Sunday, July 29, 2007

Greetings from Zanzibar!

Jambo All!

Another random assortment of lists and thoughts from the road...

Top 2 Town Names
1. Mto Wa Mbu, Tanzania 2. Bububu, Zanzibar

Road to Zanzibar

Q: When the live Swahili rap show is followed by Arabic music, then Indian music and the Maasai guy dancing next to you in the red blanket knows all the words to that annoying Kylie Minogue song, where in the world are you?

A: A full moon party on Kendwa Beach in Zanzibar, of course!

After a frustrating, 9 hour bus ride from Arusha followed by a transfer to a ferry riddled with first time traveler mistakes - just because the porters grab your bags and run off doesn't mean you have to pay them what they are demanding - Tracy and I made it to Zanzibar.

We spent a few days in Stone Town, wandering the twisty streets learning about Zanzibar's history in the slave trade and heading to eat at a waterfront foodstall which by day looks like it will give you hepatitis, but by night seems like the perfect place for some fresh seafood. Then it was Kendwa Beach.

Women wearing kangas as headscarves patrol the beach and greet you in a variety of languages until you respond then they ask you if you want a massage, henna tattoo or braids. Maasai men in red blankets and beaded armbands check text messages on their cell phones while sitting outside souvenier shops with no customers. Tourists lounge on chairs soaking up the sun, reading books and negotiating snorkelling trips. All the while turquoise waters hit white sand beaches and the ancient, wooden sailing boats called dhows float through the salty sea air along the horizon. It really is worth the ferry ride, shared taxi and horrendous roads to get here.

And How 'Bout That Dream?

Yes, the dream. After 2 hours, 1 phone card, 6 broken pay phones and 1 saviour at a hotel, I was able to call the National Director of Habitat for Humanity Tanzania and meet him at the office in Dar Es Salaam. As Tracy and I only had the day in Dar, it didn't give me much time to meet with him. I've got tentative plans to swing back through Dar in late August and spend a few days with the Habitat team checking out housing in the area and possibly doing some volunteer work with them.

Meanwhile, I've made contact with Habitat-Nairobi and am waiting to hear when I can come to their office and I'm trying to set up my trip so I can get to Habitat-Malawi in the beginning of September when they have a Global Village team coming in.

My camera skills are improving and every time I turn the camera on, I learn another thing I can do to make improvements. At this point, that's all I can ask.

Onward Travel

We're on a 6:30am bus to Nairobi tomorrow and then Tracy leaves on August 3rd. I'll try to catch the Habitat people in Kenya then I've got a date with some mountain gorillas in mid-August. After that... could be Tanzania, could be Malawi, could be Zambia. Stay tuned.

Tuta o nana,

Miss K

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! The waterfront stall sounds as dangerous as the lions and hyenas on your camping trip. Sounds like you're having a great experience. Thanks for letting us share it vicariously. Good luck with the dream.