BEND, Ore. — Across town or out of state, thousands traveled to see family and friends over the holidays. But for Philip Sangue and his kids, their trip home took them across the globe and to the top of Africa’s highest peak.
“We have tons of pictures,” Philip said.
Memories from a December trip back home to Tanzania with his two children.
“We do have a picture from the summit.”
A trip with a trek up dad’s old stomping grounds. The father and son climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
“I did guiding for seven years,” Philip explained.
“It’s surprising that we had more snow than them because it didn’t really snow here while I was gone,” says 11 year old Jayden.
“I want them to know where’s their roots, our home is Africa,” Philip said.
The two, along with little sister, spent a few weeks visiting friends and family. While there, father and son set off on an adventure.
“I also want them to know one of the reasons they got to get this chance to live in America is just because I used to work on that mountain and that mountain gave me a lot of opportunity and one of the opportunities was to move here with them,” Philip said.
They’ve been in Bend since 2018 and have gone back a couple times. But last month’s visit was extra special.
“We actually did the second-hardest route, which is Machame Route,” Philip said.
“I thought it was going to be way harder than it actually was,’ Jayden admitted.
Philip spent years guiding people from all over the world up one of the Seven Summits, reference to the highest points on the Earth’s seven continents.
“It brought a lot of memories for me,” said the former guide.
Philip hadn’t been on the mountain in six years. Most days on this trip, Jayden was out front.
“Yeah, to be honest, yeah,” Jayden said jokingly.
“Sometimes, it was not easy to keep up with him,” Philip laughed.
“Yeah, his knees are bad,” Jayden quipped. Phillip erupted in laughter.
The pair trekked with Philip’s old employer, Serengeti Pride Safaris.
“On the first day, it was really challenging, I got really tired and annoyed,” Jayden said.
The 11-year-old’s mood improved and his pace quickened as he soaked in the beauty.
“The sunrise and the sunset. The wildlife. All the forest, trees, yeah that stood out to me. I saw different types of monkeys in the trees and I heard lot of birds chirping,” Jayden recounted.
They shaved a day off the scheduled seven that it takes most people to get up and down the highest point in Africa.
“The youngest person I ever guided was 12 years old. The oldest person was 83 years old,” said Philip.
Ten is the minimum age to climb Mount Kilimanjaro without special permissions from the government.
“It was like quiet and peaceful,” Jayden remembers.
On this climb, father was reveling in the success of his son. Sitting on the couch in their Bend apartment, the two scroll through photos on dad’s phone.
“What do you think when you see us at the top of the mountain?” Philip asks.
“Yeah, it feels nice,” Jayden responds.
Memories the two made at 19,341 feet.
“I feel like I’m raising a real hero and I’m so proud of you,” Philip said.
His daughter is nine, but Philip hopes to make the trek with her on a future trip back to Tanzania to show off the mountain that gave he and his family an opportunity for life in the United States.