Thursday, May 22, 2014

Zippin' around Zanzibar

Last month, for our last extended time off while in Kenya, we decided to spend it in Zanzibar. We had a fabulous time exploring the island, enjoying the beach, and relaxing by the pool. What made it real special was that we also spent some time in Stone Town - which is the main city on the island. Lots of winding alleyways and a real sense of history going back hundreds of years.
Harbor scene - the boat was under repair while hundreds
jostled over the right to buy the latest catch coming in from the sea
Intense memorial to the slave trade
At one point in Stone Town we stumbled upon a typing class,
Matthew and Ruby joined in
full moon dinner on the beach
Back at the beach we loved our hotel. Big swimming pool and child care too. Rhonda and I took advantage of that for a local walking tour that the kids weren't interested in. We spent a couple hours visiting a village, seeing the school, and learning how they harvest seaweed for export.

After the spice tour - Ruby posed
for a pix with a guide who knit her
accessories made from
banana leaves
 Another highlight was taking a spice tour. We all loved seeing many, many different kinds of spices, smelling them, and learning about them.

Matthew joined in local game while waiting
for the tour to start, it was similar to pool, except
of course no stick - you snapped your fingers to flick
a bottle cap to knock another into a hole

An interesting footnote is on the way back, while in the Zanzibar airport going through Immigration Control, there was a couple from Belgium who must have just been robbed a couple hours earlier. The poor lady was screaming at the Zanzibarian immigration agent because they would not let her leave for her plane since she could not pay her departure tax. It was quite the dramatic scene as she also claimed she was four months pregnant. Rhonda turned into their guardian angel by agreeing to loan them the funds. In the back of my mind I thought it might be some elaborate scam. Turns out they did wire us back the money a couple weeks later when they returned to Belgium.

Matthew's book on Zanzibar

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