Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wind and Our Sails

Don't get the wrong idea. I don't feel deflated.
Well, maybe a little bit ... maybe just a bit concerned, seeing as we've booked this second safari up North in Tanz and our travel agent back home in Colorado is not keeping up with our eratic, ever-changing requests and now has us booked to fly out of Zanzibar (which was like 3 requests ago - totally wrong now), even though we've already purchased ferry tix back to Dar tomorrow, expecting to fly north on Tues. Eek. hopefully it doesn't burn an even larger hole in our pockets trying to clear this up (and hopefully we can still fly out on Tues as planned, since the connections and safari people are all lined up based on that).
Anyway, sorry to bore you with all of that.
We are here in Nyungi, the northern tip of Zanzibar, and one of the most beautiful corners of the world I've ever seen.
Nyungi is a tiny village full of shacks with grass huts and a jankass dirt road on which i'm amazed our cab didn't drop its muffler.
behind the village is a line of resort bungalows - still with grass roofs - but handling more money in one day than the whole village probably sees in a year.
Ironically, a lot of the villagers work in the resort.
We splurged and got a bungalow with a sea view (i mean, we're already going bankrupt, so why not?). The room itself is a basic piece of crap, but the view is phenomal and the Indian Ocean crashes up against the wooden pillars holding the place up.
When we arrived yesterday, we took a walk around, during which i got propositioned a couple times by local hustlers and a fake Masai warrior (he was skinny enough to look legit, and had giant earring holes and all, but the guy was wearing sun glasses. Come on).
The muslim culture doesn't seem to be quite so studiously intact up here, where white people walk around in bikinis and fake masais proposition people ...
still, the local women are all covered up in way too many clothes for the climate, and they even wear all their long, heavy layers right into the sea in the morning to walk around the low water looking for fish to catch by hand.
Today we took a boat trip in a Dhow (the fishing boats that people can be seen constructing on the beach - think Tom Hanks' masterpiece in Castaway. They burn the wood and make their own fishing nets and it's straight out of like 500 years ago). We went to this island - Mnemba - to go snorkeling, but it was a bit stormy and windy, so once we finally got there after getting tossed around on gigantic waves (luckily our Dhow -unlike the ones the local fishermen use - was equiped with an engine), we got pretty chilly trying to snorkel and didn't seem much sea life. The coral was gorgeous though. it came in giant, orange oyster shapes and in huge purple orbs.
dolphins were leaping in the water parallel to the boat, too, so that was cool.
we had lunch on a neighboring beach, had a horrendous time trying to get all of us white people back in the boat - it kept drifting out in the gigantic surf and we had to swim to it, which i achieved quite skillfully balancing my backpack containing my new expensive camera on my head (thank you Africans, for this brilliant technique).

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jesus Christ ... This computer just went into dyslexic mode,then didn't publish the second half of this blog - involving the story of our Dhow sail tearing in half in the gusts of wind that were supposed to carry us swiftly back to the bungalow beach and the tale of the village children demanding money despite one lucky capitalist (who certainly doesn't live in the local village and is most probably not Zanzabari or African in any way) making a shitload of money off all of this tourism. They were good stories ... i really don't have the gusto to retell them right now, though. Sorry. Will tell in person sometime soon.

1 comment:

kimfarnell said...

Shauna, wrote on your safari blog too, sounds like you are having a life altering experience in Africa. Wish I could be there with you to share in all the adventure but reading blogs is great! Love you, be casrefull.