Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Octopus, Lobster, Calamari oh my.....

After a couple days of relaxing minus an amoeba that my dad caught we were off to Arusha for a day of shopping and a sleep over at my friend’s house, Margaret and Philemon. My mom got to experience shopping in the famous market that my dad always tells her about. She loved it, I was surprised. I actually thought that she would hate it, having to bargain for everything and everyone wanting to pull you here and there so you could come in their shop and “look for free.” But I was wrong and by the time I finished shopping with her she was a vicious bargainer and really had a great time. It really is a very different world. I told her she had to be careful because after this experience when she shopped at Walmart and the lady told her the total she would want to look at her and offer her less. I’m not lying that is how I felt when I got home the first time I was here. Anyway after a nice night with my friends watching the “God’s must be crazy 1 and 2” and listening to everyone laugh it was time for bed. The next morning we had to be at Compassion Tanzania at 9:30 so that I could see my sponsor child and my mom could meet hers for the first time. It was great. We spent about 4 hours or so with them and my mom really enjoyed it. Next time she will have to go to their house on Mount Meru and get the full experience.

The following day we off to Dar es Salaam and then to catch the ferry to Zanzibar the next morning. Our first 2 days were spent in Stone Town. My mom loved the architecture and the carvings of the big beautiful doors. My dad liked the market on the beach when the sun went down. This market is really neat. It has stand after stand of people serving every kind of seafood you can imagine, plus Zanzibar pizzas which are my personal favourite and finally sodas and sugarcane juice mixed with lime and ginger. There is something about this place, whether it is the atmosphere or the food it is just a really great place to hang out.

The next day was a tour of the Sultan’s ruins, a spice farm and the House of Wonders. The ruins were interesting to see a bit of Zanzibar’s history. I always enjoy the spice tour where you get to learn about spices obviously. But I always find it interesting that with most spices you use the root or the bark but the leaves themselves when they are crushed a little smell exactly like the spice when it is used in our homes. My favourite part of the spice tour is when a tiny man climbs a 100 ft palm tree with his bare hands, bare feet and a rope to cut you down coconuts to drink the water from. All the while singing at the top of his lungs and hanging upside down from the tree.

That afternoon we went to the House of Wonders museum and then to a small Italian pizzaria where we watched the sunset over the Indian Ocean.

So I just have a few more statements/questions about honeymoons. Does it constitute a second honeymoon when you are still with your parents and they are in the next room? When it is so freakin’ hot you don’t want to be in the same room as your husband let alone the same bed? When you snorkel to long and get sunburned again but way worse because now it is over your entire body causing what you think is sun stroke but it ends up being an amoeba? Then to add to it all when you are finally feeling well enough to let anyone near you let alone your husband you get a cold sore on your lip the size of Connecticut? But aside from all that I had a really great time.

I swam with the dolphins which is totally different then doing it in the Caribbean. Here they take you out to the middle of nowhere in the Indian Ocean. They find a family of dolphins and you jump in. It was awesome. There were times I was surrounded by 50 dolphins at once not quite close enough to touch but close enough to make me feel like I could. It was really the most amazing experience. I loved it and would do it again and again. Next time I will be better with my snorkel gear though so I can dive down with them.

I wanted to learn to use the snorkel gear so I spent a few hours that morning after the dolphin outing in the water before the tide went out. It was great to see all the life down on the ocean floor. At one point I had a tiny yellow fish with black stripes swimming under my belly and every so often he would come up in front of my mask to say hello. The first time he did this though I was so happy I smiled which changed the seal on my mask and I got salt water in my eyes. That hurt like a mother but before long I was back swimming along with my little friend. This is when the incredibly bad burn took place. I will snorkel again but not without some seriously high spf waterproof lotion.

The highlight of that day though was how much time my husband spent in the water, due to the fact that 8 hours earlier he was petrified of the water. But once introduced to a life jacket (even in 4 ft deep water) he loved it. We even went to a neighbouring hotel during low tide and he swam around in the pool for hours with his life jacket on and his snorkelling gear. It was really cute.

It was a fantastic time in Zanzibar and when it was all over everyone wished we had another couple days. But it was time to head back but this time we flew. Bariki went on an airplane for the first time. Not a big one but he loved it. We are praying that he is able to ride on one to Canada soon.

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