Headline December 19, 2016/ ''' NO PICNIC *ON* MOUNT KENYA '''


IT'S GOT THAT SWING : In my private moments I have often wondered for ways to get the  *Students of the World* to picnic  on  *K-2*. 

I can think  that as this forlorn, and beautiful, and inviting, and formidable mountain named and called  :  *K-2*,    tap dances    at !WOW!'s proud, first conceptual temporary host,  Pakistan. 

I say that as I have often thought of  K-2  as an engaging history one of the Lord's great creative creations for the students of the world, and the students of Pakistan.

The gray doorway in the Marylebone neighbourhood here is unmarked, but for 11 words spelled out across the top rail:
''The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places''.

Roald Dahl, the darkly inventive 20th century children's author behind........ '' Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,''  wrote that line, and it was posted above the door by his heirs-

Who from the small set of offices within are aggressively seeing out ways to monetize his  wackily wondrous works.

The goal, as the estate prepared to celebrate last September centennial of Dahl's birth, is the ambitious : to have every student/child in the world engage with a Roald Dahl story.  

BARBED WIRE is not the best material for making crampons. 

Over 5,000 meters into the sky, facing blizzards of and walls of ice, you want the most secure footwear available.

Metal spikes snipped from the rusted fences of a  prisoner-of-war camp -and hammered into footplates made from spare car parts -are not ideal for the task.

did not have the luxury of choosing his equipment. An Italian soldier in the second world war-

He spent half a decade in internment camp after British forces took Abyssinia [modern Ethiopia in in 1941].

In the years that he passed at P.O.W. camp 354, just a few days trek from Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest mountain, its snowy peaks taunted him.

Occasionally, inmates would slip past the sentries an head for neutral Portuguese East Africa  {now Mozambique}.

But Benuzzi, a climber, dreamed only of standing on the top of Batian, the summit of Mount Kenya, just a few miles away. 

Hoisting an Italian flag there, where only a handful of mountaineers had ever trodden, would be an act of defiance that no dash to the border could match. 

''No Picnic on Mount Kenya'' is Benuzzi's account of how and he and two accomplices eventually escaped in January 1943, reached the lower peak on Mount Kenya, Point Lenana, and then broke back into the camp for good measure.

The book  crackles with the same dry humour as its title. It contains the prison-yard bartering and candlelight stitching that mark a classic Jail break yarn, -the encounters with wild beasts in Mount Kenya's forest belt are as gripping-

And the descriptions of sparkling glaciers awe-inspiring, as any passage in the great exploration diaries of the early 20th century.

The book has become a classic among climbers since it first appeared in Britain in 1947, and then in English in 1952.

But students and readers will be grateful for this new edition from Maclehose Press, which contains an extra chapter not published before in English,  a detailed map and Benuzzi's watercolour paintings of the mountain.

Even those familiar with the terrain will find themselves lost at points during the author's description of his ascent.

* Like the *Students of the World* on !WOW!,  the World Students Society, that is only natural : the most reliable map he and his mates had was a picture of the mountain on a corned-beef tin.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and     Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' When Eye Hears '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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