Stressful Saturday. Of course traveling around Africa with 3 boxes and a suitcase has often proven challenging. It doesn’t help that these places are super disorganized so customs officials are yelling at me to pay this duty here, then register the products here and I never know who to trust. Everyone wants money from you and after a month and a half of wear and tear my boxes are breaking apart. The porters throwing them on and off the ferry didn’t help either. On top of it all I forgot my yellow fever vaccination card which is apparently really important. I had to argue my way out of them giving me the vaccination again, saying I left my card in Kenya. Getting fun African diseases from an unclean needle is the last thing I need.
Then I arrived in paradise, also known as Zanzibar. I’ve never seen a place with such incredible history and beaches combined. Stone Town is a maze of old buildings, restaurants and interesting sights that reminds me of Damascus more than anything. It’s crazy that this place used to be the center of a huge Arab slave trade. You can see the influence everywhere from ancient mosques to carved Middle Eastern doorways. I walked around for a while then sat on the beach to soak it all in. At night I met up with some people living in Zanzibar who took me to an outdoor food market with fish, Zanzibari pizza (look it up), sugarcane juice and much, much more. The culture here is great and everything is chill.
Yesterday I went to Nungwi on the Northern side of Zanzibar to check out the beach. I needed to relax after being in Dar es Salaam. I swam, read, walked, ran, slept, ate sushi and watched fisherman hauling in their catches (You have to find a lot of things to do when you’re alone at the beach all day). Fisherman here still use sailboats you might see in history books. It’s a different way of life here in Zanzibar.
The only problem with Zanzibar is that I have to work while I’m here! I’m thankful I got to come through my company but at the same time I’m bummed I can’t see everything. Such is life, I know I have no right to complain. I am really excited to go back to Nairobi on Thursday though. I never knew how much I would miss the community there until I left. It’s been good to experience so much of Africa in just a couple of months but I’m learning that routine and consistent friendships are necessary components of life.