In the last two weeks I’ve been darting around Nairobi interviewing contacts, collecting information, finalizing logistics and more. In less than a week I drive down to Tanzania for the beginning of a whirlwind month: first to Mt. Meru for about a week, then to Kilimanjaro for 10 days, then immediately back up to Mt. Kenya for over two weeks. During these expeditions I’ll do the majority of my filming, fighting cold, exhaustion, and bad weather to find and tell the story I came here for.
Although in many ways I started well over a year ago, it feels like I’m finally going to be able to sink my teeth into this project, finally start making real, tangible progress. The unknowns (and nothing else) have been looming over my head for weeks and have at times quite intimidated me (what have I gotten myself into??). What happens if I neglected some important form? What happens if my equipment fails or the mountain proves too difficult? What happens if I can’t tell an important story?
I’ve made a habit of jumping into the deep end of whatever I pursue, and this project is no different. It’s bigger, more complex, and more significant than anything I’ve ever produced, and here in early throes it feels like an untamed beast. I am afraid of failure, of disappointing everyone who’s helped me put this together.
Thankfully, the last few weeks have shown me that I can do this. After working up the nerve to start cold-calling people, I’ve contacted almost a dozen experienced mountain guides, tour operators, climbers, and other people connected to the mountain of East Africa in addition to the experts working for KG Mountain Expeditions, my sponsor program. I’ve received nothing but positive feedback about the project and excitement to be involved. It seems that many people here share my passion for the African mountain culture and want to raise awareness of its unique benefits and challenges.
Sometimes, it seems, just one person needs to dream a little too big and everyone else will appear as if out of nowhere.