In Memory of His Mother
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (NEWSDAY) — Attorney Dave “Fatboy Dave” Samaroo recently climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in memory of his mother, who died last year of kidney failure.
Samaroo, who works as an attorney in the oil and gas sector in Qatar, in a statement, related his experiences of making the arduous trek up Africa’s highest mountain.
He said he scaled Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peak at 19,341 feet in height and at temperatures of minus-18 degrees Celsius at the top (and even colder with wind chill factor).
“I did it impromptu so I had little time to prepare. It took place over a 12-day period with ten days trekking and camping on the mountain,” he said.
Samaroo said friends had urged him to notify the TT media of his adventure. He is a past pupil of Hillview College in Tunapuna, where he won an Open Scholarship, and Curepe Presbyterian School. Samaroo has a London University law degree and qualified for the Bar at the Hugh Wooding Law School, St Augustine. He qualified in accountancy in London and as a Fulbright Scholar earned a masters degree in energy law at Houston University.
“I also carried up the smallest guitar I could find, due to weight limitations, and sang songs of peace at the summit (Bob Marley’s One Love and Bob Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind) with a group of USA climbers, Tanzanian guides and porters.
“The guides said in all their years of climbing (500 summits between them) it was the first time someone carried up a guitar and sang songs at the top, where oxygen is 50 per cent less than (at) sea level.”
He said ten to 15 people die each year trying to climb Kilimanjaro, largely from altitude sickness.
“The climb for me was in memory of my mother, who died last year of kidney failure resulting from years of suffering rheumatoid arthritis. Her photo went with me to the top.”
Samaroo’s mother was Mohanee “Sy” Samaroo, who owned Sy’s Bookstore in Curepe and who was married to Hillview past vice principal Sugrim Samaroo. Samaroo is donating $1 per foot climbed to charity to honour his mother’s memory. “There are many stories to tell but the warmth and friendliness of Tanzania guides and porters who helped throughout the climb stood out. Being above the clouds and watching it lap at your feet like waves on the beach is another wonderful experience that has no equal.”
He was proud to have played his guitar even as the TT flag was being waved.
“My fingers got deep cuts and were often bleeding from playing the guitar in such cold temperatures. But I only realised it when someone pointed out my guitar was ‘bleeding.’” He said to do the climb he had overcome a cough that his guide said might be a sign of altitude sickness. “But he said he saw in my eyes that I was going to make it.”