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Entries By brent okita


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Have an Incredible Day at Ngorongoro Crater

I’ll have difficulty describing the sheer numbers of animals that we saw today, so bear with me. If there are ten thousand big animals in the Ngorongoro Crater,  we probably saw half of them.
Our safari started quietly enough enjoying the views of the quintessentially African Acacia trees and some water bucks browsing as we descended into the caldera. Once there, the occasional zebra and wildebeest showed up, but then we really got into the animals. Herd sizes got bigger and gazelles, impalas, hyenas, jackals, wart hogs got into the picture.
Hippos were seen from just feet away as they baked in the sun half submerged in ponds. But then the mission was to find the royalty of the crater,  the lions and elephants.  We didn’t have to wait long. Although this pride of lions were mostly sleeping and not out chasing dinner, we were en rapt by their presence.
Elephants were next, though they were at a distance. However, their mammoth size made them stand out like the giants they are on the savanna. Rhinos too were seen from a distance, but the water buffalo showed itself up close and personal.
The day was capped off by seeing five elephants just 70 yards away at the top of the crater as we were leaving the park. Not to mention the baboons that were scattered all over the road on the way out,  just hanging out, getting each other.  One even jumped on our Landcruiser, causing a stir as we quickly rolled up windows.
Then it was back to the hotel where Luis arranged a nice wine tasting before dinner.  Following another great meal the hotel staff came out with a cake to celebrate Gennadiy’s birthday,  and outdid themselves with a wonderful Tanzanian birthday song and dance.
The evening ended with a huge bonfire and libations.
Another safari to come,  I’ll be back after that.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

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Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Safari at Lake Manyara National Park

What a nice contrast to the past seven days of climbing a 19,340’ mountain. Tired legs got a much needed rest as we drove around Lake Manyara National Park searching out wildlife made famous in National Geographic specials on TV. We were not disappointed.

We rode around in retooled Toyota Land-cruisers made just for game viewing,  complete with pop up roofs for looking at critters from above roof top level. These vehicles are the perfect way to access the terrain where we find the animals. Our team was split between two Land-cruisers. Our two drivers/guides, Francis and Godson, proved to be incredible sources of knowledge,  having to graduate from a two year university program and do internships before being qualified as a safari guide. Yes, we saw zebras, hippos,wildebeests, Cape buffalo, baboons, monkeys,  tons of birds, dik diks, impalas, and I forget what all else.  But we also learned such things as the inner workings of termite mounds, the love life of baboons and a myriad of other things.  Oh, and the other team got to see a bull elephant from ten yards away!

Now we’re settled in at our plush hotel, the Plantation Lodge, where we’re being spoiled by some cush living. Tomorrow, the Ngorogoro Crater awaits that should prove to be especially exciting.  Ok, that’s all for tonight.  Dinner is served in ten minutes and I don’t want to be late. I haven’t had anything less than a superb meal here on Tanzania, and I expect no less tonight.

Lala Salama,

RMI Guide Brent Okita

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Wow loved your story telling skills.  Can’t wait for the pictures.  Blessing on the rest of your adventures and explorations.. 
Love you tons,

Tia Becky
Girly

Posted by: Rebeca Woods on 8/7/2018 at 3:17 pm


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Make Final Descent, Clean Up and Prepare for Next Adventure

Recipe for recovery, rest and relaxation: one hot shower, two cold beers, great food, friends and a soft bed. So good!

Our descent from Mweka Camp at 10,000’ to the gate and our bus went smoothly. It was preceded by the closing ceremony at camp where the mountain staff sing and dance to commemorate the special week spent together,  and we in turn get to express our appreciation for their hard work and dedication to making our mountain experience as wonderful as it was.
An African lunch was enjoyed before we had to say goodbye to the local guides, porters and kitchen staff. Then it was back to the Arumeru Lodge to clean up and relax. The water ran brown for the first minute in the shower as the weeks worth of dirt washed off our bodies.  I think we all felt a bit reborn as we put on clean clothes and headed to the bar for a cold one.

