So Zanzibar sounds exotic hey. Well the first thing you have to deal with is the differences culturally. They say that this is the place where cultures meet and it is an apt description. This is a predominately Muslim part of the country. Passing by schools you see primary aged boys in pale yellow shirts and blue pants, whilst the girls wear the corresponding yellow hijab. For the upper levels it appears that this then changes to white…maybe they think they can keep them cleaner but I think there may be other reasons.
The main road here is made except for a few bumpy pot holes here and there and then the sides of the roads merge into their dirt surroundings. There’s no footpaths, so this dirt then merges into tiny rectangular boxes with tin rooves that form the shops and buildings. Wooden makeshift tables some with plastic bag tarps proudly display the fruits of the season along with the catch of the day…ice who needs it?
Health concerns may seem a problem here but then again there’s no cake shops, bakeries and fast food stores. Everything that you eat has been grown, harvested, killed or collected …true paleo style and the effort that’s gone into obtaining it can be huge so any calories consumed are absolutely worked off.
Cyclists can be seen carrying bags of the fish back home or struggling with heavy duty bags dangling off a carry all that’s meant for a person. Women walk laden with bags both in their hands and on their heads and mini buses crammed with people zig zag around motor bikes and carts pulled by a variety of animals.
OHS is non existent here. Helmets don’t exist or if they do are in such a condition that they won’t save anyone. When mini vans are full, people just step up on the ledge at the rear of the van and hold on, and small wooden boats are seen buzzing past with one persons job being to continually empty the boat of water using a small bucket(had to laugh at the Mr Bean named boat that looked like it couldn’t empty the water fast enough)
Further out of town, walking and cycling become the norm. The dirt sidewalks are replaced by overgrown vegetation and sustainable foods such as banana and coconut trees. Women and men plough the fields by hand using trowels that have been crudely made and the home made brick house is interspersed with tree log structures tied together and packed full of wet clay which has dried and made the walls of the building.
And yet once you get used to it, it’s interesting. This is life. It’s how people live and from the outside it seems to be ‘richer’ than many of the Zimbabweans we saw. How you measure the worth of a people’s day though is not for us to judge. What you do always think though in being in places like this is how lucky we are and how we get bogged down with issues that other people would dream of having. It’s always about perspective and it’s a great part of travelling.
Perspective was thrust in our face again when we reached Blue Bay, some one hour later. There was a large high white wall and metal gates. At the gate, a security person signed in the vehicle including rego number. You then drove through and down a path where another security guard decided whether to open his gate to let you through.
All along the driveway were neatly manicured gardens consisting of tropical plants and lawns. Arriving at reception, you walked into a big open, fan cooled space that looked through onto the pool and ocean. A friendly little man (almost the first we’d met) gave us a concoction that he was very proud of as a welcome drink (I say he was friendly but the drink tasted like he was trying to poison us…never tasted anything quite like it before…full of spices)
We were taken to our room (number 216) which is set back from the beach but on the upper level. Therefore through our large window and on our balcony you can see through to the beach. We spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the resort, learning how it all works and vegging by the pool. Life’s tough…for the people on the other side of the gate!