Mike is seated in his office some warm Friday afternoon considering his options for the planned weekend hike to the lenana peak of mt Kenya. It is his first time on this kind of adventure and is already starting to think how crazy it was for him to even consider such an outing. There’s however some pretty unique aspect of this trip. Unlike others in the past that has largely been influenced by his peers, this one is his decision and there’s a process behind it that has largely been hidden to him not to mention his peers.
As he thinks about this, he turns his seat to face the window to look again at the view that has inspired the thought and eventual decision for this planned trip. Under the afternoon sun, the view of mt Kenya is largely not as picturesque as it looks in the mornings. He recalls the first day in this office some early morning 10 years before looking through the same window, that time belonging to his boss and how he’d see and get amazed at the snow-capped peaks of the mountain. He didn’t know before that the mountain was visible from Nairobi, and to see that was quite something to behold every time he’d come to this office. Many things have changed since – he has grown in his career and has actually become the occupant of the office as he was promoted to replace his boss when he left the company some five years ago.
Even after it became his office, he’d still get mesmerized by the view of the snow-capped peaks of the mountain especially in the mornings, but as time went by, he became used and even stopped noticing. However, in the last one year, there’s been an increased interest in the sight and it has kept intensifying. Sometimes in the last few months, he’s found himself at the window in the morning up to even 30 minutes just beholding that sight. It has startled him some bit how the beauty of the sight has developed into a burning desire to actually get there physically and experience the view from close range.
He talked to a couple of friends in an attempt to interest them in joining him, but they mostly laughed at the thought or thought he must be out of his mind. From their response, it was obvious to him they didn’t share his passion and decided to go it alone. He has researched quite a bit on mountain climbing and from the testimonials from those with experience, it’s tough, but doable. While many have tried, few have succeeded and lesser still have even turned it into a way of life, scaling one mountain after another.
Concerning people who can actually help him on the ground , he discovered there’s a company that aids people with such an endeavor as his with an office at the second floor of his office building. He gave them a visit last week and they explained to him all he needs to make his endeavor a success. There was equipment available, some dos and not to dos, and last and not least, some two options to choose from for directions, a map or a guide.
The decision on map or guide is not as simple as it seems because each option has its terms and conditions. While the map way is cheaper and more independent in that he goes alone and decides when and how to move, the guide option has a lot more conditions. The guide option is more expensive and even though he can still have a map, the guide gets to keep the map and also do the interpretation. It is after being explained to the terms of their services, that he asked the tour company to give him time to think it over.
As he ponders, he remembers that he was told that whatever option he chooses, if he had a change of mind at any moment, he could change his option. It is then he makes a decision to go with the map option. He figures that even if he was not a geography major in school, he is educated enough to interpret maps and get his directions. After all in this era of GPS, there’s no way he could miss his way.
He stands up from his seat and heads out of the office as he picks his jacket off the hanger. He waves a few ‘nice weekends’ to his colleagues in the open plan office between his office and the lift lobby. He wants to get to the tour office downstairs to pick his hiking equipment before they close for the day.
The story continues in part 2.