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This is it… I think.

4.24.2012 | 0 Comments

Well, after some soul-searching and pondering I have decided that this blog will be taken off-line in short order. I love that it’s served as a record that people keep coming back to, but I think it’s time for me to move on and let this blog drift off into the internet sunset.

I’m so grateful for your support and comments/messages, and would love to see you come along with me as I tackle other new, weird things. Why, just click HERE and you’ll be well on your way!

And please, feel free to make a donation in support of Delta Hospice. They’re an amazing organization, and I’m proud to be associated with them in even the smallest of ways.

Thank you so very much

Robyn

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Funny thing, this ol’ Internet of ours

4.13.2012 | 3 Comments

So, once I returned home from my Kilimanjaro adventure, I took some time to re-acclimatize and get used to my North American ‘everything in excess’ surroundings again. I took some much needed “me” time, and then set about on another adventure of sorts: No More Mountains.

It was my shiny new blog about… well, this blog, I guess. (What a strange thing to do). All I knew is that I didn’t want to stop blogging, but I just didn’t feel that it was proper to continue with Climb for Hospice given that I had just, you know, Climbed for Hospice. So I went to work on creating a blog about a book about this blog.

It didn’t work. I did the best I could, then my brain said, “pffft, you can’t write!” and I listened. So I stopped writing. No More Mountains has been sitting quietly, patiently, hopefully for my return. Now I had TWO blogs that were sitting sentient. So, I did the only thing one can do in this situation… I started a new blog about the old blog and the old-new blog.

No, I totally didn’t do that.

In fact, I’ll be honest here, I tried to get rid of Climb For Hospice. I simply wasn’t using it anymore. But you know what? After a quick sniff around the stats, I saw that I have about 1000 hits A MONTH on this thing still! Crazy! Who knew?!

So now, as I ponder the next step, I wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU to all of you for stopping by and checking in. I love that there is a little time capsule of my adventure that people can access whenever they wish. Welcome, welcome, welcome!

We’ll chat soon…

Robyn

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Aug 29, 2010 – Day Seven

9.24.2010 | 0 Comments

Stella Point to Mweka Camp via Barafu

Let’s get off of this rock, shall we? I’ve left you hanging out up here long enough…

The  hike down takes about 1.5 hours, so it’s a heck of a lot faster than the hike up. However, it took me a little over three hours to get to the bottom because I kept stopping to try and convince my assistant guide to let me lay down and have a nap. Let me just remind you, I was not in the grandest of all head spaces at this point. No amount of begging, cojoling or bribing would get my guide to let me nap on the slope. What a jerk, eh? I mean, all I needed was 30minutes! I would meet him at the bottom! Sheesh… what a killjoy that guy was.

So…  I just want to say thank you to my assistant guide for NOT letting me nap on the mountain. That was a good call. You know, since I was looking to survive and all.

It was a long way down, and I was certainly happy to see the tent (do NOT repeat that to anyone, understand!?) at Barafu Camp again. I needed sleep. I crawled into my tent, and promptly took my daily dose of pills about seven hours too early. My brain was a mess. I was all over the place! I didn’t know what time it was, where I was, or how I was going to get moving again if/when my guide made me stand up.

We were allowed to sleep for an hour, and it was awesome. But we needed to get moving. We weren’t supposed to stay at Barafu Camp very long, so we had to get going ASAP. We were supposed to walk for about 4 hours down the mountain to Mweka Camp where we would stay the night. This is a loooooooooooooong day, dude.

I still hadn’t fully recovered from the climb, so the descent was hella slow. Painfully slow!  But my body simply would not move. I would take a handful of steps, then have to stop and lean on my walking stick. We had a love-hate relationship, that stick and I. It took us way too long to get to Mweka, but we eventually reached the camp (having painfully passed by a higher camp that we weren’t staying at. Dammit…) just in time for a quick dinner and, well…

Next Time: The Final Video Diary., and back to Marangu…

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Note From Robyn!

