The road to Zanzibar
Reunion in Dar
It was a long and winding journey from Arusha, but in Dar Es Salaam I reconnected with friends from West Africa that I’d know 20 years ago. It was really special & I wish we’d planned more time there.
Ferry to Zanzibar
Instead, we were rushed and crushed and virtually ambushed onto the ferry heading for Zanzibar where we arrived a bit bruised and battered on Wednesday. Attempted communication with both my Kenyan and Zanzibari work contacts was fruitless so we had to resort to our wits – always a dangerous option. There’s an exhilaration that can come from landing in a strange land with no directions and not speaking the language, but I wasn’t feeling it. Instead I wondered what ridiculous notion got into my head to come to this far-flung place on such a flimsy premise.
Welcome to Stone Town
the view from our room
With our usual good fortune, we landed at the Rumaisa Hotel just on the edge of Stone Town. It is newly opened, but super luxurious compared to our usual fare, “in traditional Swahili style with all the comforts modern life demands.”
the noodle factory next door
The owner has been really kind to us, especially once he found out the kind of work I am doing in Zanzibar, as he is strongly community minded. Last night he drove us over to Rosani gardens, a public square that has a night food market with pancakes, grilled meats & seafoods, sugar cane & ginger juice fresh squeezed on the spot with a giant press, and traditional music wafting out of the ‘House of Wonders’ next door. His father is apparently quite a musician, playing the traditional oudh, and I have visions of some kanikapila with oudh & ukulele dancing in my head.