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This is the sign awaiting those who climb the mountain

Kilimanjaro. The name itself is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not. The local people, the Wachagga, don't even have a name for the whole massif, only Kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, the summit of Africa.

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Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for the Provo Children's Home!
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I have just returned from my amazing four-week trip to Tanzania, Africa. I had an incredible experience, not only with ultimately climbing Kilimanjaro but with all of the other parts of the trip as well.

I hiked through the Usambora Mountains where I was first introduced to the Tanzanian people and culture. It was a totally new and different experience for me. I witnessed extreme poverty, but also noticed all of the smiling faces on all of the kids and people I came across. I went to an orphanage there, and spent time with some very cute babies, here is to my little buddies Dominic and Babou.

After the orphanage, I traveled to the Ngongoro crater where I saw amazing wildlife ranging from wandering hyenas to beautiful zebras. I then went to the Serengeti where I saw lions, leopards, giraffes, elephants, hippos, and much more, it was truly amazing. I also met and played dirt soccer with a member of the Massai tribe and then visited his village.

Then it came to the most challenging part, climbing Kilimanjaro. We hiked for four days before we arrived at the base camp, Kibo Hut, where we spent 6 hours trying to sleep. At 11:00 PM my group got up and got prepared for the summit day, I had a small breakfast and then began hiking at 12:00 AM. I hiked for six and a half hours to Gillmans point. This was definitely the most difficult thing that I had ever done. It was completely dark, so I had to use a headlamp. The weather can be very unpredictable, but on that day it was extremely cold, my hands and feet were frozen. There were times along the hike where I wanted to stop and turn around, but I pushed myself to go further.

My group was very supportive and at times people began to cry but everyone helped each other to get there. At Gillmans I watched the sun come over the clouds that we were already above. It was one of the most breath taking views that I have ever seen. We spent 30 minutes there taking a break before we started our final ascent to Uhuru peak (the summit). It took us another two hours to reach Uhuru peak. When we arrived it was incredible! I was on the roof of Africa. We took some amazing pictures from the top, and everyone was crying and hugging each other with joy. It was an experience I will cherish forever. I was so tired, I held the TCI flag backwards but I was happy to have made it!

I realize now even more than ever how fortunate I am to have had the opportunity to go on this trip, and I am so happy and proud that with your help, I have been able to put that opportunity to good use and to raise over $20,000 dollars to help kids that are not so fortunate.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me.

Please Contact us at PCH to find out more about how to help support the Provo Children's Home, Thank you Cole!

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