Whew! Day before yesterday we took a small plane from Arusha out to the coast and across a bit of the Indian Ocean to the island of Zanzibar. There we were met by a guide and walked through Stone Town, the oldest part of Zanzibar town. It is like the old movies, Nick says -- "Come wiz me to the Cazbah!" A warrent of streets going this way and that, with women in the long robes (90% of the people here are Muslim) and veils. And of course, we had to find our way to the best coffee house in town - the Zanzibar Coffee House, where we had cappucinos made by the champion barista of Africa, or so we were told. Then a turn through the market (fish crawling with flies, and a large octopus lying on the floor in the midst of everyone; newly plucked fresh chickens lying in the sunshine) Then on to Ngalawa Beach Village, where we are hosted by an Indian man and a Canadian wife. After days of breathing, eating and being coated in dust, it is absolutely Eden to be here with fresh breezes, great showers and truly five star gourmet meals. Joanne is a chef and has trained her Indian and African chefs marvelously, Each day they plan the day's menus together, and they are extraordinary. We are on a beach where the nearby natives live on fishing. Each morning we get to watch the boats go out at sunrise -- dawls, we think they're called, with one small sail and mainly dugouts. Sometimes we see the women walk into the bay to collect seaweed, which they bring into the village and dry on ropes and then sell for food. Meanwhile, we are here, resting by the pool, having great massages by Neema (our second, Nick's first today) and planning for the rest of our stay. Mary and Mary Ann have learned to play bao, the African game of moving stones or seeds from cup to cup trying to take each other's away. We have enjoyed the other guests's stories too. Two women from Vancouver BC are here resting from their climb with seven others to the top of Kilimanjaro. The group raised $150,000 to support Altzeimers (sp?) research -- one of our new friend's mothers died of it two years ago. We've also learned a lot of Zanzibar history from conversations with Sadru, our host, who, while Indian, was born here 62 years ago. He left with his family when the revolution overtook Zanzibar with he was a teen ager -- the revolution was the black people turning to Communism and taking over from the British, and he would say that Zanzibar has been much the worse for that. Nonetheless, some six years ago, he wanted to return and he has helped two different resorts get back on their feet before building this small Eden with his wife Joanne. If you'd like to have a look at this beautiful spot, visit www.ngalawabeachvillage.com.
Nick says to tell Nicolle he likes the porches in Tanzania better than his one at home. They are great places to sit, although yesterday Mary and Mary Ann took to a couple of chairs under a tree where we could catch the sea breeze and read our books