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Sunday, October 24, 2010

*NAIROBI TO MOUNT KILIMANJARO

Nairobi began in 1899 as a train depot.  Henry Morton Stanley, for example, "found", Dr. David Livingston as early as 1881 on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, which wanders through several countries, including Tanzania.  Kenya, of course, is part of President Barack Obama's roots.  Recent exposes have hinted that Obama's father was assassinated in 1982 for speaking out against the government.

The flight to Mount Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania is about 50 minutes.  Make sure you have had a Yellow Fever vaccination and already begun taking Malaria precautions.  Might as well also get visas for Kenya and Tanzania ahead of time.  

I'm at the Serena Mountain Village, but have still not seen Mr. Kilimanjaro, which is the highest point in Africa at 19,341 feet.  I did take a photo of a Kilimanjaro beer sign, and that mountain is in the clouds behind the ad.  I'm on this long trip specifically in memory of Pearl, and will perform the appropriate ceremony under ideal conditions.  I do have a few days.  

I think she wanted to come here because she grew up in Hilo with Mauna Kea, and felt a kinship with this larger mountain.  Or, maybe she identified with the 1950 movie, King Solomon's Mine, with Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr.  An earlier version was filmed in 1937, a more recent one starred Richard Chamberlain in 1985, and then there was the 2004 Patrick Swayze performance.  

Pearl's second favorite tree is the Jacaranda, which is now in full bloom.  The view from my room is this tree, with a lake in the background.  The fragrance is wonderful.  I hope to photograph Mt. Kilimanjaro with Jacaranda trees in the foreground.

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