Monday, March 8, 2010

oops...a little late

Sooo, I actually wrote this post 5 days ago, when we were on the ferry to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, but I never got to transcribe until today! Zanzibar internet is hella expensive, so this was the first time I used it. Since the post we literally haven't done ANYTHING, except walk from our room, to the beach, to the restaurant. Encompassing a radius of about 100 feet. Today I ventured a little further though (about 2km down the beach) to cheap internet! The weather is delicious, the water is clear, and I have nothing to complain about. As for the post I was going to write:

I am writing right now from the Indian Ocean (to be transcribed to the blog later) aboard a ferry to the island of Zanzibar. It has been a sweltering 4 days since leaving the IDP camp- and the beach is in sight! Well, not yet, but hopefully by the time these words make it to the internet. Last night was horrendously hot, a humid heat that I have not felt in a long time. Even in Costa Rica it cooled off at night, but not in Dar es Salaam. Like the fitful sleep of a fever, I woke up many times praying for it to be morning. My solution was to soak my travel towel in water, lay it on the tile floor, and lie sandwiched between it and my equally water-soaked bandana. Though there was a ceiling fan, the stale back-alley-air brought no avail to the heat. Lesson learned- splurge on the A/C room.

We were both excited to find air conditioning in the VIP (read: foreign) section of the Zanzibar ferry, after walking around in a heat-induced stupor for the past 24 hours. It also has given me a chance to collect my thoughts and write this- of which I should have written many days ago. I always find that the further along I get in a trip, the harder communication becomes- especially when moving around a lot! And when sporadic electricity comes into play.

We left Ebenezer and Kikopey a week ago Saturday afternoon. Both ready and anxious to see our efforts becoming a reality- I think the parting was bitersweet. Ben's house was nearly complete when we left (save for the door and the floor), Robin's water project was beginning Monday, and my plans for a community center should have started on Thursday (see bottom for full project details and donation money spent). The night before we left we took John and Samuel out for some roast goat meat and beers at Nyama Choma, and I realized that I would actually miss these hilarious guys a lot. Both inspiring, funny, and so incredibly motivated, they make me believe that change is possible. But again, they are only two people. There are a handful of other equally inspiring people at Ebenezer that can hopefully keep the progress rolling after we all have left. But in truth, only time will tell. I began reading "The Challenge for Africa" while in my final week at the camp, and it made me reconsider the historical complexities of many of the issues we faced. Written by Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, if you're interested in the effects of colonialism and missionaries on the African psyche- check it out!

After leaving the camp we went to Nakuru for the night and splurged on a nice bed, ice cream, and cookies. Quite a celebration! Then we booked it to Nairobi, stayed the night at a cute backpacker place, and got on the train to Mombasa. The overnight train was much like The Darjeeling Limited- reminiscent in a kitch way of colonialism-meets-African-bush. We got a sleeper car (something I can't afford in the US!) with dinner and breakfast... and the train moved so slowly that we could hang out the window and animal spot all night! We even saw a giraffe silhouette... pretty sweet.

Well, my time has run out on the internet, but I will write about Zanzibar at a later date!

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