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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Celebrating Their Summit

After such a massive and intensely challenging day as our summit bid, today was cruiser... and downhill cruising at that. We woke at 6 AM in the forest, commenting to one another that 10,000 feet was sure an easier altitude for sleeping than 15,000. We enjoyed one last excellent breakfast on the mountain and came out into the morning sunshine for the "gratitude ceremony". Our entire fifty-man staff assembled and began singing. They danced and clapped through the Jambo song, and the Bomba song, then assistant cook Benson took them -laughing- through the Churra song. The laughing became uncontrollable when Peter showed his Minnesota dance moves. Then we did a few small speeches and handed gratuities to each of the staff along with handshakes and “Asante Sanas”. We thanked them very much for helping and befriending us. Minutes later, at 8 AM, we were on the trail and heading down into the rain forest. It took just a few hours to walk carefully down the four thousand vertical feet of slippery trail past some giant trees and a few Colobus monkeys. We shared the track with porters from a number of other expeditions, running at top speed with big loads balanced on their heads. Everybody was ready for the finish. The gang assembled for a final group picture at the Mweka Gate trail sign around 11 AM. Then we dutifully lined up to sign the park service ledger and loaded onto our bus for a short ride to a picnic area. Tosha and our camp waiters, John, Alfredy and Damien, served us an excellent lunch out in the strong sunshine. We said our goodbyes and got on the bus for the big (2.5 hour) ride through the Tanzanian countryside back to Usa River and our lodge. Folks were understandably ready for showers and internet and an easy afternoon of getting ready for Safari. We celebrated over a victory dinner, outside with the monkeys and Dik Diks. The Arumeru staff honored the team with a surprise cake and a song. Finally, we did our toasts and our goodbyes to Joe, who’ll be winging his way home tomorrow while we continue the adventure. Best Regards, RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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