Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm going for a Cheetah approach

Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called by the Masai "Ngàje Ngài," the House of God. Close to the western summit there is the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.

Ernest Hemingway, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," first published in Esquire (August 1936)

I don't particularly care for that short story. Too bitter for my taste. Yes, yes I get the leopard and hyena symbolism - yes, he's a genius, but still TSK is not my favourite of his stories.

In the third installment of my apparent fascination with Hemingway, I will soon be off to another of "his" places: Mt Kilimanjaro. I won't be hunting big game, but I will be climbing the mountain while there are still a few small bits of glacier left, going on safari during Wildebeest migration season, and then off to Zanzibar where E and I are having trouble deciding exactly what we want to do - we've already overshot our budget, so Zanzibar is suffering. We'll definitely make an effort to go diving - the Indian Ocean! It's supposed to be gorgeous and shark-infested.

I have all of my shots and we're more or less ready to go. I'm all about training and shopping - like the cheetah I want to look good and look like I could outrun a predator if necessary, thus making it unnecessary and allowing me to spend my days lounging and sunning myself.

What? oh, riight.. that book I'm writing when I'm not working to pay for fancy vacations, training for fancy vacations or on a fancy vacation. Um, well, I've set a goal for myself to finish it using some magical time expansion method before leaving for Tanzania. I want to be able to start something new for NaNoWriMo 2008. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro will seem easy in comparison...

E. is also training in part by winning the Laurentian Rogaine this past Saturday. Even after somehow incorrectly mixing his electrolyte-replacement drink, making it undrinkable and making him nauseous, dehydrated and suffering for the last 4 hours of the 8-hour race, he and Speedy still won. Freaking E.


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