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"There, ahead, all he could see, as wide as all the world
great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun
was the square top of Kilimanjaro"
Ernest Hemingway (The Snows Of Kilimanjaro)

This is one of the great panaromas in all the world. The flat roof of Africa explodes out of the savanna to a height of 19,341 feet. This massive dome is 50 miles long and 25 miles wide, making it the largest freestanding mountain in the world (not part of any range). The sad transformation in our lifetime, of course, is to watch helplessly as the once huge glaciers melt away like hot butter from atop this equatorial wonder. Soon Hemingway's "White roof of Africa" will be totally slate gray.

In 1970 I entered medical school and became friends with one of my anatomy instructors. Tom was training to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro while I struggled with a mountain of medical texts. I envied his passion, the single-minded determination with which he pursued his quest. I vowed that one day I would follow in his footsteps to Uhuru, atop Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. In September of 1997, that dream came true.

© Danny Kimberlin 2013