Today Tess wanted Pete and myself to drag the tyre together as a team. However, I felt my role would best be kept to taking pictures and video-ing and although they were first disappointed, later understood my refusal. After all this has been their 13 year journey. Yes there might be a movie later next year!!! Although am not too sure on the sound :-(
As we ascended further up the mountain, the mist rolled down, hugging us and reducing visibility to 50 metres. By the time we arrived at School Hut, just as we entered into the "signing in" hut, it began to hail and then snow. The weather had changed and so soon would the mood in the camp.
We were called over to our mess tent which was now falling apart, to have late morning tea. Our tent had earlier on showed signs of wearing when the door would not close and now it had a torn roof. As water and snow fell through, a couple of the porters threw a canvas cover over the top of the tear as a temporary measure. As the weight of snow and water threatened to cause the canvas to fall through the hole, Nick (Mr Cosmos) volunteered himself to monitor the situation.
Mountain Madness Melodrama
After lunch we interviewed Sakimba, on why he decided to come on the expedition as he was not on the original list. He wanted Amani with him as well as Jess to sit with him for the interview. In fact he insisted Jess sit with him, which she obliged, and he put a blanket over both of them to keep them warm. Amani had no choice in the matter. Jess courtesly smiled throughout as Aunty Tess interviewed Sakimba.
We then moved on to interviewing Freddy, who brought his "brother" Felix in case he had trouble expressing himself. Freddy had no problems expressing himself nor of the outfit he was working with.
Whilst we were videoing, Aunty Tess also wanted Sakimba to sing the Masai song that he had earlier sung to welcome her new grandchild into the world. Sakimba again wanted Jess to be by his side for the singing, but this time she was reluctant to move from her sitting position and he was persuaded to remain in the "best" location for the filming. He decided he needed to put on a pair of sunglasses to sing his song (as all rock stars do!). As Sakimba began to sing his song, Gideon and Jacob began giggling, trying to stiffle their laughter. Unfortunately they were having a fit due to the absurdness of sunglasses and the song. Jess wanted to follow suit, but managed to contain herself. At the end of the song Sakimba burst out:
"I am sorry that I have not sung this song well but this is a sacred song".
He grabbed Amani and dashed out of the tent.
I felt terribly embarrassed and after a short interlude to speak with Aunty Tess, went out to find him in the porters' nest, to smoothe things over. After a little search and asking other porters if he was okay, Sakimba came out. He first held my hand asking to see Jess as he wanted to speak with her and then wrapped me in his wrap with him, at the same time hugging me. He was a little strange but said he was okay and so happy to be part of peace. So I made my excuses as I needed to interview some others within the team.
After dinner, the guides came in to see us to discuss the final assault and about splitting the team into two groups - one fast, one slow. As guides and clients discussed and negotiated the final logistics, Sakimba entered. He stood at the back of the tent swaying and a little off balance, trying to use the flimsy tent sides to keep himself standing. His disruptive manner was affecting the other guides and perhaps sensing this, he went to sit on the floor next to Jackie and Anne in front of the door. Jess had disappeared for a quick break and when she entered back into the tent, she nearly stumbled over Sakimba. She quizzed Sakimba asking him if he was drunk. No further exchange was made, and he soon left the tent to allow the guides' discussion to continue.
Everyone wanted to be in the slow team so Freddy accepted us as one team, where I would be second after Anthony (guide) to slow down the pace. Rather than the standard mid-night departure, we decided we wanted to leave at 6am and forgo the morning sunrise. This would prove provident to ensure we could truely enjoy the mountain peace.
After the meeting broke up, I went outside to head on back to my tent. Sakimba saw me and grabbed my hand, proclaiming his love for Jess and that he needed to tell her. He did not seem to be himself and could only guess he was a little intoxicated. I decided to protect her and tell him that this could never be between him and Jess, and that he needed to listen to the head guides in order to establish peace between himself and them. Felix seeing Sakimba, grabbed my other hand to pull me away and tried to interrupt the conversation in a bid to protect me. However I needed to finish my discussion, and realising that I was supporting their leadership he allowed me to carry on without further interruptions.
Sakimba left dejected and so I turned to have a brief discussion with Felix about the shenanigans but could feel his irritation about the whole situation. I headed back to my tent, where Jess was already tucked into her sleeping bag and as I prepared for bed, we could hear heated exchanges from the porters' quarters. Perhaps they were yelling at Sakimba to get rid of the tyre, or perhaps they were drunk playing poker and arguing over money. We would never know.
The enchantress Jess had cast a spell and I was none too wise, but soon that spell would be revealed!
The final chapter will be written soon as I have a marathon this weekend. I have been a bad tyre girl and not been for a training drag for over 2 months. Will see what I can do without training for 50kms!