Archive for the on the road Category

zanzibar :: old friends and new friends

There are many reasons that we go halfway around the world on vacation. The great escape is nice, but so are the friends we have. Karl first met our friend Mbaraka in 1997 and we have gotten to know his family over the years. My conversations with his mother and grandmother are limited by my poor Swahili and consist of mainly of asking how my children are and their health.

Both Mbaraka’s mother and grandmother (“Bibi”) are amazing women of great strength. They work harder to make a living than most of us ever will.  Bibi often weaves the remnants of coconut husks to make rope.

Her strong hands can roll meters and meters so easily. When I try to do it, I can’t quite figure it out and it just makes a big mess.

One of my other good friends is Salma. Somehow we manage to communicate and can spend hours together. She’s taught me how to cook traditional dishes and I still make at home occasionally. During this most recent trip, she and her daughter taught my friend, Heidi, the same recipes. One of my future posts will share more of our time with Salma.

And no trip is complete without new friendships. There was the laid back bartender and the always happy cook. The courteous manager and the quiet kitchen staff.

One night, a few of the guys built a bonfire and were drumming and singing for hours. The Coca-Cola bottle made it feel like we were a part of one of their feel good commercials.

At one point, Karl called me from home to chat. Talk about a surreal moment – having a conversation on an iPhone sitting on the beach, while swaying to the music under the stars and at the edge of the Indian Ocean.

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.

10,000 miles in 36 hours

What a great trip to Zanzibar! I am still processing my trip mentally and amazingly, my jet lag is not that bad. I am thinking it has to do with the fact that I’ve survived the newborn days of two children!

Of the ten days we were there, only two were spent in town. The rest were at the beach in the village of Jambiani.  Here are some number facts from the trip…they’ll be more photos and stories coming.

  • 36  – number of hours to get there from doorstep to doorstep
  • 10,000 – number of miles one-way
  • 4 – modes of transportation required to get there
  • 1,400 – shillings to a dollar
  • 600 – cost in shillings of a Coke at a street stand
  • 15,000 – cost in shillings of a lobster dinner
  • 1,000 – cost in shillings that the policeman at the Paje traffic stop wanted as a bribe (plus a handful of chashews)
  • 45 – cost per night of a our beach bungalow (including breakfast)
  • 30 – number of feet that the Indian Ocean was from our bungalow
  • 1,600 – the number of images that I took (I think, I am still downloading…)