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Finding Yahweh In Tanzania

Enlightenment on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

By: Josh & Michele + Save to a List

The journey has taken so long and me so far, and yet the journey continues, with its challenges and rewards for stepping up to the call. I believe it began long ago, but I was only ready to see the path four years after this experience. An adventure came to me, biggest challenge as of yet, a physical, mental, and spiritual challenge. This challenge enlightened me, as it led to the path I have searched for all along. Arusha, Africa, September 2010. A homeland none like I have ever experienced, yet several things were familiar. After many hours flying across the world, with a few pit stops to off load "rubbish," as the Italian men collected this rubbish would say in a heavy Italian accent, we landed in Arusha. As we exited the airport we saw the hired driver with our names on a piece of paper, we followed him to his vehicle. I have never experienced driving on the "wrong side of the road," but here it was and I was a bit worried. Our driver told us to keep our hands in the vehicle, soon after I realized why. The space allotted for each car going in opposite directions is far less than in America. We were so close, we could have played tag.

The landscape is beautiful, with vendors on the side of the road selling fresh cut coconuts and bananas, a woman making mud bricks and lying them out in the heat of the day. Children walking barefoot along the road, following their mother, who carried stacked items on top of her head, as if it was light.  Our driver decided to take us through what seemed to be a trash heap, only what we saw was mostly plastic soda bottles. My eyes began to open as I realized, the American way, has caused them to have this "trash," with no way to recycle it. They reuse or repurpose other materials, but not these soda bottles. My heart began to break, I started to feel embarrassed to be an American.

A while later, we arrived at L Oasis Lodge for a night before the hiking adventure began. We checked into our bungalow and sat down for dinner. We all have a similar dish, and experience local spices. After dinner we all go back to our bungalows to ready ourselves for the journey that was to come. Moments later, as I laid in bed, I heard the wild dogs bark and chase after something or someone. Then, I heard a woman screaming, walling for help for what felt like 10 mins, then the screaming stops. What just happened to that woman just outside the wall around our bungalow?!?  This is why we are told to stay within the compound and why we were locked in at night. Shortly after, in the distance, chanting in their native tongue gave off vibes that were so powerful and fearful all at the same time. I did my best to fall asleep, as it was already late.

As midnight approached, my eyes opened, waves of nausea blanket over me. I am going to be sick and I must find a private place to be rid of these toxins. NOW! 

While I expelled the toxins, I realized that I had food poisoning in a 2nd world country. It wasn't until later on during my journey that I would understand that, this tiresome and challenging night was to cleanse me of the wicked that lived inside of me. I had to shed myself, and make room for something greater than me and so I was able to receive a message. 

Not a wink of sleep that night, between the waves of nausea and the urgent need to excuse myself again and again; the religious chanting and prayers started back up; there was no rest for me that night. As I laid in bed desperately trying to sleep, I began to have visions. A golden bull, no more than 9 inches tall, it ran around the walls of the room. I swear I'm awake... it appeared to glow by its golden color, through the dark of the bungalow. For a moment, my eyes fall shut and all is well, then in the early morning hours a second message comes. A young 8 or 9 year old African boy spoke to me. He says, "You have been chosen, to carry the Messiah up the mountain," and he handed me a light-teal box. Within it, is a symbol of the Messiah (To this date I can't remember what the symbol looked like.) Only this box is not closed as a normal box would be. It was inside out and backwards. If this was a real box, in awaken reality, the contents would of fallen out. I was told to carry it exactly this way, so as to not drop the box. I woke up from this completely mind shaking dream. The Messiah... I ask myself, "Who's the Messiah?" I vaguely realize it could be Jesus, but I am not sure. I confirm with a friend the next morning, and yes, the Messiah is Jesus or the divine pure light. So why was I chosen to carry the Messiah up the mountain? I barely knew who the Messiah was.

Daybreak came and the time had come to begin our journey towards the mountain. Mount Kilimanjaro to be exact. A seven day journey, where at midnight on the 6th day our group was led up the mountain.

