Some said I was too young. But I think the fact that I was just twelve years old when I went to Tanzania and climbed Kilimanjaro with my dad meant that I still had that fleeting openness to life that comes from having a mind that is not yet fully formed. The scenes and experiences I took in over the course of that trip shaped me in a way that still persists today.
I wrote a bit about what climbing Kilimanjaro meant to me in my story, “Discovering a Certain Grandness of Life,” for Dreamers and Doers. This is a collection of stories, published by the Ladies Trekking Club, by women from across the world whose lives have in some way been shaped by the fact they climbed to the top of Africa; it is an anthology that is edifying, enlightening, and inspiring.
But it’s not actually necessary to travel halfway around the world in order to learn most of the personal lessons that we wrote about. Many of the benefits of travel and adventure can come from simply opening and reading a book. This is the gift this project aims to give to many children who have grown up living in the shadows of Kilimanjaro: every copy of Dreamers and Doers sold provides for a textbook that will be donated to a Tanzanian school.
Take part in these ladies’ adventures and give the gift of education by ordering a copy of Dreamers and Doers here.
for National Geographic Daily News
It was a storm of epic proportions: The tornado that hit El Reno, Oklahoma, was as wide as Manhattan, spun off subvortices as fast as NASCAR drivers circle a track, and had some of the strongest winds ever measured. It took the lives of three highly experienced storm chasers. Yet it's going down in the record books as a mundane EF3.
The reason: The May 31 storm just didn't do enough damage to achieve a higher Enhanced Fujita (EF) rating. Now weather scientists are asking if the rating system needs an overhaul in the age of mobile Doppler radar and other sophisticated tracking techniques, and some are pressing for a new rating formula that would include measurements of maximum wind speeds.