Saturday, January 8, 2011

December 21, 2010

December 21, 2010

Today I woke up at 7am. A little earlier than I wanted to, but the birds outside insisted. We ate breakfast at the hotel (scrambled eggs, pineapple slices, various breads, etc.) then had a team meeting on the hotel lawn where our guide, Ang Jangbu, told us how today would go as well as the climb. At 11am, we got in a truck and headed to Moshi to visit KPAP (Kilimanjaro Porter Assistance Project) and browse the markets. We were warned that street merchants would try to sell us stuff and bother us. That was the biggest understatement ever! As soon as we hit the streets, street merchants were on us and stayed on us as we walked through the town. They know anyone that is white is a tourist. (I promise I'm not being racist by any means, this is a very true statement. A big group of white people in Moshi means they're visitors that are most likely climbing the mountain). We had one of the workers at the hotel guide us through Moshi and his name is Anderson. HUGE coincidence!! (That's my nephew's name for any of you readers that don't know that). Anderson told us to simply say "hapana asante" which is swahili for "no thank you", and they should leave us alone. This DID NOT work. They were on top of us the entire time. Anytime we went in a store they would sit outside and wait for us to come out. Finally we decided to go to the currency exchange store where there was police and they kept them off of us. (A couple of things - Tanzanian currency is shillings and it's doing more poorly than the dollar if you can believe it. Also, the police have HUGE guns around their bodies, not like a little pistol that our cops carry).

We came back to the hotel where we had lunch and then Jangbu (FYI - Jangbu is from Nepal and was in Season 3 of the show "Everest: Beyond the Limit") came to all of our rooms to do a gear check to see what anyone was missing. There's several people that don't have bags, so it's not just me. One girl actually had both of her bags lost. I have no idea how she is sane right now. I'd be freaking out. I think we may only have to rent a sleeping bag and some Goretex shell pants for summit day. Jangbu gave us his pack, which Justin will use on the climb and I will use Justin's pack, as well as an extra duffel bag that he had. Also, there's another girl in my group named Marcy...but she spells her name with a "y".

This seems to be all I wrote on this day but it didn't cover the entire day. I must have forgotten to update before I went to bed. After Jangbu did the gear check, a group of us went to the other Keys hotel (there's two Keys hotel owned by the same people) to see what gear they had that we could rent. A lot of us got sleeping bags (including me) and parkas there, but we needed more so we went to another store in Moshi that was specifically climb gear. This is where I got my shell pants that I needed. The girl that had nothing literally rented EVERYTHING here. We had to leave licenses as "collateral" to bring the rented stuff back. I don't think the Africans understood that we could fly back to the US on a passport and just get a new license for $20 when we got back. Lucky for them, we have morals. Unfortunately for the girl that had no bags, her bags were brought to the hotel around midnight this night...so she rented all that gear for nothing. But I'm sure she was happy. As soon as we got back to the hotel we had dinner, and packed everything up because we were leaving for the mountain at 8am the next morning.

Here's the pictures from this day in Moshi:

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Me at the hotel before our drive into Moshi

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View of Kili from our hotel

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KPAP. Quick explanation of KPAP - it's an organization created to help provide porters with the appropriate gear to climb the mountain on. Many porters have died due to lack of proper gear when climbing so this organization takes donations of money or clothing to help provide porters the best gear possible. These porters climb this mountain for a living and do it multiple times a month. Wanna know how much they get paid to do this? The minimum payment is $8 per day per porter. IMG pays more than that because they are well known for being nicer to porters than most organizations, so IMG paid our porters $10 a day, which is really good. How awful!! I can't imagine doing all that work for a mere $10 a day.

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Streets of Moshi

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Anderson with the police at the currency exchange store

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The market. This woman is yelling at me for taking pictures. She requesting that I pay her money to take her picture. This is a big thing there. They try to get money any way they can. And no, I didn't pay her.

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Market

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Market again

1 comments:

Lauren K said...

Loving the journal!

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