A nice surprise for me was seeing my good friend Dave Hahn, who was leading the RMI Kili trip before ours and getting ready to start his next trip.
Shortly,  we’ll be up for breakfast and beginning the next part of our adventure: the safari,  where we plan on visiting Lake Manyara, the Ngorogoro Crater and the Tanagire National Park.  There we’ll be hoping to see some of the incredible wildlife this special part of the world call home.  Lions, elephants,  leopards,  wildebeest, hippos, zebras, giraffes and so much more. And, no more walking for a while.
Bring it on!

RMI Guide Brent Okita

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Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Descend to Mweka Camp After Summit

Everyone was excited for the climb to start, even though we were sitting around the dining table waiting for breakfast and it wasn’t yet midnight. The sky was clear and the air a little chilly. Winds were fairly light at camp.
As we climbed up into the darkness we could see we weren’t alone in our desire to reach the sky. About 1,000’ up the wind started picking up and would not relent. Between the cold and the wind blowing we were experiencing some pretty challenging conditions. 40 mph winds blowing scree and dirt all over our bodies and into our eyes was not fun. 
As dawn broke out we took heart in the beauty of the coming morning, though of anything the wind got fiercer. Dust and dirt would just blast your face and eyes.
But, summit we did, marking the midpoint of a long 16 hour day.
Right now we’re at 10,000’ at our last camp on Kilimanjaro, Mweka Camp.
I’ve been up for about 24 hours now,  so will bid you all goodnight for now.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

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Thank you Jesus
May God continue to bless and guide you in your accomplishments.  May you continue to be blessed in God’s miracles. 
Love y’all be safe and enjoy your trip back down.

Love
Tia Becky
Girly

Posted by: Rebeca Woods on 8/6/2018 at 6:27 pm


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Reach Summit!

Saturday, August 4, 2018 - 10:02 PM PT

Hey, this is Brent with the RMI Kilimanjaro Climb. We just got off the summit of Kilimanjaro here about 45 minutes ago. We are taking a quick break and going to head on down. We have had beautiful skies clear and sunny skies, but a bit of a wind.  It has been a little nasty and hard for that part.  But the team did really, really, well.

RMI Guide Brent Okita


RMI Guide Brent Okita calls after team reaches summit of Kilimanjaro.

On The Map

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Hi Love the Blog! Think I have finally figured out how to leave a message! ❤️

Posted by: Rilda Perdue on 8/5/2018 at 10:55 am

May God continue to guide and bless y’all on your adventures to reach the skies!

Much love,

Tia Becky
Girly

Posted by: Rebeca Woods on 8/5/2018 at 8:57 am


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Pressure Breathe Into High Camp

The last hill into camp at 15,200’ saw everyone rest stepping and pressure breathing almost religiously. Whether we felt good or were struggling just a little, we all knew by this time what was required to feel as good as possible to do well at this altitude.
It was perfect to have our shortest day coincide with our going to our highest camp.  A new altitude record for most everybody! Surprisingly, no headaches have been reported yet, a testament to how well folks are taking care of themselves.
In the first few minutes that we were at camp, our mountain staff had our tents up and shortly thereafter had the dining tent up.  An hour later our chef Tosha had amazingly whipped up lunch: French fries, sauteed chicken and vegetables, followed by a dessert of orange slices and his incredible chocolate bar creation.
Hey you chefs out there, celebrity or not, you don’t hold a candle to Tosha. What he does on a couple of propane burners with one assistant at 15,000’ is magic!

This afternoon we’re getting ready for our summit climb, packing what we can and being as organized as possible for our push off just after midnight. Folks descending from the summit today commented on how nice the day was up there. I have a feeling we’ll have similar conditions.
Wish us luck,  and I’ll try to get out a voice dispatch from the summit.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

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Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Scale the Barranco Wall

Day 4 and we’re knocking on the summit door of this mountain.  This morning we scaled the Barranco Wall right out of camp.  Ditching the trekking poles so we can use our hands to better grasp the rock on this steep part of the climb the team moved like pros. Exclamations of how much fun the climbing was was universal.  Yes,  we had to wait several times for groups of porters to pass by, but no one was complaining of the chance to catch our breath.  Plus,  it was a chance for us to appreciate the coordination and athleticism of these folks as they negotiate this steep terrain,  balancing 32 pound duffels of gear on their heads. 
Our high point was never more than 14,000’ as we traversed up and down several drainage to come around to the SE side of Kilimanjaro where our camp is situated. During this slow walk we were constantly rewarded with magnificent views of this special place. 
Today was also a day of solidifying the acclimatization gains of yesterday before we venture to our high camp tomorrow.  Measuring our oxygen saturation levels this morning indicate that everybody is doing great! But we already knew that just based on how well we’re all walking.
We’re excited to get to high camp!
We’ll be back in touch tomorrow from 15,200’ camp.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

