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March 1st 2013
Published: March 1st 2013
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Zanzibar Island

Where Captain Fruit 'got us' !!

Additional maps: Iringa

Hello good people!!<span> I have been trying to blog for a while now, but limited internet access has been the death of me (plus the knobhead who robbed us last week took our internet credit too – grrr)<span>

Well we left Moshi two weeks ago after such an amazing time there.<span> As I explained in the last entry the project was rather challenging at times, both physically and mentally.<span> But we left on a real high, with so much getting completed and even some beautiful sprouting seedlings to take photos of as evidence of all our hard work!!<span> It was really sad to leave all our friends at Hostel Hoff, we met some great people and the group was more friendly, cohesive and more inclusive than we ever could have expected – it really was a family atmosphere!!!<span> But off we went on a jet plane emblazoned with a large yellow parrot and made our way to Zanzibar <span>😊<span> We took an overnight ferry, which suited us well actually as we didn’t then have to buy any accommodation for the night and got to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean… ahhh so lovely.<span> Although ironically in first class (oh yeah) the air conditioning was soooo damn cold that we had to hunt out our sleeping bags for warmth, even though outside on deck it was still about 30degrees!!!!<span> I think if the seats had been nicer we may have chanced it out under the stars!!!<span> As it, was our fancy leather chez long couches were just fine under a sleeping bag thank you!!<span>

Zanzibar was gorgeous, but unbelievably bloody hot!<span> After swanning around in rapturous bliss for the first few hours, taking in the sea, the beach, the people, the windey lanes and fab tour offers, we quickly descended into a hot, sweaty, delirious, arguing couple at around 2pm…. There’s just no shade at all!!!!! I swear its bad for your health!!<span> But we had such a great few days in Stonetown, just chilling and also doing a spice tour and a trip to the Jozani forest, where we were told we would see rare Red Columbus Monkeys (which we took with a pinch of ‘tour guide’ salt, expecting to perhaps catch a fleeting glimpse of Red in the distance) only to find we were literally walking among them, almost touching them! And they are really quite large!!<span> My special highlight was when our guide tapped me on the shoulder with a cheeky grin on his face and said (imagine a strong African accent) “look here”<span> points into a tree at two Monkeys energetically going at it …. “they have loooooove”.<span> <span> Absolutely cracked me up!<span> I dutifully aimed a camera at them and gave him the thumbs up <span>😊<span> we then went on to the east side of the Island to a really quiet and un-touristy place called Jambiani.<span> It was very beautiful and untouched.<span> There was a reef about 2miles out so it meant that the waves never broke through it properly and the bay was completely shallow for about a mile and half.<span> When the tide went out it went out the entire way and just left hundreds of rockpools in its place filled with starfish and hermit crabs – was great!<span> We practically did nothing for four days and just enjoyed the atmosphere…. Although sadly the one thing we did try to went horribly wrong and ended up with us fearing for our lives……<span> <span> We tried to go on a Dolphin tour, which are a must on the Island because they are so common and easy to swim with.<span> But sadly we were allured by a man on the beach called Captain Fish (seriously – why weren’t we suspicious?!) who promised us the earth and quite catastrophically didn’t deliver!!!<span> He said he would come with us so he could ensure the<span> day went smoothly, and that it would just be the three of us on the boat and that then we would go for a lovely breakfast and then off out again to the reef for some snorkeling – wonderful huh??<span> Well the morning came, and he just packed us, alone, in a stange taxi and then buggered off to Stonetown! We were the last to arrive on the beach and the last to get allocated a boat.<span> And of course we got the dodgy boat that went about half a mile an hour and was too rickety to even go very deep and was stuffed with a load of other people …. And we were so bloody slow that all the other boats were on their way back before we even got to the dolphin site… and so of course, we missed them!!!!!!<span> No damn dolphins, and then we stopped over some crumbly rocks and bit of old seaweed for our “reef snorkeling” (my air pipe thing didn’t even attach to my goggles and I think I only actually saw a sea cucumber anyway) and there was no breakfast!!!!!<span> Bad times.<span> The only highlight was that the boat man was so bad at English that we got out of paying him…. So that meant that we would have to endure a visit from the lovely Captain Fruit, which meant that I could tear him a new one and refuse to pay…. OR SO I THOUGHT!!!!<span> Basically to cut a long argument short,<span> he ended up refusing the half of the money that we said we would give him and then threatened us with blatent room robbery and possible machete murder if we didn’t give him the whole sum.<span> Well ok he didn’t actually say those words, but he very much implied it with a “I know where you live and I have friends” kind of spiel.<span> Fu*ing git, he even had the audacity to say ‘hakuna matata’ over his shoulder as he left with our Shillings.<span> BumHole!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<span>

So that was a bit poo, and almost marred our holiday, but we tried to forget about it and still enjoyed the rest of our time on the Island…. Even managed to blag a cheap deal home on another night ferry.<span> Maff was not happy about it at all, but the lady at the ticket office clearly likes volunteers (I unashamedly try to guilt people into giving us residency discounts wherever I can by flashing the volunteer permit) because she took way less money and gave us two genuine photocopies of some German resident visas and told us to hide our passports and speak with German Accents!!!!!<span> It was sooo funny, Maff refused to get too involved and busied himself with the bags whilst I performed a very good german act at customs and got us back into Tanzania with no hiccups <span>😊<span> very exciting <span>😊

But after one actually very pleasant night in Dar Es Salaam we left for Iringa in the South and are here now on another volunteer project.<span> We got off to a pretty bad start because we arrived on a Friday night and all the other volunteers in the house got really smashed and acted like crazy people and all got mugged… and then on the Sunday we also got pickpocketed on a Dalla Dalla coming home from an unsuccessful Town Centre reccy.<span> So we were well pissed off about that.<span> However, I think I gave Iringa too much stick on facebook because I have radically changed my tune now!! We really love it here!!!<span> The town in smaller than Moshi and nice and easy to figure out and manage<span> (well now, anyway!) and the projects are really great.<span> We have been going to a nursery school in the mornings and helping teach English and Swahili to little tots who are so cute and sing songs allllll the time (one of them is hilarious, they sing it as a whole class to other kids who get answers wrong and it goes Shame shame shame, you have a monkey in your brain and you are thick thick thick!!!!!!<span> Sooooo un-PC) and also they have the craziest little afro hairstyles – love them!!!<span> And then in the afternoons we go to a Christian Centre called FISCH, set up to help homeless street kids find school placements and get sponsored.<span> Its really amazing there and the vibe is just so friendly and inclusive.<span> We love it!!!<span> The area is beautiful too, covered in hills and mountains and very near two large national parks (it was great on the bus, basically a safari!!)<span> however, the volunteer house is, well, pretty rank!!!<span> Its filthy most of the time and has powercuts constantly and the toilet is just best not ever described.<span> Plus the beds are really short (maff is suffering) and creak like you wouldn’t believe, even if you are only breathing heavily.<span> Its grim, but all good experience I guess!!!!<span> Anyway, I really have rambled today, but there was so much to say!!!<span> We love and miss you lots and especially all those new babies that are either on the way, or just been born.<span> Take care everyone xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ps, Maff says ‘hmmmmmm’.

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