Maria looks out across the plateau. / Meera Subramanian

On our first day off, Meera and the students decide to really rest up by getting up at dawn and climbing Mount Longonot, a nearby volcano that reaches an elevation of 2780 meters. The name derives from the Masai word oloonong’ot, meaning “mountains of many spurs” or “steep ridges”. The air is thin, sucking the oxygen out of our pumping blood, and we make it to various stages of elevation. Here’s the view down into the crater:

Meera Subramanian

And here’s a victory shot!

Meera Subramanian