Last stretch

September 27th, 2010 § 0 comments

It’s the last couple of days of travel. Wendell’s family of nine has rented a beach villa on Zanzibar, Tanzania. It’s a nice finish to wake up when the sun rises and to sleep soon after it sets. This sleep pattern is something I don’t anticipate doing when I get to Sydney. Chaos awaits but I’m happy for it.

Tanzania, like Egypt, is very interesting. Women are relegated to the house or do menial cleric or cleaning work. I haven’t seen any women in strong positions, during my trips anyway. I hope I’m wrong about this. It’s odd because even though borders are just lines in the sand, when you step over to Kenya, women are more confident, have stronger positions in society and the country seems to benefit from this.

In Zanzibar, children roam the beaches in gangs and bang on the back gates. The youngest are two year olds that are prodded by their elders to say “Jambo (hello is Swahili). Money.” They pull at your clothes and ask for watches and shoes, anything their eyes see.

Twenty or so children stood and gawked at us while we were in the swimming pool of the villa.

It’s an odd feeling, towards this poverty. On one end, I feel like I’ve done my part by giving shoes and stationary to orphanages and eating at places that benefit the local community. For the first time, I feel extremely mixed up because the children are so disrespectful, so rude, towards tourists, something I’ve never encountered before. I wanted a holiday from my holiday, something calm and uninterrupted and if I was completely honest, it was hard to achieve with these intrusions. On the other, more stronger side, I feel guilty about being slightly pudgy when they’re all skin and bones, I feel guilty that I have the luxury of learning to dive in a chlorinated pool while these wild children with nothing to do but plenty to yell, look on.

It’s such an odd feeling.

It’s not all doom and gloom. Good things are happening here. I met a beautiful Sri Lankan woman that is related to my mother’s side in five different ways. Patricia and her husband are running a restaurant and clinic in Zanzibar.


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