8.31.2010 | 2 Comments

Hey y’all,

I have a present for you!!! Sent to me just a few minutes ago. Enjoy!

-Chris

please excuse the lack of proper punctuation – this keyboard at
schipol isn’t the best. so here i am, a canadian returning from
tanzania wasting my time in the netherlands. isn’t life grand? not
much new to report really. nothing exciting happening in my life at
the moment… oh wait! that’s not true at all! there is something
exciting going on… there’s a spa right across the hallway from me at
the internet cafe! awesome, huh?!

ok, ok… i’ll stop it. yes, there are stories to tell, and yes there
will be some shocks. but… before i divulge my secrets to you, i feel
that it’s very important for me to share them in person first, with
those who have missed me as desperately as i have missed them. i’m
sure you understand. you’re all pretty smart people.

however, to appease the masses, i shall tell you a story. it’s one of
the highlights of my trip, and something i’m still giggling about 5
days later.

our guide on the mountain was a 40-ish year old chagga man named
reggie. he says he has climbed the mountain ‘about more than 150
times’, and judging by his calves, i’m inclined to believe him. one
afternoon, when the rest of the team decided to nap, i chose to stay
up and chat with reggie. with his limited english, and my non-existant
chagga and/or swahili, i knew this was going to be an adventure in
itself. we started off as most do, exchaning information about wives,
kids, and my supremely awesome boyfriend (hi chris!)… then, out of
nowhere, reggie lobs this one my way:

“what crops do you grow in your village?”
“uhhh… well, let’s see…. corn, potatoes, berries…uhhh…”
“do you grow banana?” (banana is a staple of the chagga diet – toasted
banana and cheese, anyone?)
“nope. no bananas. too cold”
“do you grow coffee?”
“nope, too cold for that, too”
“oh. do you grow pumpkin?”
“yes! we do grow pumpkin! well… for a short time anyway. we grow it
for halloween”
“hilawin?”
“halloween”
“hellawin. hellawin. how do you make hellawin?”
“halloween. it’s not a food, it’s a holiday”

here reggie crooks his head. i continue…

“yah, um… on halloween children dress up in costumes…”

head crook

“…and they go door-to-door in the village…”
“for pumpkin?”
“ummm… no. for candy”

head crook

“what do you do with the pumpkins?”
“y’see… we sort of, ummm… cut their tops off, scoop out their
guts, then, uhhh… cut smiley faces into them, stuff a candle in them
and put them by our door”

dead silence

“…and then you eat the pumpkin?”
“actually, nooooo… we uh, throw it away. in the garbage”

“but what about the pumpkin? you don’t eat it?”
“some people do, but most don’t. we do eat the seeds, though!”
“you eat the seeds?!?!”

here, reggie bursts into laughter and i turn a fabulous shade of red

“yeah, we scoop them out, put them in the oven and toast them. they’re
very good! you should tell your wife and daughter to do that next time
you have pumpkin!”
“no. i don’t think i will do that”
“fair enough”

it certainly made me think about how i consume food, especially my
villages crops. things are going to change for me, i think. just wait
until i get to the story about having to explain to reggie how grocery
stores work! awkwaaaaaaard!

anyway, that night we actually had pumpkin soup for dinner, and of
course it was very good. i ate pretty well this trip, but i didn’t eat
enough. my jeans are falling off and i actually had to root through
the garbage for a piece of rope to ghetto-up myself a belt.  classy. i
know.

alright all… i need to go through photos, videos, memories and
vocabularies, but i’ll be back as soon as i can.

– Robyn Thomson

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The Last Supper party (or Full Moon)

8.21.2010 | 1 Comment

Two more days of fun to go for our intrepid voyager.

Tonight they dance and sing and party at the Kendwa Rocks’ Full Moon party! I have no idea what that is, we didn’t speak for long enough to get details on what it could entail, but a full moon sounds like a pretty good reason to party to me!! Except the moon isn’t actually full until August 24th…..hmmm….