As others may have experienced, food poison of the magnitude I had, leaves you weak and nauseous for a few days. Not the best way to start a strenuous hiking journey. However, being cleansed before such a mission was necessary. I survived on ginger tea, and peanut butter and crackers; the only thing that didn't cause me to feel ill again. I was determined to get to the top of the mountain, even though my energy stores were beyond low.

By day four I was hungrier than ever, and my luck, the men who cooked for us every night made me two amazing meals to eat. Fried chicken and later on, grilled cheese. Some of the hikers decided to wait to take their altitude sickness pills, until they felt symptoms. Which I thought, that isn't very wise, but better for me, as it allowed me to have a second helping of grilled cheese, because they were not feeling hungry that day. Thankfully, I am starting to feel stronger and more able to continue this journey.

After six days up and down the trails of the Tanzania grounds, we settled down for our last supper. No one is hungry. The altitude has us not consuming enough calories; even though most of us, have taken our altitude sickness pills as prescribed. We eat anyways, or try to at least. After dinner, we are told we must get some rest, because at 12:00 a.m. our hike up Mount Kilimanjaro will begin. It was September 23rd 2010, with the full moon showing itself we are woken up by our guides and given a snack before we ascend this great mountain. They also advise us to use the bathroom before we begin.  I agreed, and went to the bathroom, and mind you it was more like a hole in the ground with a flat wooden box around it; but what did I see? Blood, my period has started. Not only did I have residual food poisoning, my monthly cycle decided to chime in as well. Is this the symbol of the Messiah I am chosen to carry up the mountain? Is my DNA linked to his? What about the tarot spread one of the Goddess woman read for me back in 2003? The spread showed, that I had a Messiah linkage. As if I lived, when he walked the earth. I store this thought away to ponder later on in my life.

I geared up and just know that I must make it to the top. I must get the "golden ticket." Higher and higher we climbed... All I could think of was one foot in front of the other. We passed a man with altitude sickness and watched as he was raced down the mountain by the porters. What a shame, he was half way to the top. The temperature dropped, and even though we blew back into our water hoses, the hoses froze. No one had drinkable water, except for the REI bottle with a thermal wrap around it, that I carried. I made a critical decision to share it with three strangers.

We made it to the first peak, Gillman's Point, (5,681m) just as the sun rises over the horizon. That is when my body decided it had enough. As the sun grew brighter over the horizon, the light hit my eyes, as if I had never seen sunlight before and caused my body to shut down. I had a hard time moving forward. My body felt weak, as if I would fall asleep as I walked to the highest peak. About an hour later, and many stops where I thought I would not finish, my guides kept me strong and helped me get to the "golden ticket." I realized years later that the light breaking over the horizon, was symbolic of me seeing the divine light working in my life.

The journey to the top was a struggle, but the real struggle was waiting for me; the descent back to base camp. As we headed down the mountain, our boots dug deep into the rocky/sand mixture. Every foot downward seemed to add a mile to the journey. Other hikers were weak as well, and I saw their guides rush them down the mountain. Oh how I wanted to be them. I kept on as long as I could, then the weakness consumed me. I no longer could walk on my own two feet, the will to continue had left me. As I sat down in the rocky mixture, I fall asleep, just for a moment before I felt a guide pick me up and place my arm around his neck. Then shortly after, another guide took my other arm around his neck. At last, I was the hiker being helped to the bottom. I didn't care how it looked to the other hikers. I was grateful for the help, as that descent was far too long for me to conquer on my own. Within moments I arrived at camp, well, more like a lunch stop. I had hoped for food and then a nap, as I was drained and unable to think straight. By now, the other hikers had eaten and were ready to make the four hour hike back to base camp for the night. The locals fed me crepes and mango juice. I must have drank 20 ounces of that delicious life giving nectar. As my blood sugar levels increased, I could feel some steam back in my engine. So I collected myself, and decided to shed a few layers of clothing, as the temperature seemed to rise every mile I walked back to base camp. Four hours later.....

I return to base camp, crawl into my tent, and pass out until dinner is ready.

This journey was the beginning of an amazing journey which would lead me into Gods arms.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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