It’s a couple days after Christmas and Kelsey and I are at a resort on the East Coast of the Unguja island of Zanzibar. We spent two days in Stone Town experiencing the literally falling down buildings and plentiful shops. An average of six buildings collapse each year in Stone Town due to a combination of neglect and being made of limestone (thus the town’s name), which deteriorates when exposed to moisture.
This year, one of the largest and most famous buildings in town, the House of Wonders, had the back collapse because a toilet had been leaking for 10 years and was never fixed. Finally, the drip, drip deteriorated the limestone enough that the back of the building collapsed. In this photo, you can see the crane that is currently holding it up. Ahhh, Africa!
But now we are on the coast and it is absolutely gorgeous here with turquoise waters, white sands and tonight, a full moon. We are staying at a lovely small resort called Shooting Star. However, so as not to neglect the challenges, it’s also hot and humid and I’ve gotten thoroughly munched by a variety of bugs. I’m afraid my skin is not really cut out for this sort of paradise.
For Christmas, there was a band playing. After Kelsey headed off to bed, I danced a couple songs with some of the resort staff and was instantly bathed in sweat.
Female Sex Tourism
Zanzibar is known for its female sex tourism, meaning foreign women come here looking for African men. The reverse is not true, I gather, because the 90% Muslim population restricts the women too much to receive that sort of attention whereas it restricts men not at all (I highly recommend Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book Infidel about her Muslim upbringing in Africa).
The men seem primed for this sort of behavior and though I was only interested in dancing for a few minutes because it was Christmas and I like dancing, I quickly had a fellow gyrating suggestively in front of me. It was an interesting experience but I extricated myself, thanked him, and headed to bed (by myself). The fact is that most of the men only come up to my chin so I’ll need to wait until Holland opens up for female sex tourism (the Dutch are the tallest people in the world). It could be a long wait!
Diving Up a Storm
After having an amazing experience diving off of Mafia Island last week before Kelsey arrived, including snorkeling with whale sharks, I’m now diving off Zanzibar while Kelsey learns. She is finding it exhausting but she successfully completed her Open Water certification this afternoon. Yay!
The sea life here is not as plentiful as around Mafia but there is still a lot to see. Yesterday, at the end of my second dive, I saw a male and female frogfish. The guide insisted that the female was pregnant though how he could tell that, I have no idea. What incredibly odd looking creatures!
They are quite ugly and have a slightly human look to them around the mouth. To me, it’s a real treat to get up close and personal with such beings but I hope I don’t come back as a frogfish in my next life. I’m still a bit too vain for that!
Safari Njema (Safe Travels)
Our next stop will be our Northern safari and we are excited. However, a guest at this resort showed us the bites she got from the tse tse flies in Tarangire Park which is our first stop. They looked pretty serious, big welts with red circles around them, so we are on high alert and know not to wear the color blue or grey as it attracts them. This woman had not been informed and was wearing blue, immediately becoming a target for these huge, biting flies. I’m hoping we can dodge that bullet. Stay tuned!