Well, any excuse to party while on vacation, right?

The next day they spend in motion as they fly from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam, picking up one more member of the climb team, then flying to the airport by Mount Kilimanjaro. One more night of rest spent in the Marangu Hotel before 8 days of mountain climbing fun! The count down is on.

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One.

8.11.2010 | 4 Comments

One more sleep.

Today my plan is to unpack what I pre-packed to make sure that I packed what I needed to pack during my pre-pack, because I forgot what I packed when I finally packed for real. And then after I unpack what I pre-packed, I’ll re-pack my pack.

And then I’m going to drink rum.

A lot of it.

One more sleep…

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Acid Brain.

8.07.2010 | 2 Comments

So strange. Usually when my vacation time draws closer, I get more excited. This is not at all the case with my African adventure. I’m feeling a lot of pressure right now, and I know it’s pressure that I’ve put on myself.

“What if I don’t summit?”, I ask.

Inevitably, the person I ask always says, “you’ll summit!”

But what if I don’t?

Really, what if I don’t?  I’ll feel like such a failure.

…God, you know, I keep setting these HUGE goals for myself, and when I achieve them, I write it off as luck, or some other mysterious thing that got me there instead of my own hard work and determination. And then, to ‘atone’ for my success, I set an even loftier goal, something near the impossible.

It’s almost like I set myself up to fail.

Funny, I’m fine with believing that I’ve failed, but if I succeed at something, I can’t take it in. I’m not willing to give myself any credit if I achieve what I set out to do, but if I don’t succeed, I never stop blaming myself. I don’t ever want to feel as though I’m patting myself on the back, or getting a swelled head. But I don’t mind allowing myself to feel defeated and lost. It’s all twisted and backwards.

Maybe that’s why I’m so nervous.  I think maybe it’s because my brain is trying to gear itself up for the onslaught of negativity that is going to come my way, whether I fail, or whether I succeed. My poor brain is working overtime, roiling and sluicing at terrible speeds.

I wish there were Tums for the brain.

Six more sleeps.

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One Week to Go, Go, Go.

8.05.2010 | 0 Comments

The Inspiration Angel is flying around my heart:

Life is a fight to the finish! Kick ass and for those who can’t (ie. Palliative Care), do it for them! Go Robyn!!

And of course that made me cry.

Up, up, up!

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Let me Stress One Thing…

8.04.2010 | 0 Comments

I am eating a lot of Tums.

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Weebles Wobble but they Don’t Fall Down Mountains.

8.03.2010 | 0 Comments

As I was watching my belly reverberate with my steps on my walk this morning, I realized that my fleshy echos are proof positive that I have underestimated Mt. Kilimanjaro.

I haven’t been training for about 2 weeks now, and boy, am I feeling the effects. I mean, it’s not like I’m putting undue pressure on my joints or anything, but I did notice that I was getting a little winded when I had to walk from the car to the pizza place.

Chris kindly asked if I’d like to spend the next nine days hiking and training, but then seemed somewhat offended when I spewed my coffee out my nose and onto the dog as I snorted with laughter.

No, I don’t think I’ll be doing much more in the way of training before I leave. Handily, I can now use the “I don’t want to sprain an ankle/hurt myself/break my leg/ before I go” excuse. Dude, I’ve been waiting for months to be able to use that one!

So yes, I am not as prepared as I had thought I would be. I had such grand plans to camp every weekend, and hike at least eight times a month. I was going to be able to tango up the Gingell steps by now, and would be a lean, mean sinew machine standing tall and proud as I gazed at my rock-hard and deadly perfect body in the mirror.

Often.

You know, when I wasn’t handing out quarters to random strangers, daring them to bounce spare change off my trampoline-esque abs.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway…

To recap: I’m not as fit as I had hoped, and there’s a bag of chips in the cupboard that’s calling my name. Breakfast of champions… breakfast of mountain conquerers.

*waddles away*

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