Friday, May 23, 2008

Next, me!


Today was one of my favorite days of the entire trip. We woke up early and checked out of our first hotel and rechecked in at the Tembo House Hotel down the street. Originally, the THH didn't have enough free rooms for us to stay the first night. We had to wait a day while more opened up; it was no big deal at all!

After checking in, students loaded in our routine fashion onto the buses. These buses would carry the students to a spice farm for a quick tour. Another smaller van at the hotel was packed with three student volunteers accompanied by Dr. Gauthreaux and Dr. Moshi. This van traveled to the local police station to pay a courtesy call to show our appreciation for keeping us safe while in Zanzibar. The police chief accepted our thanks and comforted us saying, "Zanzibar. Very safe. No problems here... But always stay in groups. Always." Very reassuring? Upon leaving the police station, our van left to meet the rest of the group at the spice tour. Here, common spices such as lemon grass, cinnamon, and black pepper are grown. One highlight of our tour was watching a local man climb a 30 foot palm tree to cut down coconuts. He paused mid climb to sing and dance and put on a show. "Say 'Hello Mzungus'", he would shout. "Hello!" We would reply. He cut down coconuts for us all and we drank the milk from them. He then told us that coconut milk worked similar to Viagra.
The spice tour was the only official business of the day. After lunch, students enjoyed their free time on the island. The beautiful waters served as a great background for some reading catch up work. Around 5, I was sitting on the beach with 5 other students, Connor and I watched as local children took turns burying each other in the sand. It wasn't long before he and I were kneeling down on the ground helping bury the next boy. Eventually we were all in the ocean throwing the children like cannonballs. Word quickly spread, and there was a line of children all claiming "next, me. Next, me." It was one of the greatest moments of the trip. For 15 minutes race, culture, nationality, and language all fell away. The only thing that mattered was how high you could go. The only thing that mattered was fun. It was a good day.

1 comment:

Jan LeCraw said...

Reminds me of working at a school in Quito last summer - playing with children can leap right over the language hurdles! Glad to get a CLCSU from someone's Blackberry.