July 6, 2007 – Kwaheri from Tanzania, Africa

It’s Jim Barr with the final dispatch for the Sun’s Climb for Kids, Kilimanjaro 2007 project. What an adventure it has been for the last couple of weeks; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro and now finishing our unbelievable three days here in the Ngorongoro Crater in the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania.

Today, the adventure started earlier, about 5 this morning after an epic night last night. We went to visit a Masai village who are much like the First Nations people of North America. These people roam the lands of Tanzania and Kenya. The first thing you notice are the bright red blankets that they wear and overall it was a really cool cultural experience for the team.We brought with us some tobacco from the Ben Calf Robe Elementary School in Edmonton, Alberta which is used in traditional smudge ceremonies. And we did an actual smudge ceremony with the Masai warriors and they thought it was pretty impressive. I’m looking forward to getting back and visiting the kids of Ben Calf in September and sharing this with them.

This morning, as I said earlier, it was a 5 a.m. wakeup call so that we could hit the crater first thing. The Ngorongoro Crater is home to the world’s largest collection of land mammals and the day started with a bang at about 6:30 a.m. when we got down to the crater which is about 2,000 feet deep.

Right away we saw a pride of lions with a couple of cubs. From there we made a tour of the crater and came across a herd of zebra who were very active and quite busy looking off in one direction. Sure enough, by following their focus it led us to a cheetah which was awesome.

There’s no bars here, this is all happening in front of us right in the wild, so it was a very, very cool experience. Our driver David as been an exceptional guide for us and has taken us to see some unbelievable animals.

In a just a little while we’ll be on our way back to Arusha where the team will break up – some will head back to Edmonton, while others will continue on for a couple of days. Colin, the lucky bugger will continue on for another three days of safari, including visiting the Serengeti National Park.

I’d like to thank Berg Adventures International and the staff for putting on what has been an exceptional adventure right from the get go. Just providing an unbelievable experience for the team, and certainly a lot of memories and tonnes of photos that we look forward to bringing back and sharing both those and the stories with our friends and family, and with the kids of Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

I’d also like to thank the folks at Camper’s Village Edmonton, Magic 99, Shaw TV, and the Edmonton Airports for being our sponsors for the Sun’s Climb for Kids project. And of course, the Edmonton Sun, who has provided some exceptional coverage and support of this project that has raised well over $30,000 this year, and even more importantly, brought attention to the volunteer opportunities that are available with Big Brothers, Big Sisters Edmonton.

Should you be interested in joining us for next year’s Sun’s Climb for Kids project, we’re looking at going to Mount Elbrus in Russia, where there’s the potential to do a ski descent. That will be happening in July of 2008. Please send us an e-mail to climbforkids@shaw.ca and again we look forward to working with Berg Adventures for that one as well.

If you would like to have your own adventure to any one of the world’sseven summits, contact Berg Adventures because they definitely have what you’re looking for.

Kwaheri from Tanzania, Africa

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