02/22/2006, Shira Plateau, Kilimanjaro

Greetings from Tamara in Colorado and from Jamie, Dan, Scott and Steve at 12,500 feet on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Today they climbed approximately 2,000 feet to reach the Shira Plateau from the Machame Camp, a hike of approximately 4 hours. They have been enjoying good weather with low clouds broken in and out, lots of sunshine and cool temperatures. Good views of the plains of Eastern Africa have accompanied them during the ascent. All are healthy and climbing well. At 12,500 feet, they are starting to feel the effects of the altitude and are looking forward to a rest and acclimatization day tomorrow. They do plan a minor climb tomorrow returning to camp, I believe, for one more night at the Shira Plateau.

As I enjoy another sunny 50 degree day here in Colorado Springs, I am struck by what a blessing it is to live here at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. I love living in this beautiful state, but there are also many other amazing places to experience, vistas to gaze upon and mountains to climb such as Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro. And these folks are having a great time doing just that!

The journey begins....
02/21/2006, Machame Camp, Kilimanjaro

Hello! This is Tamara, Jamie's Administrative Assistant, reporting from the SEI office in Colorado Springs where it is a sunny day of about 45 degrees with blue skies. It feels as if summer has arrived in contrast with the single digits of last week! Jamie called via satellite phone earlier today and left an update message which I will report here.

I had been wondering about the time difference, and in case any of you are wondering too... Tanzania is 10 hours ahead of us here in Colorado.

Jamie's call reported that the trip is going smoothly and everyone is doing great. As Jamie mentioned in his last webcast, they met at the Nairobi airport on Sunday and had a nice night staying in a quiet part of Nairobi. Yesterday, they drove from Kenya to Tanzania, approximately a 5 to 6 hour ride, arriving in Arusha safely after going through the Namanga border. During the drive from Kenya, Jamie noticed that the landscape appeared dry and that as Kilimanjaro loomed closer, there was less green than usual. Last night, they met their porters and then spent the night in Arusha.

The Kilimanjaro ascent is officially underway as of this morning. Dan, Scott and Steve each did well allowing them to reach the first camp, the Machame camp, in 5 ½ to 6 hours. Jamie's call was from the Machame camp at 10,500 feet where they will camp tonight.

Until next time,

Old friend
02/19/2006, Nairobi

Coming to Kenya always seems to me as if I'm greeting an old friend. I tried to count how many times I've done this, and couldn't I got lost around 12-13. Nonetheless I love it, arriving to the sights and smells is always welcome.

The jet-lag I could do without, and especially since I arrived at 0700 in the AM a first for me, its always nicer to arrive at night, that way you can sleep. I forced myself to stay awake, not an easy task. I'm on my way to pick up the team, Steve, Dan and Scott-all weary eyed and ready for the trip to begin bo doubt. I have us staying in a new part of town this go around, mainly since I wanted to avoid being in the city centre. The place were at is quiet, and truthfully its in my opinion perfect. First time I've been in Nairobi and actually heard the birds....

Tomorrow we load up for Tanzania, crossing the border in Namanga. A highlight for many folks. It sites near the foot of the Rift valley and the border for entrance into Tanzania. I always have folks get visas here, mainly because its a full on immersion into way of life here. Otherwise your on a van or bus, off for moments and then herded through the border like cattle, and that is just not my style. Besides Steve loves to barter with all the local craftsman in getting good deals on art. Its entertaining to watch.

I'll be passing the torch on this one to other group members to do updates. As well Tamara in the office will be helping out as I call her on the Sat-phone for ongoing updates.

Till tomorow. Jamie

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