Prior to heading to Africa Beats says to me “Emma, what shoes are you taking to Africa?”.
“My sandals.” I said.
Beaton then went out and bought the exact same sandals. Maybe because they were a very practical choice and she didn’t realise they were the exact same shoe. Or maybe because she wants to be me. We’ll never know.
Exhibit B: Beaton totally copying my jumping style.
So back to Kili.
When Beaton and I travelled Africa we spent some time on a Y-Lead tour that linked us to volunteering opportunities and facilitated a trip up Kilimanjaro.
Y-Lead’s founder, Bernie, told us we could choose to stay in Moshi and work in schools for a week or do a six day trip up the mountain. I said stay on the ground, Beaton wasn’t sure. Bernie told her climbing up the mountain was a really good social opportunity. Beaton, queen of social, chose to climb the mountain.
The night before Kili we were getting a pep talk about the climb and we were told that climbing Kili is primarily a mental challenge. To be in the right mindset for climbing Kilimanjaro you can’t say to yourself “I hope I get to the top!” or “I might get to the top”, you have to say “I WILL get to the top!”.
Emma: “Beaton. Are you going to get to the top?”
With that impressive mental drive combined with Beaton’s passion for mountain climbing we knew for sure Beaton was going to make it to the top and she’d probably get there first…
So even though I wasn’t making the full Kili climb, I still did a day trip through the jungle to see Beaton off, and then I came back down again.
Oh look it’s me!
This totally counts. Bucket list checked, I climbed Kili.
On returning back to Moshi that night and taking off my sneakers, I discovered two identical right-foot sandals. Beaton had gone up the mountain for six days and taken two left feet.
Beaton the shoe thief.
Apparently she spent the entire mountain climb fearing my wrath. Hahahaha.
So 6 days later Beaton comes back down the mountain with serious nerve damage in her big toe and I am reunited with my left shoe.
Did Beaton make it to the top of Kilimanjaro? No, of course not. But she socialised.
And it didn’t matter because on the way from Arusha airport to Nairobi we had the most spectacular view, from the comfort of an airplane seat.