Between Heaven and Earth (Seven (the series))
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DJ is David McLean's eldest grandson, so it stands to reason that he be the one to scatter his beloved grandfather's ashes. At least that's how DJ sees it. He's always been the best at everything—sports, school, looking after his fatherless family—so climbing Kilimanjaro is just another thing he'll accomplish almost effortlessly. Or so he thinks, until he arrives in Tanzania and everything starts to go wrong. He's detained at immigration, he gets robbed, his climbing group includes an old lady and he gets stuck with the first ever female porter. Forced to go polepole (slowly), DJ finds out the hard way that youth, fitness level and drive have nothing to do with success on the mountain—or in life.
DJ's adventures start in Jungle Land, part of The Seven Prequels and continue in Sleeper, part of The Seven Sequels.
The cane containing my grandfather’s ashes was gone. I doubled over, hands on my knees, straining to get my breath, my lungs burning. I was shaking and sweating and I felt like I might throw up. But feeling sick wasn’t the worst thing. The worst thing was that I’d failed. I’d lost the cane. I wouldn’t be able to fulfill my grandpa’s last request, and everybody would know it. What would my mother think… my brother…my whole family? Wait…nobody would have to know. I could just tell them that I did
a choice. I need to be there at least to try on the hiking boots,” I said, grasping for a convincing reason. “I just do not think that—” “Look.” I got to my feet so I towered over her. “It’s my money, my things, my hiking boots, and I’m coming along.” “I will not argue, but do not say that I did not warn you.” “This way,” Sarah said. What had seemed smart sitting on the veranda of the hotel quickly seemed less wise as we wove our way through small streets, back alleys and narrow footpaths
up my pack, which was going to hold my things on the climb to the top of the mountain. Now it would hold the things I needed to reclaim. I sifted through some more items. There were my cargo pants and five pairs of socks—two of them special “toe” socks designed to keep each toe separate and cushioned—and my shirts and running shoes and of course my hiking boots. Item by item I put them into the pack until I came to the boots. I went to put them into the pack and one of the boys stepped forward
she said. “Thanks, and I’ll be there for you,” I said. Why did I say that? “That is so sweet,” she said. “I guess we better get climbing again. The summit isn’t coming to us. We just have to remember to go polepole.” “Yeah, slowly,” I muttered. “That comes a little more naturally at my age, but remember that slow and steady wins the race.” I smiled at her and nodded, although I really didn’t agree at all. Moving slowly had never won any race, game or assignment that I’d ever been involved
word.” She hesitated. “I’m all right. I can do it.” She took the pack off her back and handed it to me. I put it on. Strangely the added weight seemed to make me feel lighter. Sarah turned up the slope and began shuffling forward. We fell into line behind her. It was becoming lighter. The sun was still not up, but the rays were bouncing above the horizon. I could almost feel them and the warmth that they were bringing. It gave me renewed energy. With the light came the opportunity to see