Muda Mrefu

Mount Meru

Meru

The town of Arusha, where Samantha, Sofia and I live, lies in the shadow of Mount Meru. It is sort of considered to be Kilimanjaro’s forgotten sibling, although two the mountains are remarkably different. They are both volcanoes, but Meru is a much more craggy and serrated along its edges, steep and forbidding as opposed to Kilimanjaro’s gentle and infinitely long slopes. The summit of Mount Meru, known as Socialist peak, is about 1300 metres lower than the summit of Kilimanjaro. The students at school climb both mountains, and Meru is universally considered to be more intimidating for the kids, as it presents a formidable physical challenge, whereas Kili’s real challenge is the altitude. The side of Meru was blown off by a massive eruption some time ago (we are talking geological time, so I have no idea if it was “long ago” or “recently”).

Meru3

We are in the short rains right now, but so far little rain has made it down to us. Every afternoon a massive storm roils and crackles over the top third of Meru, and we all run for cover before it comes rolling down over town. It never does, and when the storm finally clears up, there are streaks of snow around the summit of the mountain. An hour later the snow is gone. All this to explain that yesterday I was driving through town, contemplating another false alarm of rain, and I saw the peak of snow streaked Meru. It made me think about how impressive it is to live under this mountain. We drive around, we work, we walk through the shambas, everything we do takes place below Mount Meru, yet I only ever really look at it carefully once in a while. Therefore I dedicate this post to the mountain.

Meru

 

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December 9, 2007 - Posted by | Arusha |

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