Well, Shigella sucks! After a few days of being a bit of a sufferer with some pretty dodgy guts, I am finally getting over it and have had a good chance to enjoy the beautiful beach that we have landed on in Jambiani.
Jambiani is a pretty small village, full of local kids who are brilliant. Today I saw a kid walking a crab along the beach on a lead, and most days the local kids come to the beach to play football and learn to swim in front of our room.
Learning to swim is something that requires a bit of invention, as the locals do not have the money to afford swimming instructors, floats, armbands, etc. so the kids will scour the beach during the afternoon for all the plastic bottles they can find, including asking the guests at the lodges along the beach for bottles (of which we had many after feeling shitty for most of the week). They tie the bottles together with old fishing rope and create makeshift armbands and buoyancy aids to go around their waists; genius!
For most of the week we have been relaxing on the beach, enjoying the baking sun, the crystal clear waters and the welcoming people. Jambiani currently has a small population of Maasai guys that have come down from the north of Tanzania to sell some trinkets and also learn English at the local school. They are great fun; excellent sense of humour; and very interesting to talk to about their life at home. I recently had a very amusing exchange with a couple of guys who were trying to work out how to make Whatsapp work on their new smart phones, which I happily lent a helping hand with tackling.
Yesterday we went out to see the dolphins in the south of Zanzibar with a few others from our guesthouse. It was a bit manic, but good fun (although not exactly very ethical), racing around the bay and getting military style orders to ‘Go, Go, Go’ at certain times, followed by lots of manic shouting from our boat driver, which got a bit confusing to be honest, but we did get to see lots of dolphins, and even some baby dolphins.
Today was awesome, we rented a Vespa style moped from a local Del Boy (everybody in the village can arrange anything; everyone is a taxi driver – apparently; and no matter what you want a friend or family member can help). We took our noble steed (which got nicknamed ‘Old Trusty’ after giving us a few dodgy moments) about 20 something miles north to a restaurant called The Rock. It was a real sight, a lonely looking building sticking out like a sore thumb about 20 – 30 meters out in the Indian Ocean. Thankfully the tide was out so we could walk out to it instead of wade out or wait for the dingy to collect us. We had an epic seafood platter, which did cost an arm and a leg because it is a tourist hotspot, but all in all well worth a visit!
After lunch we went on a drive through some of the local villages around the area (where almost everybody stares briefly before realizing it is a pair of mzungos riding a moped – probably badly – before waving and shouting ‘jambo, mambo’ – ‘hello, how are you’ in Swahili), through the Jozani forest, and I nearly ran over a group of women and children. For my first experience driving abroad, I think it went quite well, apart from nearly killing a few people, but that wasn’t really my fault!
Anyway, here’s a few more photos from the week: