kilimanjaro mount

November 10, 2012

R.A. Dickey receives the 21st annual Rotary Club of Denver’s Branch Rickey Award, an honor given to just one of the 30 nominees selected from each major league team for their humanitarian service off the field. Prior to the start of the season, the Mets’ 38-year-old knuckleballer climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, helping to raise more than $100,000 to help the Bombay Teen organization rescue young women from forced prostitution in India.

It doesn’t register until after he hits solid ground, scrabbling to his knees and clutching a heaving chest as he cries out Sam’s name. And then Castiel remembers: a woman. Blood dripping from her fingers. An insidiously chirpy accent. A blinding burst of pure white.

A banishing sigil.

Slowly, he stands on his own two feet, pawing at the walls and squinting at the iridescent glare of lights along what appears to be an empty corridor, every bit as cold and sterile as the angels inhabiting this place.

He’s back in heaven.

Castiel isn’t certain how he ended up here—he expected the Mojave Desert; the inside of Mount Kilimanjaro, perhaps—or more importantly, why. But that doesn’t stop him from immediately making his next move, a flurry of trench coat behind him as he calls up the intra-celestial transit for the residential district.

He visits the D sector.

There are other plaques with the name Dean Winchester, although none display the birthdate belonging to his Dean. For a brief moment, Castiel can feel his heart begin to sink into his stomach, but he squares his shoulders and steels himself. There could be other explanations: maybe Dean hasn’t made it through processing yet. Yes, that must be it. Amara had left a massacre in her wake; even with the few reapers that stuck around after Death’s passing, there could be an entire backlog of souls waiting to cross over. Dean could still be in limbo; Dean could be—

“Not on the list,” the head of Intake Operations says pointedly, barely glancing over her monitor to look Castiel in the eye.

Were he human and in need of a functioning cardiovascular system, his heart skips so many beats that he’d be pronounced clinically dead. “What do you mean?” His knuckles whiten, insides churning. “How is that possible?”

“I mean he’s not on the list,” she repeats, slower this time, as if Castiel’s brain were made of dried dung. “A man with his track record…surely you’ve considered there’s a reason for that.”

Darkness creeps up along the edge of his sight, his fists clenching and head spinning. No. No, that—she’s wrong. She has to be wrong. Because that means…

“Dean Winchester"—he’s shaking so hard, he’s nearly spewing at her through gritted teeth, tunnel vision turning from black to red—"is a better man than you. Better than…than all of you!” He gestures wildly to the rest of the room as everyone freezes, all eyes on him, and let them stare—let them. “You were all willing to just…give up, and he—”

His hands fall to his sides, the tears bitter on his lips. He couldn’t teach fish to read poetry.

What could fish possibly know about love?

Castiel exits—less than gracefully, he’ll admit—but he thinks that if he stays one moment longer, they’ll have to drag him away after testing his right swing on any angel within a ten-foot radius. Because now he gets it; he gets the anger and the fear and why Dean was always so quick to throw himself into the fray. He gets what it feels like to be used as a punching bag and what it feels like finally want to punch back. He gets why Dean always fought tooth and nail for everything he wanted and—

Oh, Dean.

But instead of that deep, unrequited ache, suddenly, a surge of warmth blooms in the hollow of his chest, a familiar longing calling out to him.

There’s someone you’re gonna wanna meet, Mom. He’s a little dorky, but I think you’ll like him. ‘Cause you were right all along.

An angel really has been watching over me.


Looking at my schedule and knowing that my medicine should be available somewhere down the road, I decide to head out the next morning. Not having been able to eat for 3 days, I feel incredibly weak and am literally shaking on my legs trying to hold my packed bike up straight. The homestay is only about 50 metres off the main road down a little path, but I certainly wouldn’t have made it back up there without one the host family’s kids helping me push my bike.

The first 20k’s are tough as hell, getting back in the rhythm of demanding performance from my recovering body. Every bump in the tire deep pebble road feels like climbing mount Kilimanjaro. So I just make lots of stops to catch my breath and slowly but surely start eating some tea biscuits with honey that I buy passing a kiosk.

