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Climbing Kilimanjaro: Journey to the Summit

At the summit. I'm really cold.

After preparing for my Kilimanjaro climb, here are some of the highlights from my trek. Day 1 – 4.3 miles/2,067 ft ascent (6.7 km/630 meters) 6:30 am Last hot shower at the hotel is not hot. There also isn’t any water. This is a most displeasing send-off. 7:30 Meet my fellow hikers: 2 Canadians and 3 people from the UK. They all seem like strong hikers. 3:00 After a... Read More

Climbing Kilimanjaro

Prepared for the summit.

Prepared for the summit? Tomorrow morning, I will begin what will be a, 49.8 mile (80.2 km), 7 day trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro. At 19,341 feet (5,895 meters), it is the highest peak in Africa, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world and will be the tallest mountain I’ve ever climbed — that is, if I succeed. According to the National Park Service only 30% of climbers... Read More

Oranges and Sunflower Seeds

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Heading to Petra, waiting at the crazy port in Sinai with Egyptians, Jordanians and Palestinians for the slow ferry to Jordan. Without a word, men gave us oranges and sunflowers seeds. Women shepherded me in the right line for the ladies. Just another of the daily indicators about how wonderful people here are.  Read More

Observing Egypt

"Ally Sotak" voter education meeting in Fayoum.

Last night I had a dream that I was working an election where no one, including candidates, were sure of who was going to be on the ballot until two weeks before Election Day, where no one knew what the ballot physically looked like, and most of the country still doesn’t know where they can vote. Meanwhile, there are revolutionaries in the streets calling to overthrow the... Read More

Cairo Billboard Greeting

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This advertisement was the first thing to greet us in Cairo as we disembarked from the plane. It’s a billboard for Mobilini, a cell phone company here that quotes Obama speaking about Egyptian revolutionaries. The only problem is that, while the sentiment is positive, the quote doesn’t seem to be real. It seemed odd to us that any American President would explicitly... Read More