Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Zanzibar

Blog:
Jambo! Welcome! I'm completely and utterly in love with Zanzibar. I spent the night in Stone town and enjoyed walking through the town and checking out the night fish market. Had a really good dinner and drink on the beach and watched the sunset. Times like that that I really miss home and people.  Stone town is this really interesting mix of Arabic, European, and African culture and architecture that I completely love. There were tons of great shop that you could spend hours meandering through. There is a strong muslim and Arabic presence here. Almost all of Zanzibar is Muslim and few are Christians. The style of dress, skin tones, and facial features show the mix between Arabic and African backgrounds.
Now, I'm in Jambiani in the southern end of the island. I'm staying with a group of volunteers in a beach bungalow. It's right on the crystal blue water and white sand beach, when the tide is high the water almost reaches the gate, it's crazy. Yet, when the tide is out it's out almost 1km. It's quite a startling contrast. There are 11 volunteers here currently with a constant ebb of people coming and going from all over the world. The age range is also much younger, like 19-23, and I feel a little old at times when they talk about their high school marks and going to uni. 
For volunteering we are working in several schools throughout Jambiani, including an adult English class and nursery schools. In the afternoons we do some type of manual labor like plant trees or label trash bins that we then distribute. The adult classes are part of a special school that a Canadian couple started 10 years ago. The students must go through 5 classes, with tests to advance, before entering the tourism diploma portion. After they complete that they can work in tourism, like waiting tables or cooking. Tourism is a huge part of the Zanzibar economy. Hacuta matada though, our days are busy but we get plenty of down time as well. There's a great hotel on the beach with stunning ocean views that has a pool and wifi(!!).
People here speak Swahili and english and are very friendly. They actually say hacuta matada. I thought Disney (sorry Disney!) made that up, so now whenever someone says it I start singing the lion king in my head. Sing with me now, it means no worries for the rest of your dayyyy!
I'm really enjoying Zanzibar so far. I actually wished I did less time in Ghana and more time here. I feel so much more productive with volunteering, especially with the adult classes. There's more to do in terms of activities and more people to hang out with. Plus, it's so incredibly beautiful here, I don't want to go Saturday. Though I am really excited for the safari. Keep your fingers crossed that I find the big 5!!

3 comments:

  1. Sounds amazing! Wish I was there with you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds absolutely wonderful and a perfect segway into your safari. I'm so happy that you are enjoying your trip and experiencing all of these wonderful things! I miss you terribly though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow the difference in your attitude is so much better!!! You did not seem very happy in Ghana. I'm glad you are enjoying yourself!!!! Miss you bunches!! P.S. the baby is walking all over the place now :)

    ReplyDelete