After a morning of cycling I make it to the pharmacy, that appears to be closed! But no way am I leaving without my medicine. So after harassing some passing locals they find someone, somewhere that seems to know what he’s doing. The guy gives me three types of medicine, without an information leaflet, and only one in packaging -that is in Russian… He tries to explain what to use when, and in which quantities but I don’t understand a word, so I just have him write some Cyrillic instructions on the prescription, hoping I will bump into someone along the way that can translate it.

I decide not to use my medicine right away as I have no idea what I’m taking, but it feels good to have it on me, should things go south again. Being able to hold in some calories again and knowing that I have a remedy in my panniers, the second half of the day feels considerably easier. Despite my current weakness I can’t describe how good it feels to be back on the road again, trading the dingy walls for some of the most beautiful views I can ever remember seeing. Fresh air and new eyes.

But he [Lee Pace] really saw conservation efforts at work, on the local level, while on a recent trip to Kenya with Conservation International. One of the areas they visited was the verdant Chyulu Hills mountain range, right below Mount Kilimanjaro — which, in addition to being the highest peak in Africa, has gained recent attention for its shrinking northern glaciers.

Read the full interview here.


Giant groundsel - Dendrosenecio kilimanjari

The giant groundsels are an interesting plant genus, only growing on mountain ridges in Africa: D. kilimanjari is only known to grow on Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania). 

Every species in the Dendrosenecio genus has its own isolated habitat and show signs of adaptation to their own environment; they are a perfect example of Adaptive Speciation. The “flying islands” of these mountain ridges are extremely cold and very dry (since the actually grow above the clouds), so the plants have invested in some adaptations like:

  • Natural anti-freeze components
  • Thick succulent-like leaves
  • Isolation by retaining dead leaves on their stem

Plantae - Angiosperms - Eudicots - Asteraceae - Senecioneae - Dendrosenecio - D. kilimanjari

(x) (x)


Rare Gemstones V: Tanzanite

Found only in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, in Northern Tanzania, this blue-purple stone is another highly prized color-shifting gem.

Due to the limited availability, Tanzanite may be mined out within 20-30 years. It will doubtless become even more desirable…and valuable.

Composition: Calcium, Aluminum, Silicon, Hydrogen, Oxygen | Market Value: $600-$1,000 per carat.

Mount Kilimanjaro, here we come!

Today’s the day that we start climbing the tallest free standing mountain in the world! Why are we doing this to ourselves?! We had a briefing yesterday about what to expect and it pretty much terrified us all! It can get to -20 degrees at the summit, excuse me? It’s just the 3 of us going up (Becky, Theo and I) with an army of guides, porters and chefs to keep us going and motivate us - supposedly. Thank god we don’t have to carry all our own bags as mine weighs a ton, I’d stand no chance reaching the top!

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Frimley park hospital charity, it makes me much more motivated knowing some good is coming out of this massive challenge. Hopefully pictures at the top will be uploaded to second I return! Wish me luck!


Do you enjoy working as part of a fast paced, constantly changing environment? Enjoy travel to exotic mostly imaginary locales? Have a fondness for far fetched ideas and a devil may care relationship with truth ? If you possess these traits and have an overly active imagination and a tenuous at best grasp on reality.  We have just the position for you! We are currently looking for an addition to our Source Department.This person will ideally be located in Tanzania , close to Mount Kilimanjaro. We are a small company with a limited travel budget. Hence the mostly imaginary locales , so a local person with a passable knowledge of the area or at least a Wifi connection to allow access to Wikipedia and Google is preferred. The successful applicant will be responsible for  reporting back to the immediate supervisor of any imagined sightings of Scottish actor Sam Heughan as well as but not limited to any possible love connections made by Mr.Heughan with any female person within a 500 mile radius. If you have your own camera to take photographs with this is beneficial. Professional photographic skills not required. ALL photos will be published even if subjects not identifiable. Please note ALL PHOTOS become the sole property of the organization. Please note WE MAINTAIN A STRICT ABC POLICY.( anybody but Caitriona) Please forward your resume with 3 written references ( Restraining orders will be accepted) along with a note from your attending Psychiatrist stating your inability to distinguish fantasy from reality, your current treatment plan as well as a detailed psychotropic medication profile to the following fax number: 1-976-THE-PURV no later than 5:00pm April 20,2016.We thank all interested applicants , only those selected for interviews, will be contacted.