Saturday, June 30, 2012


In the fall of 2004 I agreed to a spur of the  moment trip up Mt Kenya. I was committed to seizing the moment; in every moment possible. Ill prepared but committed, I headed up the mountain. It was to take us 3 days to hike up and two days back. . .I think. My memory on this is incredibly foggy.
On the 3rd day of this hike, we woke up at 2am to hit the trail by 3. Evidently the sunrise from the mountain was breathtaking and not to be missed. I had not slept well, unbeknownst to me at the time, this was due to the altitude. All I knew was that it was difficult to breathe, very painful. Despite this, I was revved up and looking forward to getting to the top. My hiking mates were a tad concerned about my apparent inability to breathe but I assured them that it would surely wear off as I warmed up.

We hiked straight up the side of the mountain in the pre- dawn darkness and I was wheezing in no time at all. I took a few breaks but kept walking through the wheezing, nausea and dizziness.....two hours later, I was at 4500 meters...and I could not breathe. I began to hyperventilate and dry heave at the same time. My friend K sat down with me....well, I collapsed and he sat and tried to calm my breathing down.The porter and guide urged me to turn back but I refused. My legs were not tired, surely I could make it, but no more than five minutes later...hypervenitlating, I passed out. When I came to, my friend K was not pleased and was very concerned. He picked me up and started to carry me down the mountain. I was more than embarrassed and did not want him to miss the sunrise on the mountain so I convinced him that I was fine, that he should definitely continue up the mountain. The porter would take me down the rest of the way. .K assured me that I would not die on the mountain and Martin the Porter would guide me back down the mountain. As soon as K left, I again passed out. I have no idea how many times this happened and for how long.
This is my friend Alex on the first day of the hike. Martin the Porter is leaning against the car. 

Martin the Porter was a tiny little man and I am sure I outweighed him. By alot. I could not maintain consciousness. When I came to, he was shaking me and telling me to stand up...but I could not;  so he literally dragged me down the mountain on my butt. I was in and out of consciousness for the next hour or so down the mountain. Everytime he tried to make me stand up, I would pass out. At some point I cuddled up against a rock. When I began to feel warm, I knew that the end was near and I  tried to say my prayers, but was getting them all confused in my head.....I was so terrified. Martin kept shaking me and I yelled at him..."leave me be....I am gonna die here...." I dont think he understood enough english...but I was pretty abusive to him, poor guy. I begged him to radio for help casue I was dying. There was no radio. No help. I was toast. If I could not stand up. . .how was I to get to a lower elevation?  We had an hour to go...and I still could not stand or keep awake. He threw my arm around his shoulder and began to drag me down the mountain. I was still in and one point, I woke up to see us both on our feet skidding down this gravel landslide.....I cannot remember how we stopped, but remember thinking that if the altitude sickness did not kill me, I was surely going to fall to my death.
I cannot remember how  Igot down the mountain, I think he carried me...He did get me down the mountain and into my sleeping bag. He then proceeded wake me up every 10 minutes (his revenge?) to make sure I was alive. But I was  alive. ..barely. I had a 7.5 hour hike to a lower elevation in the morning. I could not see well, my vision was blurry, I was still vomitting. Breathing and consciousness was not guarranteed. It was a rough trip to say the least. (For more information:

I learned quite a bit from this little Carpe Diem nightmare, most importantly. . .NEVER UNDERESTIMATE  A PORTER. 


Guardian Angel
BOY, Born August 10, 2005

Don’t mind this pink shirt, Porter is a BOY.    He is HIV+, stage 3.   He is mildly cognitively delayed as well.
From his medical records:   HIV stage 3, without immunosuppression, delay of psychomotor and speech development, bacillosis
For more info and parent support on adopting and raising a child with HIV, please visit

$2050.60 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Donations are tax deductible.

Meet Porter. Dark beautiful hair, bright trusting eyes. This boy is officially lost. I bet he wants to give up, perhaps curl up next to a rock, say his prayers and give up. I do not blame him. He is 6 years old and was recently transferred to a mental institution. There are NO toys at this institution. No books. No playing. No laughter. Literally, people in this insititution sit all day, staring at the walls, often rocking to soothe themselves. They do not rock as part of their condition, but from a lack of stimulation. This is a place that no one should be sent, let alone a little boy with so much promise, so much to live for. 
Please read more about the Lost Boys here. Knowledge is power. Change is possible. These children deserve homes and should not be lost. Porter is suffering a fate through NO choice of his own. He has not decided to move to this facility. He has not chosen to have HIV. He did not choose abandonment. .. please help him live a brighter, happier life! 

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