Holy cow, I’m in Africa! The hour ride from the Zanzibar airport to the hotel was sensory overload. A busy street full of speeding cars, bicycles, ox drawn carts and people dashing about. Women in colorful dresses and head scarves. Cows tied up in front of houses, chickens and goats running freely.
My taxi was stopped at two checkpoints en route to the hotel. One checkpoint was just two random dudes on the side of the road with neon green vests. The other was a bit fancier with two barrels with a stick laid across. “What are they here to enforce anyway?” I wonder as we sped by.
Nearing the hotel, we pulled off the paved road onto a bumpy, dirt road. We weaved through a tiny village, and I felt like an intruder. The village was basically one dirt road with very simple cement or mud houses in varying degrees of decay, a couple food markets, and two questionable looking restaurants. Men sat idly in the shade, avoiding the heat , and staring at us as we made our way down the dirt road. Why was I in this village and where were we going anyway? I had no address for my hotel, simply the hotel name and village name, but the driver said he knew where it was.
A little disappoint sunk in when I finally arrived at the hotel. My tropical paradise wasn’t quite the paradise I had hoped for. The ‘lovely beach’ was at low tide most of the day making it look more like a desert than a beach with stranded boats, local women gathering seaweed, children playing in the tidepools. Sure it was beautiful, but given the sweltering heat I desperately wanted to jump in the ocean….without walking the length of 4 football fields. White girl problems, I know.
Later while sitting on the sand waiting for the tides to come back in, I was attacked by a gang of 3 and 4 year olds. They lured me in with tickles and ring-around-the-rosey. Then they held my hand following me down the beach refusing to leave. I’m going to invite them to my birthday party tomorrow night.