How could I have dreamed Id get the chance to make the climb as part of the job I love?
Next week, Ill travel to Tanzania and begin scaling the 19,000-foot peak, documenting the fundraising journey of several special Heifer supporters. Ill be doing my best to keep up with them, and you can keep up with me via Twitter and Facebook.
The climbers are employees of Elanco Animal Health, one of Heifers most loyal corporate backers. Heifer gets strong support from Elanco (funding projects that help thousands of families globally) as well as from its big-hearted individual employees. They must be dedicated, if theyre climbing the tallest peak on the African continent.
Mt. Kilimanjaro was on Randy Baggs bucket list, too. Hes a veterinarian and regulatory manager with Elanco in Canada, and seems thrilled to be climbing with his son, Brendan. Ill tell you more about my fellow climbers in updates from Tanzania.
I fully expect the climb to be extremely difficult. Its not so much the physical exertion as the altitude: it can turn an extremely fit person into a nauseated, hyperventilating mess, even at rest. Harrowing accounts of other peoples climbs arent helping me psychologically.
Kilimanjaro is a grand and gorgeous mountain. The first documented summit occurred in 1889. Its highest peak, dubbed Kaiser Wilhelm Peak by Westerners, was re-named Uhuru Peak after the Swahili word for freedom in 1961 when Tanzania gained independence. The top of the mountain features a broad caldera, which was once covered by ice. But in the last 100 years, 80 percent of the ice cover has disappeared from Kilimanjaro.