On a prolonged ferry trip to a small, isolated island named Pemba, watching the Indian ocean unfold before you, one feels compelled to stare out at the sea. The peaceful deep blue expanse, with a solitary turquoise and white trailing into the horizon to mark where we came from, competing with the noises of children, families, people selling food or tying up their chickens. Mesmerized more by the sea than the people, I found myself singing to the ocean, a soundtrack to this trip i could never have anticipated:
Don't throw your barbie dolls in the ocean
There are more important things for them to do
.....They're going to come back to manipulate you.
Malibu beach party, how come I could never go?
Barbie you have it all together, how come you always know what to do?
This was actually a good precursor to the lull that occupies the mind and body in a 5 days existence of doing very little. What *is* the purpose of life, and is it *really* worth getting out of bed today? Such overindulgence is both restful and corrosive to the soul, with little to do
but sleep, eat and be eaten by bugs. We would occasional bring ourselves above water to make a trip to some of the best snorkeling in the world. We read books until i barely skimmed paragraphs for being so engrossed in the story that i could have written the words myself. We walked to the nearby rice field, just for something to fill the time.
Our next five days, on Zanzibar main island, was much more active - the town is difficult to describe, but a maze of winding unlabelled streets, with no view of the horizon or much of the sky, except when the town occasionally spits you out and you find yourself surrounded by the vast ocean on three sides. Do you enter back into the maze or do you instead stop for a coconut mango smoothie? Your mind is continually edging onto either claustrophobia or agoraphobia, your stomach delighting in every lost turn that finds a curried chapati or coconut curry. Buildings of coral stone reach the sky and are a continuous piecework of Islam, India and Swahili. It is both cohesive and disjointed. I highly recommend a visit.
In other news, after a 6
days struggle, by internet, phone and in person, we think we have successfully arranged a visa permit to get into Rwanda! It could not have come too soon - we have a letter in our hand from the Rwandan Embassy still hot off the presses and we leave in no less than 2 hours. With exalted relief, we now find the time and opportunity to connect with all of you! Thank you for joining us on our journey of Africa.
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