Last Sunday, we had our last village visit. Just like all of the other village visits, it was different than what we expected, but in a good way. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by a group of Masai women who were singing and dancing all around us. It was apparent that they were very excited to have us there!
After being served some chapatti and doughnuts as we waited, the service started with the Masai girls choir singing. I must say, their choir might have been a bit better than ours! Don't get me wrong, we did a great job, but they were amazing! Afterwards, a lot of us said if they put on a concert, we would definitely pay to see them again! The service also included some baptisms. There were about seven people, ranging in age from infant to 18 years. Throughout the baptism, the girls choir sang as well. It was a really cool experience and I'm glad we got to witness it!
After the service concluded, an auction was held for a couple of chickens and other small items. As a class, we bought two of the chickens and donated them back to a family from the village. A couple of us had to hold the chickens as the auction carried on, so that was a new experience for some people!
Once the auction concluded, we packed up the van and headed to Dar for the night, because we had to catch the ferry the next morning to head to Zanzibar! Before the ferry left, we had a little bit of time to spare, so we went to the Tanzania National Museum. It was interesting to learn some more history about the country and see some really cool artifacts.
While on the ferry, we got our first taste of the hot Zanzibar sun! A few people got pretty burnt, but it turned out that it was just the beginning. Once we arrived on the island, we checked into our hotel and headed out to do some shopping. I think a lot of people really enjoyed the shops and bought a lot of good items! After spending too much money, we headed to the pier for supper. There were a bunch of separate booths set up with fresh fish. Each person had to choose what type of seafood they wanted and then they would grill it right there. There were so many options! Some of them included shrimp, kingfish, shark, lobster, marlin, barracuda, and many others! A couple of people also discovered a delicious pizza stand that seemed to be the big hit.
The next day, we had to opportunity to visit the old Sultan’s Palace. It was very big and the furniture, chandeliers, and paintings were amazing! Some of the intricate carving on some pieces of furniture was unbelievable. Also that day, we visited a slave museum. Zanzibar used to be a huge port for the slave trade, so there is a lot of history there in that regard. We went into two very small underground rooms that were used to house slaves before they were sold. Apparently they fit 50-75 people in each room, but we were having problems getting all 15 of us to fit! Next to the slave museum was a huge Anglican church with beautifully carved doors and amazing stained glass windows. We got a short tour of the inside, then headed out to begin our spice tour. Zanzibar is also known for its spices and there are spice farms located all around the island. We drove to one farm and had the opportunity to see how a bunch of spices, including cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and many others we hadn’t heard of before, are grown. Throughout the tour, we were encouraged to try some of the spices. Some were good, but others were super strong! At the end of the tour, we got to try some teas and tropical fruits before buying spices for ourselves. By looking at all of the spices we bought, we should be able to cook some really good meals when we get home! J
For supper, we returned to the market to try the pizza that a couple of people had been raving about the night before. I have decided that it is now my new favorite food. It was simply amazing! They mix all of the ingredients together, including an egg, mayonnaise, cheese, “spice” (?), and whatever other toppings you would like, before frying it on some dough. Like I said, it was one of the best things I have ever tasted. Some of us might be trying to duplicate it at home, but I’m not sure it will be the same!
The next day, Wednesday, we headed to the beach!! As soon as we arrived, we had a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean and perfectly white sand. Our first activity was to go snorkeling. While it took some getting used to for those of us who had never done it before, it was an amazing experience and the water was perfect except for some small waves. It is hard to describe, but the water ranged in color from turquoise to green to almost white.
After snorkeling, we had the rest of the day to relax on the beach and do whatever we wanted. By this point, most of us been burnt, so it was a lot of sitting under the roof while reading, but it was still nice to look at the ocean and the beautiful views. That night, we saw the most amazing stars ever! The sky was filled with bright stars and we had fun pointing out certain constellations, such as the Southern Cross and the big dipper. Also, we had a bonfire on the beach. It was cool to hear the ocean in the background and look up to see the big and bright stars. We also got to roast some chocolate marshmallows! We wanted to make smores, but the chocolate marshmallows were the closest we got to having all of the necessary supplies.
The next morning, we went to a different location for some more snorkeling, and then sadly had to say goodbye to the beach. It was beautiful and a wonderful time, but we had to begin our long journey home at that time. After leaving the beach, we headed straight to the ferry. The first ferry ride was quite smooth, but the one headed back to Dar was just the opposite. It was very windy that day, so the waves were fairly big and the ferry was rocking all over the place! For most people, they simply took some Dramamine and fell asleep, but for a couple of us, it was fun to stay awake and feel like we were on a roller coaster!
Once we got to Dar, we ate our last supper in Tanzania at a good restaurant. After our meal, we had to say some really sad goodbyes to Kadeghe and Pastor Herb. While we know Pastor Herb will be in Waverly again, we are all hoping that Kadeghe is able to make it back to the US at some point to see us again! After supper, we boarded our first flight that brought us here to Amsterdam! Most of us slept a lot on that flight, so now we are just relaxing and waiting the 5 hours until our next flight leaves! Technically, we have a really short flight, because we leave at about 1:30 and should arrive around 3:30. So it is only going to be two hours long, right?! One can only hope… J
Thanks to everyone who has been reading our blog throughout the trip! I would also like to give a special shout-out and thank you to Matt Dahle (my brother) for updating the blog when the internet here was not being cooperative! It was nice to just be able to send the text home and have it updated from there!
We are excited to come home and share all of our stories and pictures with all of you. See you in a few hours!