Archive for January 2011

zanzibar :: starfish

To give you some perspective on our environs, I thought I’d share some of the images of where we stayed, the Starfish Restaurant and Bungalows. On the way from Stonetown to Jambiani, the road is wild at first. Cluttered with people, bikes, cars, and buses. I used to get nervous watching the road, thinking I or someone else was going to die. But then, I started to notice the flow of all the people and vehicles. And somehow, just like in life, things work out.

Once you get out of town, there is a stretch of road that is my favorite place. Mango trees create a shady canopy that is so beautiful. Finally, after all these years, I was able to ask the driver to stop for a couple of minutes, so I could create an image of it.

After an hour or so, we arrived at our home base in Jambiani. The food was great and the view from the bungalow couldn’t be beat. Seriously, we were about 30 feet from the ocean. As a result, the hammock was almost always occupied…

Every morning we were served fresh eggs (everything is organic and local), fresh fruit, a glorious glass of passion fruit mango juice (with a hint of ginger), and tea. Lunch and dinner was anything from the most amazing tomato soup to calamari, lobster or coconut crusted fish to samosas. Delicious every time.

zanzibar :: stone town

Stone Town is the hub of Zanzibar. A busy commuter airport (well, they call it international, but it’s tiny) greets tourists on a daily basis. In town, the port is home to ships and ferries from the mainland. It’s a happening place with great food, hawkers, little shops, and taxis. Built as an ancient Arabic city with tiny alley ways, you can easily get lost within minutes of leaving your hotel for the first time. In no time, you’ll come across little kids playing soccer in the street or being mischievous in some way.

We only stayed in Stone Town for two nights before heading to the beach. And that was plenty of time to experience the things that I missed. In particular, there is a seaside park, Forodhani Gardens, that hosts street vendors in the evening. Rows and rows of fresh grilled fish, Zanzibar pizza, fresh pressed cane juice, and other goodies. Over the years, this food fest has become more formalized and popular, but it’s still an amazing experience to be at a park, next to the ocean, eating fresh seafood under the stars.

Before we headed to the Gardens, we watched hoards of kids jump off the seawall into the ocean below. It’s a nightly ritual and a delight to watch. Some just jump, but others have some pretty fancy maneuvers before hitting the water. The whole atmosphere is a crazy, fun energy that made me just want to jump in too!

As I wandered the streets those two days, it was difficult not to get pulled in by a little shop keeper to see his products. Pretty much all the stores are the same and I randomly choose which one to go in. There are piles of wooden statues, jewelry from the Maasai and paintings packed into these tiny spaces. I managed to leave this time without too much stuff that I already had at home – and trust me, that’s an accomplishment.

zanzibar :: a walk in the village

The slow editing process has started. I brought both my film and digital bodies and shot a mix of films (some C41 BW and some true BW). Since the C41 BW are quick and I can develop them anywhere, I have them back already and was excited to post a few (or 10, but who’s counting?). Since I tend to work in small bites, I’ll be posting a series of visual stories over the next couple of weeks. Please comment on your favorite images or if you have any questions about what you see.

This series of images are from a walk in Jambiani village near the neighborhood where Karl and I lived in 2001. Since that time, the village has grown and things have changed a little. But not much. There are still goats running around, ducks waddling in rows, piles of stones waiting to make a house, and children wanting their picture taken. Lucky for me, right?

There was a soccer game about to be played and these kids were waiting for the opposing team to arrive.  It was fun to watch these kids run around, be goof balls, and hang from the trees like monkeys. Kids will be kids, no matter where in the world you live.

And then there are things that I came across that made me chuckle. Not because I haven’t seen it before. But because it’s completely normal to them and something we would never see here in Madison, Wisconsin. A tuna, riding on the back of bicycle, watching the soccer game unfold.