In late September, Keith and Lily Fouts trekked the more than three-and-half-mile Tanzanian mountain, lugging with them a copy of The Herald.
“It was a very emotional moment for me; thrilling and awesome,” Lily Fouts, 33, said of her feeling when reaching Uhuru Peak, 19,341 feet above sea level. “It was hard not to shed a few tears when we got up there. ... We kissed — it was our honeymoon after all — took some pictures [and] admired the amazing views of the glaciers and the clouds way below us.”
Before the couple wed in August 2011, Keith Fouts, Ottawa, said the two were nomadic by nature.
Lily Fouts said she has lived in several different states and doesn’t call any particular place her hometown. Keith’s migratory mania began after he learned to speak Spanish at Ottawa High School and traveled to Mexico three times during his senior year, he said.
“I love to explore new cultures and countries,” Keith Fouts, 34, said. “I really enjoy interacting with people whose lives are so different than mine. We have lots of stories to share.
“Traveling is in my blood,” Lily Fouts added. “To me, travel is normal. If I am in one place for too long I begin to feel restless. I enjoy meeting new people, learning new cultures and seeing new sights.”
To sustain their wandering ways, the Foutses travel from country to country working various short-term jobs, Lily Fouts said. The couple now is residing in McMurdo, Antarctica, working with a group of scientists at the South Pole. Lily Fouts works as a steward in the kitchen, while Keith Fouts serves as an electrician.
In their travels, Keith said a few people have commented on his Kansas roots. As many Sunflower State travelers have noticed, Keith Fouts said, “The Wizard of Oz” dominates people’s perception of Kansas.
“[People] often ask me questions like ‘How’s Toto?’ or ‘Did you follow the yellow-brick road?’” Keith Fouts said. “On the seventh of October this year, Lily finished her first marathon in Chester, England. I ran it as well and as I was crossing the finish line, the announcer [said] ‘We have a runner here all the way from ... Canada.’ A lot of people mix up Ottawa, Kansas, for Ottawa, Canada.”
While he’s seen and experienced many beautiful things around the world, Keith Fouts admitted to missing a few things about Kansas.
“My favorite time to visit my family is during the summers at Lake Pomona,” Keith Fouts said, adding that he enjoys spending time with his parents, Leroy and Ann Fouts, Ottawa. “If I don’t make it to Kansas during the summer, then the lake is what I miss the most about Kansas.”