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Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Roll Into Beautiful Barranco Camp

Dawn broke clear and cold this morning as we packed up to move to our next camp, Barranco. The altitude hangover of our first night at 12,500’ couldn’t be ignored, but by the time we reached camp the small headaches had left us to be replaced with the simple fatigue of a hard day of climbing.
Today was a good day.  Our route was perfectly set to give us some challenging altitude as we ascended to Lava Tower at 15,200’. This gave our bodies the chance to acclimate, and our descent to 13,000’ and Barranco Camp has allowed some nice rest. Already the team is feeling better.
Set in a valley with the south face of Kilimanjaro right above us, and the strangely beautiful giant senencia trees dotting the landscape, this is my favorite camp.  We have just two more short days before we get to high camp, Barafu. And then…
But I get ahead of myself.
The group is firing on all cylinders and really coming together as a team.  It’s been fun to see and be a part of. Tomorrow is the Barranco Wall, which will require the use of our hands on some of the steeper places, but is less intimidating than the name suggests.
Wish us well and we’ll be in touch tomorrow.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

I am Briana’s aunt in Indiana.  I love reading all this.  Heck I went to the bottom of the Grand Canyon once ...that would be a cake walk for you all.  Take care

Posted by: Jane gasser on 8/2/2018 at 12:54 pm

Your climb looks amazing
To Fern and Nandito and the rest of your team . Good luck and continue to have a blast
Love the Carranza Family from Texas.

Posted by: Federico Carranza on 8/2/2018 at 11:25 am


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Enjoy Views from Shira Plateau Camp

Hello from camp at 12,570’ high on the Shira Plateau. It’s wonderful being here in this large, open camp. The sun is shining and providing a nice contrast to our cloudy,  wet and somewhat cramped camp of yesterday.
Walking at 8:00 we climbed steeply and steadily for most of the way to camp,  taking advantage of key spots to break and enjoy the incredible views of this most interesting world around us.  Everyone has adopted the mountain mindset of ‘pole pole,’ or ’ slowly,  slowly. ’ This allows us to patiently step off to the side whenever another group of the hundreds of porters here need to get past us. We know which side of our bread is buttered. If the porters don’t get to camp,  we have no camp. More importantly it keeps us from walking too fast and needlessly stressing our bodies, letting us acclimatize to the altitude better.
Everyone is doing well.  How can they not be when Tosha, our chef,  is spoiling us rotten. Today’s lunch: fried chicken,  French fries,  vegetables and watermelon for dessert. Tomorrow brings us our biggest day yet getting to Barranco via the Lava Tower. Bring it on!

Until tomorrow,
RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

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Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Start Out From the Machame Gate

The stars were unlike anything most of us have ever seen. The North star was, of course, nowhere to be seen amongst the constellations of the southern hemisphere.  Exclamations from folks more accustomed to seeing city lights than the Milky Way were shared by all.  The stars tonight reminded us all of the incredible universe out there.
But, the skies today were not always so clear.  In fact, the light drizzle through which we drove up had become a significant rain when we started off.  Full Gore-tex was in order as we set off.  But luckily,  the rain tapered off in the first hour allowing us to lose the rain gear.  Temperatures were actually pleasant, letting us walk without sweating too much.
Five hours later we were at our first camp. Typical of these trips, our tents were all set up for us and the duffels brought up by the porters ready to be dispersed. This is the luxurious nature of climbing in Africa where a staff of 51 folks support our efforts to climb this beautiful, big mountain.
The team walked well today, making camp in five hours and looking good doing it. We were rewarded with an incredible dinner prepared by our chef Tosha. And now for some well deserved down time.  Sleep will come easy as we hope that the clear skies of tonight bring us sunny skies tomorrow.
Goodnight from 9,890’ on Kilimanjaro.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

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