Pole' pole' is the mantra that you hear all over the mountain and it means "slowly, slowly" which is the only way you can make the climb.
It was, overall, a wonderful experience. Our guides were great and very helpful, our cook fixed unbelievably good meals despite the harsh conditions, and the scenery was just incredible. On the negative side, the altitude caused breathing issues, climbing exacerbated my acid reflux problem, we froze in our tent at night, and the bathrooms were literally the worst I have ever seen anywhere in the world (but at least there were bathrooms!)
One of the most amazing things we have ever seen was the super-human porters who carried as much as 50 pounds of gear on their heads day-in and day-out, climbing the tough route faster then we could without all the weight.
We are disappointed at not being able to complete the ultimate journey but we did have a fabulous adventure. Now it's on to safari in Botswana, spending our 20th anniversary at Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe and then end up in Capetown and Johannesburg, South Africa before returning home.
Africa has so much to offer travelers!