We had news this morning from the climbers: one is coming down the mountain today, aborting the climb. Staying at the Springlands Hotel turns out to be a very good thing, which Madaraka arranged for us. Springlands is owned and operated by Zara Tours, the outfitter guiding our people on the mountain. So if anyone gets in trouble, we find out quickly. Lucy [one of the Nyegina Secondary students] has been ill on the mountain for 2 days and is being led back down. At 2:00pm Father Leo will go with someone from Zara to one of the mountain gates (a different and closer one than we checked in with) to pick her up. She should be back at the hotel by 5:00pm [9:00am U.S. Central Time], I estimate. Other climbers are reported being very tired with the possibility more will be coming down before they reach the summit.
Leroy and Father Kennedy are off to Arusha to visit the Safe Water Ceramics of East Africa (SWCEA) (also called Safe Water Now) facility where ceramic water filters are made.
Update: The guides are taking Lucy back down using a different route and so will exit through a different gate than the one they started at. They left the hotel at 3:45pm (7:45am U.S. Central Time).
Update: Lucy arrived about 6pm [10am U.S. Central Time] with Fr. Leo. She is with me now. She had a nice big dinner and then used Kurt’s Africa phone to call her mother. Now we are setting up a new email account for her and reading emails. Lucy said she climbed to 5000 meters before coming down. That’s 16,404 feet!
Kurt phoned Fr. Leo to say it is very cold where they are. They can look down and see the lights of Moshi. They are hoping the moon comes from behind the clouds to see more.