That is Swahili (you pronounce the ‘e’) for slowly, slowly. L’at, l’at in Hebrew. This is how you walk up the mountain. We are practicing it our first day. Take a few steps, rest. We are already starting higher than I have, more or less, ever been. So, pole-pole. I take this seriously. My guide advises me to stop when I feel my respiration gets ahead of myself. This is advice I will use the whole trip. I realize that moving quickly.. that ego to make it.. is one of the causes for why younger, more athletic people often fail to summit. Pole-pole.
Pole pole is also the cultural approach here. They also call it Kili-time. Things in Tanzania just go pole-pole. Don’t get too excited about anything. It all takes time. Pole-pole.