In late January some friends from church invited us to celebrate their 40th birthdays (husband and wife turned 40 in the same month) on the island of Zanzibar. Sheshi happens to be our pastor at the international church we attend. It was just for an overnight stay at one of the resorts there but we decided to take the weekend and stay Saturday night as well but in Stonetown, the main port town. We had visited Zanzibar 2 years previously (here’s the post) while we were training with the Birth Attendant School. At that time we only spent about 36 hours there so we were excited to go back for a short visit.
The resort for the party was beautiful, complete with white sand, blue water and a swimming pool. The kids spent almost the entire time in the pool turning themselves into prunes. In the evening the party was so much fun. Trudie and Sheshi were born around the same time as us and so came of age in the 90’s also and we spent most of the evening dancing to and singing songs from that era (can you still remember all the lyrics to Ice Ice Baby and Gansta’s Paradise?) Many of our friends from church were there so it was an awesome evening spent laughing and just enjoying time together.
The next morning almost everyone was heading back to the mainland but we headed to Stonetown. One of our friends that had recently moved to Kenya had flown in for the event because she is great friends with the guests of honor. She had lots of time to kill so we kidnapped her and brought her to Stonetown until her flight took off. We had a great time visiting and catching up.
After Bee went to the airport we ventured out to the local fish market at Forodhani Gardens. Every evening fishermen come and skewer up their catch of the day here, whether it be octopus, Barracuda, lobster or the like. They grill it up and here you go! They also have something called Zanzibar pizza which is not really pizza. It’s all kinds of yumminess folded into a tortilla like shell and then fried. It’s very tasty but not the healthiest thing on the menu.
Once you get your skewers you can relax, sit by the water and watch crazy young Zanzabaris jump off the wall into the ocean. Some were doing some pretty impressive tricks and belly flops.
This time there were also some dudes break-dancing! J got really excited about it.
He tried some of his own moves…
and then we convinced him to go up on the stage in front of the crowd to do his moves. So if you know J you know that he would normally shy away from this situation. But he did it!! So proud! What a great step for him. He got some cheers and applause from the crowd as a reward!
The next morning we enjoyed a relaxing breakfast with spiced coffee and walked around a bit more before leaving for the ferry. Overall it was a stellar visit to Zanzibar. It’s quaint and charming but really 48 hours is just long enough before the magic wears off. By the end we had locals yelling “Jambo!” at us (this is usually a greeting locals use for tourists, it was really made popular by this song which some dude actually tried to sing to us until we cut him short in Swahili). Also had some guys trying to charge us outrageous prices for sunglasses; like 5 times the normal amount. Even J was lured in by some guy flashing a Zanzibar soccer jersey telling him he had his size. “He has my size Mama!” Ugh! Time to go. Incidentally, J still talks about getting that jersey. That’s pretty good salesmanship!
In case you didn’t catch them on the first post.. the famous doors of Zanzibar…