Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Highlights from Zanzibar

Well, we’ve had a very busy week and a half finishing papers, taking exams and giving presentations. We finished the last thing tonight, so now I have a little time to get ready to leave and catch up on things that I haven’t had time to do - like finish writing about Zanzibar! If it were anything else, I would just leave it, but Zanzibar definitely warrants special back posts, especially after requests for translation of the last post.

Let’s see – on Thursday (the day I wrote about in Swahili), we visited a spice farm, which is a very touristy thing to do, but it was still fun because we got lots of Swahili names for spices. It was also fun to smell and taste the spices and be able to guess what they were. We came back to Stone Town in time for lunch and had the afternoon free to explore (or work on writing our reports, which no one did – who want to write about it when you can experience it?) Carley and I went off to a place I had been to before that had good samosas (triangle pastries filled with spiced meat or vegetables). We knew that this little place was close to the market, so we planned to pick up samosas, chapatis and some fruit from the market. We ended up buying 3 samosas, a big bottle of water, 2 roasted sweet potatoes, 2 chapatis, an orange and a bunch of small sweet bananas all for about $2 (remember that we each had about $25 to spend on lunch and dinner for the day) and we couldn’t finish it all because we were full! Hurray for street food!

After lunch, as we were walking through the clothes market, we ran into a group of guys playing checkers who invited us to join them. We didn’t have anything else to do, so we agreed. We weren’t totally sure that we knew how/what they were playing, so we let them teach us in Swahili how to play. The first game I played one of the guys and beat him pretty badly – I tried not to, but it just happened. Each time I made a good move, they all said things like, “Oh, she’s got it” in Swahili. The second game, Carley and I played each other and then she played another of the guys. When we started, there were about 5 people watching, but by the time we finished, we had attracted quite a crowd. I think it would have been exciting enough to watch wazungu playing “drafti” let alone girls. It was really fun.

After drafti, we wandered around the market and asked sellers about different fruits that we hadn’t seen (and got free samples!) and about different kinds of beans, rice and other grains. It was fun just to wander around talking to people. That was definitely the theme of my trip – talking to random people on the street everywhere I went. Lots of fun and good language practice too!

Thursday night we went to Forodhani Gardens for dinner where people set up food stalls with fresh grilled fish, meat, bananas, chapatis, chips (fries), etc. It’s quite a happening place to be and the food is good, but cheap. We were on our way back to the hotel, we got stopped by some sellers asking us to look at their cloths. Anyway, before we knew it, all three of were talking to 3 different people and were just trying to get home. I had already talked to LOTS of people all day long and could tell that I was too tired to be patient anymore. I knew that I just needed to go home and go to bed, So, it was perfect timing for the guy I was talking to suggest that I hook up with him, since my husband was far away and it didn’t matter what I did there. I was so mad. I told him that I wasn’t that kind of person and left. I wouldn’t have been so shocked if someone had just come up to me and asked me to hook up with them, but it was the fact that I’d been talking to this guy for a few minutes and I thought it was just a normal conversation. Anyway, I was so tired and out of patience that after walking away with the other girls, I just burst into tears. Later, I could kind of laugh, and just be angry, but at the time, it was very upsetting.

Well, I just meant to write a few highlights of the rest of our trip, but I think I’ve written enough so far that I should go ahead and post this. It’s not an exact translation of the Swahili I posted, but I wrote about the same things. There weren’t quite so many exciting things the other days, so the next post won’t be as long as this. I’m still working on posting pictures. It takes forever to post them here, so I’ll just put them on the picture page instead, which is coming soon – I promise!

1 comment:

Hiker Girl said...

Just wanted you to know that I think you're awfully splendid, that I am really excited about all the ways that you are living out your faith, that you've left a big empty spot behind you here in the States, and that we love you so very, very much. Can't tell you how great we think you are and how much you show Jesus everywhere you go. Peace to you, my friend.