I first discovered The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway through 10th grade Honors English. Have you read his stuff before? I didn’t realize that his works would often be dark and sad, a struggle when I first read this story. I should have known that his works would be this way after reading this story, a story about a guy dying of gangrene in his leg in Africa.

As this guy lay dying on his cot, he recounts things he’s seen–all awful things–then lapses into a dream where he is rescued by a plane and taken to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro where he sees the snow and a legendary leopard.

My teacher set the stage well and taught us a brief geography lesson about Tanzania and the mountain, watched the movie starring Gregory Peck, and also had us read other essays about Kilimanjaro. It’s the highest free standing mountain in the world! Wow! 

I read one journalist’s report of hiking to the summit of Kilimanjaro and how she started out at the Serengeti and experienced every climate until she reached the snows. I also remember her reporting that as they descended, it caused her toenails to get jammed into the front of her boots and all her toenails turned black and fell off weeks later. Yikes!

You’d think that would deter me, but I was in love with Mt. Kilimanjaro and I hope to one day climb that mountain and see the snows of Kilimanjaro for myself.

Plan: I am currently involves saving up money, since it will cost around $7500-$9000 for airfare and a guided trip. So excited!