It really is as beautiful as I had imagined it.
I went with three other volunteers – Meko, Meagan and Joanna. After placement on Friday, we came home, and as Baba says “attacked the plate from both sides” before our ride came to get us and take us to Kili airport. It was about an hour’s flight to Zanzibar. We got to see the island as we were on our descent and it was breathtaking. When we landed and stepped off the plane into humidity that hits you like a wall, I was a happy girl.
Hassan was the representative from Pristine who picked us up at the airport and took us to the hotel that we stayed at. It was an all-inclusive resort called Mapezi Beach Resort. We got to drive through town and then another 45 minutes before we got there. Zanzibar is over 90% muslim – so people dress quite differently. It is very similar to the Tanzanian mainland, just more relaxed!
We got to the hotel and were greeted by Suleiman who got us some fresh squeezed passion fruit juice, and some hand towels to clean ourselves up after the flight. Zanzibar is known as the spice island, and the towels were scented with cloves. It was so refreshing and we were very happy. We got checked into our rooms and didn’t waste much time before exploring.
The resort grounds were amazing. There is a lot of Arabic influence there – the architecture, especially. There will be lots and lots of pictures eventually. Meagan, Joanna and I couldn’t wait to get our feet into the Indian Ocean, so we got down to the beach pretty quickly. The tide was out – for which appeared to be miles…. So we walked and walked and found little puddles here and there to put our feet in. The sand is SO white and SO fine – it is almost like clay. The sun was pretty much down by this point, so we went and got cleaned up for dinner.
Dinner was amazing! I’m usually a little bit skeptical of the “all inclusive” resort, but this was a lovely spread with just about everything. Meko and I had been daydreaming about sushi – which we never got, but I did have fish for just about every meal while we were there. Lovely vegetables and fruits, fish, desserts and several main course options. We ate and ate and then went back to our rooms and passed out.
By this time, I knew I was coming down with something. I had woken up on Friday not feeling so hot. My sinuses have been bothering me since I got here (I’m guessing the combination of something blooming that I’m allergic to and the general dryness), but this was a different kind of annoyance. I’m guessing that because several of my kiddos have perpetual runny noses, I was the lucky recipient of some of those germs. On Friday I even had my littlest one (who is usually covered in some combination of snot and porridge) fall asleep on me during the movie, which probably didn’t help things. Anyways – I was congested more than I expected so I didn’t get the best night’s sleep (and neither did my roommate, Sorry Meko!). I wasn’t about to let that stop me from enjoying Zanzibar though.