Saturday, May 24, 2008

Like a Cheeseburger in Paradise


Greetings again from the amazing paradise that is Zanzibar! We had no idea how amazing this place would be before we arrived. After experiencing a couple days here, I'm glad I didn't waste much time trying to envision Zanzibar before because I could never have imagined a place so incredible. Palm trees litter the countryside like wildflowers while the city of Stone Town teems with African, Arabic, and Indian culture. I could a spend another month here.

Today started with a trip out to sea. We had the opportunity to spend the morning snorkling or scuba diving in some of the most picturesque enviornments imaginable. Most people who know me and my passion for the beach and everything Jimmy Buffet would be surprised to find out that I am not actually scuba certified, so I ended up with the snorkling group. I was not disappointed. We traveled by johnboat about 2 miles to Prison Island, a little speck of paradise off the mainland. Before even setting foot in the water, we visited a tortoise sanctuary where we fed 400 pound tortoises spinach while posing for some hilarious pictures. Afterwards, we headed out to snorkel around a beautiful reef, teeming with colorful fish, coral, and other creatures that only the biology professors could name. Connor and I made a game of who could find more colorful starfish to bring to the surface and place on unsuspecting swimmers. After an hour or so in the water, we headed back to Stone Town for lunch. The scuba divers went on two dives in which they came face to face with a Lionfish and exploring a shipwreck dating back to 1904. I need to get certified.

Our afternoon consisted of free time which we spent lounging on the beach or exploring the inner reaches of Stone Town. Some of the girls (I won't tell any names) went to get henna tattoos (a non-permanent style of tattoo) drawn disceretely on their feet so as to avoid the wrath of internship employers. I joined a few others for a sunset walk on the beach, only to stumble upon the local Zanzibar Brothers Acrobatics group practicing their flips and Brazilian dance fighting moves on the beach. One of the boys named Abu (who carried a monkey named Cobra on his shoulder) offered us the chance to join the practice session. Chad and I stepped forward and spent the next 30 minutes learning Jenga moves and doing cartwheels, kicks, and handstands. I stayed a little longer and learned how to do a flip off of a tire they used like a trampoline. It was awesome. We are going back tomorrow to learn more. After a refreshing shower (since I was covered in sand from the failed flip attempts in between the successful landings), we headed to Mtoni Marine restaurant where we enoyed a candle lit dinner on the beach to the tune of waves of the Indian Ocean crashing gently on the beach. Life cannot get much better.

[Editor's Note: There should be no concerns about Chris' health. He is back to full speed, as you can read here.]

1 comment:

mom lecraw said...

Chris' mom says thank you for the update. He will miss the June 5 Buffett concert but his parents and brothers have seats in row 5. :)