there are two stories to be told here: the first is the hike up to the top of mt nyiragongo, an active volcano on the eastern border of the congo & the second is a proposal story at the top. there are tons of photos here, but the story of the proposal comes about halfway down, so make sure to keep scrolling for that!!
the hike up was one of the craziest experiences i’ve had. mt nyiragongo has a rich history in the area, one that includes the M23 rebels & congolese army fighting at it’s base, tens of thousands of displaced people camped out under its shadow. after the defeat of M23, the democratic forces for the liberation of rwanda moved into the area. rangers from Virunga National Park began clearing rebels from the volcano. the lava lake is still active from an eruption in 2002, which wiped out huge portions of the nearby town of Goma. the hike is somewhere between 5&6 miles and rises to an altitude of 11,380 feet. with few switchbacks and ground ranging from muddy, to slick, to loose lava rock, it was quite the uphill climb.
the view from the top was unlike anything i’ve ever seen before. i’ll let the photos speak mostly for themselves, but really, i’ve seen a lot of beautiful places in this wold, but none quite as wildly throat catching as the beauty that i experienced at the top of mt. nyiragongo.
i met ed & amy through a few mutual friends, and through some crazy coincidences we were able to work it out for me to hike mt. nyiragongo in the congo with them to capture ed's proposal at the top. the night before the hike i heard ed whisper to amy at dinner, i'll take you to the mountain tops."
once we were at the top, we waited until dusk, I slipped ed the ring that I had been hiding in my backpack, and he brought amy to the edge to ask her to spend the rest of her life with him. and as the lava turned red orange and the sky went dark, she said yes. he took her to the mountain top.
so to any future proposals: if you're planning on going halfway around the world and hiking up to the top of a volcano to propose, invite me along!! :)