Monday, February 19, 2007

zanzibari blue

zanzibar was just what i needed.

some highlights:
- the smell of nutmeg in the air as we toured the spice farms
- seeing how turmeric, ginger, taro, nutmeg, vanilla, and cardamon grow
- the countless communication problems we encountered in dealing with tanzanians
- meeting a new friend to travel with and getting along famously
- the colour of the water, i am not sure i have seen that colour of turquoise blue ever before
- tasting fresh pepper off the tree
- swahili style beds, doors, balconies, and other furniture
- the fresh fish market
- seeing mount kilimanjaro from the airplane
- my first trip in a propeller plane
- showing a woman how to use her credit card machine so she could sell me a shirt made out of kanga
- seafood, seafood, and more seafood ('barber cued,' curried, pili pili, skewered, ceviche)
- snorkelling in the indian ocean (all i could think of was finding nemo)
- impromptu late night swimming in our underwear
- the sound of the ocean in the middle of the night
- the dhows sailing by at sunset
- happy hour safari and kilimajaro beer
- long walks on white beaches

my most memorable souvenir? not the wicked new shirt i got or the sunglasses that i bought off the street, or the umpteenth scarf i bought from a nice indian woman who scoffed at my kenyan attempts to bargain, and not even the roasted cashew nuts. nope, it is the sea urchin spines that are still in my feet. you can even see one of them where it went in and almost came out the other side of my toe. they hurt less and less every day and will eventually dissolve but i had more of a problem with the idea that something was stuck in my foot than with the pain of the sting.

my most memorable moment(s)? getting stung by the sea urchin while walking out to a boat, someone being sick off the side of the boat, waves crashing over the side of the boat, and wondering how difficult it would be if we capsized and i had to swim back to shore. the day of diving and snorkelling improved significantly once we got over the waves, my feet stopped stinging, and the sickie stopped puking. the day turned out beautifully.

zanzibar is more expensive than i expected and stone town is a bit run down, but the water, the temperature, and the relaxation factor made it well worth the time and money. i came back last night and actually felt well rested and ready to take on the world. i think i needed some perspective, some good conversations, some sun, and some time out. zanzibar was all that.

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