Posted by: Laura Hartstone | 18 January, 2011

Day 8 – Mount Meru – Peak 2

Team with 11 girls from the School of St Jude

The climb up Meru is steep and strenuous; it can hardly be considered the mini peak in the middle of the challenge. For many, this will be the hardest climb. Day one is exposed to the sun, and with January being the hottest year, it is easy to become dehydrated. Day two is comprised of stairs…and more stairs…and endless stairs. After a half night’s sleep on day 2 they will push to the summit and then climb all the way down for a last night’s sleep on the mountain. In just 4 days, they will be back at base camp.

Drumming and Dancing

Mount Meru is a gem, as iconic for Tanzania as Kilimanjaro is for Africa. The forests boast singing turacos and blue monkeys. They are full of life and give shade for parts of the climb. Views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Oldoinyo Lengai and the rift valley are priceless.

11 “little women” from St Jude joined the team on the first day up the mountain. Chosen for their good grades and excellent dedication in the classroom, the girls were ecstatic to learn they would join the team. Since finding out, they have used their PE time in the afternoon to train for the day’s hike and surprised the team with songs and dance they had been practicing to “inspire the team to make it to the top.”

Meru Hike - First day

They shared school stories and explained their lives back home. With smiles cheek to cheek, there was no telling that all of these girls come from impoverished backgrounds and situations that would make most of us uneasy to even hear about. They laughed, held hands and even helped to carry some of the team’s bags…a luxury the team had to give up after lunch as the two groups parted– the St Jude’s girls descended and the team to carried on climbing.

Watch a video about our visit with the School of St Jude.

And don’t forget to join our Facebook page!

Posted by Laura


  1. Loved the video!!! The school looks great, very interesting! It was also very cool to see you on the bus, Kelly….we love you, and continue strength to you and rest of the amazing team!! love, Mom

  2. Oh, my gosh, that video showing St. Jude’s grabbed my heart as I am sure the school and the students did all of yours. I love your loving hearts and spirits and I cannot even begin to speak to your courage and great efforts. I wish I could hug you all and hope to meet you someday soon. Lynne, my love, you are our shining star.

  3. Thank you, Laura for today’s post. Your making me cry here. Wonderful video and the “lullybye” song is perfect. XXOOMOM

  4. Kaczor-this may be a tough climb, but you will do it. Your strength continues to give me strength:) love you girl, missing you…..xoxo

  5. Oh la la, quelle vidéo!! J’aime j’aime J’AIME!!!!
    Force, courage et détermination pour vous toutes pour cette nouvelle ascension et plein de pensées positives pour toi, Sis’!!!
    Des bisous.

  6. Thank you so much for the great video! Thinking of you often. We are all very proud of you! Sandy and girls are checking on your blogs daily.
    Love you, Kaitlyn! Darlene

  7. From one strong woman (Maya Angelou) to eleven, “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” Sending all my love from snowy Minnesota.

  8. Bonne chance Charlotte pour cette nouvelle ascension. C’est vraiment magnifique ce que vous faites toutes. Et merci pour la vidéo où on peut te voir à St Jude dont tu nous as si souvent parlé.
    Je pense bien à toi. Béatrice

  9. Best of luck on Meru girls – enjoy the switch backs and false summits 🙂 But watching the sun rise over Kili from the summit is well worth it – Go team 2011!

  10. hi charlie nice interesting video.good luck for the next climb.
    je te suis par pensée intérposé!

  11. c’est merveilleux ce que vous faites toutes. il faut garder courage et espoir pour les 2 autres: cela va bien se passer. les photos sont magnifiques. je suis de tout coeur avec vous

  12. Video is great. Good luck for Meru summit all. Love Jo

  13. Magnifique vidéo ! Vous rayonnez ! Bonne chance pour ce prochain sommet !
    La passion transcende et nos meilleures pensées vous accompagnent. Charlotte nous sommes très fiers de toi ! Affectueusement. Big Bises.

  14. Women in time will come to do much- Mary Ward.

    Taz that includes you! And all the girls from St Judes.

    Not envious of all those stairs!

    xxx h

  15. Charlotte, je te fais de GROS bisous ! Je viens de voir les vidéos et les photos avec Annie et Catherine. Que la fin du périple se passe bien et reste en pleine forme !!!


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