WH Chronicle No. 1. 33

April 3, 2010

The family has returned safely from Zanzibar.  Their adventures are revealed below.  It took me a day to become accustomed to the quiet, but with teaching Tom's and my classes, I was rarely home.

I started attending an early-early morning martial arts class.  Did I mention that Tanzanians can see in the dark?  All I can see is their big smiles lighting the way. They are also able to keep up with the fastest animals in the Serengeti.  I was so sore after the first day, but too embarrassed to limp while teaching class--mostly because the martial arts instructor is one of my students. I managed to walk normally up and down the stairs, but I was crying on the inside.   When we went on a two hour run Saturday, the person assigned to me was hopping sideways, backwards, and walking on their hands while I was moving at the rate of a Tanzanian grandma carrying a 75lb bale of hay on her head.   Each time one of the students would run past me, they would congratulate me--I think this was for not dying on their watch.    Daryl and Sam were attending the martial arts class prior to their Zanzibar trip and all of us, including Carolyn, will be exercising next week until we depart for Kenya--to perform Beethoven, Bach, and Stravinsky with the Nairobi Symphony.

"I get my exercise acting as pallbearer to my friends who exercise."  ~Chauncey Depew

Turning to our field correspondant: Tom
The second trip to Zanzibar was more about "beach time" than actual culture/tourism. Also, whoever said getting there is half the fun never road twelve hours in a Coaster (medium sized bus) over Tanzanian roads. The kids were real troopers most of the time. They were equipped with road sickness medicine, motion sickness patches and enough mother figure types to satisfy  almost all their ailments. That doesn't mean we didn't stop at least four times for the attempt at throwing up or pooping or whathaveyou.
Anyway, arrive we did and had four glorious days of sightseeing, seafood tasting and BEACH! We tried to interject some culture into the week with trips to the Anglican Church, sight of the original slave market, tour through Stone Town with the ubiquitous doors and tourist shops, spice tour etc. But the water called more frequently. We snorkeled off Prison Island, swam with dolphins off the southern coast and generally enjoyed the warmth of Zanzibar.
Returning to Dar, we stayed two nights in a resort close to the beach where the kids and I took advantage of a day off to visit the local waterpark. Fiesta Texas has nothing to worry about as far as competition from this place, but the slides were fun. The water was a scary sort of green, certainly not enhanced by the sight of children peeing beside the pool. But we stayed all day and washed extra carefully when we got back to the hotel.
Saturday was a travel day with another twelve hours on the bus. I am so sore I told Daris I am quite content not to go on any more trips anywhere. However, we have already committed to play with the Nairobi Symphony next week so we will be back on the road Wednesday, in a car this time, headed for Kenya.
Stay tuned for updates!

North Shore Zanzibar
Bathing beauties abound!
Sam at his snorkeling best. Beware the "squishies"! Jellyfish, that is.
Wakawaka, the pet vervet monkey drinking a Sprite.
Giant tortoises on Prison Island
I don't think the tortoises (or the tourists) speak English
Dolphins five feet away!

Family night at the circus--that's Daryl!  The clown was trying to get Sam to go with him, but Daryl rescued our frightened Sam by going in his place.  The clown and Daryl are playing dueling djembes.

Little did we know it would be all OUR family in the circus!  Tom is playing 'air guitar'.
"I had a friend who was a clown.  When he died all his friends went to the funeral in one car."
Stephen Wright

Remember that 'family vacation' is an oxymoron,

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