Kili Karuna #19

Happy Mother’s Day,

Seven days later, the weather on Signal Hill was not nearly as hospitable. We traded warm sunshine for fog, drizzle, freezing rain, and ice pellets. The wind scoured the hills as if trying to scratch an itch it couldn’t quite reach, and a foggy mist shrouded the view. Those WOKies, not being treated to Mother’s Day suppers, (or who finished them early) ventured out for another double ascent of Signal Hill.

The team pauses more frequently now. Not to catch our breath as in the past, but to share a bit of conversation that requires eye contact or show off a new piece of clothing that still wears it’s tags. Weekly hikes such as tonight’s have melded us into a team that is comfortable with both raucous laughter and quiet footsteps. We joked that we might not ever get to the top of Kilimanjaro because we now love stopping to chat. At some breaks, we wonder and dream about future adventures such as the Grand Canyon or Everest basecamp. I think back over the past 19 weeks and I’m pleased and grateful to have such a fine group of women to train with.

They’ve spoiled me, in fact. I no longer enjoy being out on my own as much. I like the camaraderie of sharing the experience together. I’m hoping a few of them will want to continue to help me train for Pumori when we get back from Africa especially since my motivation for training is flagging.

My week was very full. Kristen and I continued to have a blast exploring Newfoundland. Tuesday she tagged along on a day that had a youth mentoring event (she loved meeting all the cool women there), a video shoot in Flatrock, a work-out with Phil, doing the NTV weather broadcast live from Phil’s core room, and hosting a dinner party. I didn’t realize the weather ended at 7:04 pm so the time control plan almost went out the window and we returned home to find some of the guests had let themselves into the house.

I spent at the weekend at a Buddhist retreat that focused on rousing energy. It’s a practice people said I would love and they were right. I suspect there will be many times on Kilimanjaro and other mountains where I will use the practice to gather energy to keep taking step by step.

The Chinese climbing team took the Olympic torch to the summit of Mount Everest this week. It now means that life can return to normal (albeit condensed time frame) on Everest. I hope the climbers I have been following this season can maintain health, focus, and motivation to continue their climbs despite all the complications and delays of this “unique” climbing season. It’s still bittersweet to watch them climb and my mind wonders sometimes to scenarios of “What would have happened if I didn’t get sick?” Of course, there is no answer and no real point in asking, it’s just hard to stop my mind from going there sometimes.

I hope to start laying out gear and clothing in the living room this week as departure is just 18 days away. Have a good week,

TA

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