I just like spending time with people, making them smile, and having conversations. I love relating to people from a different part of the world”. She loves working with young people because she can relate to them. She is happy to be a role model for really young children.
The placements are very happy for the many books, crayons, toys, games, pens, pencils, rules, sticker and other diverse teaching and learning tools that Marianne donated. Projects Abroad Jamaica is very happy and thankful for this wonderful donation from a kind, enthusiastic and caring volunteer.
My last week in Phnom Penh has been a bit of a mixed bag! I'm incredibly sad to leave this place that has become a home to me but equally I am looking forward to seeing Vietnam and getting back to England! Packing inbetween my busy week has been a bit horrendous.
The heat has, safe to say, been ridiculous. It's just very very hot. Ice is thwarted by the merest suggestion of leaving the air conditioning. Sweat appears as soon as you twitch a (non existent) muscle. Oh well! I will miss it when back in England.
I heard a very strange story this week... The father of one of our staff here remembered relatively recently that he had died around the age of 9 after a nasty bout of chicken pox. This sounds a bit strange and unconvincing I know but apparently he went back to the village he remembered living in and recognised the house that he thought he used to live in. He asked the couple there whether they had had a son around that age who died of chicken pox. They replied 'yes'. He could 'remember' many things about the house including where he slept and his mothers birth mark on her side. They have now accepted him as part of their family even though he is only 9 years less their age! The staff member refers to them as his grandparents. What an amazing story and I'm really not sure what to think of it.
On Monday I had dinner and beer with my moto driver, Pheakday. This was quite funny as his English isn't great and my Khmer is really rather limited. We managed though and had fun eating steak (at a roadside restaurant but it was really good - grilled medium rare with a traditional lime and pepper dipping sauce) and drinking Angkor. In real life he is actually more smiley than the picture below but, honestly, it is hard to get him to smile in a picture!