Zanzibar & Tanzania!
Dar Es Salaam is a multicultural city tucked into a natural harbor on the shores of the Indian Ocean. This was the first stop of our seminar tour, and we were greeted with such unsurpassed hospitality it has made me question my own houseguest routine, which is basically inflating the blow up mattress and pointing at the fridge.
Dr. Ava and I at the Sea Cliff Hotel, Ava about to lecture to a room full of business people about improving their love lives!
People balancing things on their heads never gets old for me, which either means it’s a really foreign concept, or I’m very immature.
Ava decided that we should take a boat to get there and then fly out the next day to catch our flight to get back to business. We both get a bit pukey on boats, but hey, what’s a little nausea when you’re going to Zanzibar?
We didn’t care that they took the whole two dollars for one bottle of water when the price for everyone else was seventy-five cents.
We sat next to a nurse from Hawaii who is in Tanzania on a two-year contract healing people “in the middle of nowhere,” as she put it. She was headed to Zanzibar for a 3-day African music festival, and gave us the lowdown on what types of illnesses come through her doors as a medical practitioner in the bush. Mostly dehydration, parasitic worms and common infections. Good times!
Then we spotted the shore line. Wow, there was going to be a whole lot more to this place than just being the birthplace of Freddy Mercury.
Arriving in Zanzibar, our fabulous Tanzanian host Stephi picked us up as she was there for the day checking in our her baby, a beautiful year-old restaurant called 6 Degrees South (because they’re 6 degrees south of the equator) where we sat on the rooftop patio and watched the sun go down.
Note the pancake with chocolate on it awaiting fresh banana slices from this friendly guy – then he puts another pancake on top and fries the hell out of it on that big round skillet. Heaven, people!
We were also treated to the coolest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. Forgive me if I ramble on about The Jafferji House, but I’ve never seen a boutique hotel with this much, style, artwork and authenticity. Here’s the front door, a beckoning oasis from the chaos of the streets of Stone Town.
The courtyard outside our rooms.
Keyhole cut-outs between restaurant booths offer the perfect combination of public and private. I know I sound like a travel brochure, but I am sparing you about a hundred more detail pictures of this place. The rooms were SO cool with traditional African art everywhere you look, beaded doorways, and of course mosquito netting on the beds which looks so romantic.
It’s hard to believe that we ever left this hotel, but there were other things to see in Zanzibar. We checked out the space for the Busara Music Festival, enclosed by ‘The Fort,’ an very old wall that the Omani Arabs built back at the end of the 1600’s. You can see one turret on the far left. The festival was starting the next day, and people were arriving in droves.
But I really enjoyed seeing the sugar cane everywhere and the cool machines that squeeze it into juice. Violet would have LOVED to have fresh sugar juice!
British missionary and African explorer David Livingstone was appalled by the treatment of African people and made it his business to lobby the Sultans of Zanzibar (and many other political figures) to get slavery abolished, a feat which was finally realized in 1873.
On this site now there is an Anglican church to honor Livingstone, and the altar of the church stands exactly where the ‘whipping post’ tree once stood. Further, when Livingstone died in Zambia, his body was shipped home to England, except for his heart which was removed and buried under a tree in Zambia, as he had requested. The wood from that tree was used to make the cross pictured here. Heavy shit, man!