In order to clear my head and try to process all that has been going on around me, I decided to take a tour. Yes a tour - one of those things with buses packed full of embarrassing foreigners (mzungas) in awkward hats and fanny packs. Logically, tour + bus + random people + hot sun = miserable day. But this is Africa.
I was picked up at my house, escorted to our off road vehicle, and driven up the dirt roads of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s base. When the road ended, I climbed out of the van and up a steep incline that lead directly to the residence of our tour guide, Oscar.
We were greeted warmly by his entire family, including his young nephew, Obama, whose task was to carry around baby (not uncle) Sam. His mother made us banana and bean porridge, they offered us the use of their facilities (a hole in the ground), and proceeded to demonstrate the art of making coffee.
We picked the berries that eventually made their way into our coffee cups via freshly roasted grind, then sat down to enjoy the coffee and hospitality that washed away the bitter taste of some of the last few days’ experiences.
It was the most delicious coffee I have ever tasted.
Author: Stephanie Brodeur