In early October, I decided to listen to my Playfulness Plan and go on a “little” vacation with my wife, Dianne. We headed over to Tanzania to try and tackle a challenge that has been on our minds the past few years – to do our best to hike up Mount Kilimanjaro. At 5,895m (about 19,300 feet), Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. I remember sitting in my 7th grade global studies class learning about the mountain and the beautiful glaciers on top, and a seed was definitely unconsciously planted to visit it one day. And here we were, years. later.
For 4.5 days, we slowly hiked up the mountain. Our mantra was, “Pole pole,” which is Swahili for “slowly, slowly.” As we tackled rocks, dirt, alpine deserts, and the occasional rain/snow storm, I chatted with our guides about music, life in Tanzania, politics, and family. On October 10th, Dianne and I made it to the top, short of breath but in awe and deep humility of the natural beauty around us.
The entire trip, best exemplified by the people we met along the way, was a true testament to the mantras that optimism has no borders, and can certainly take you anywhere. We certainly couldn’t have summited Kilimanjaro nor had such a good time doing it without the support and friendship of folks we met along the way. And a special thanks to friends and family – through their generous donations, I raised $1,400 for the Life is good Kids Foundation to help kids overcome poverty, illness, and violence. We couldn’t have done it without your support either!