Flutterbies

There is a local Butterfly Garden here. In an effort to preserve the forests, they encourage local farmers to collect the chrysalises of butterflies native to the area. The farmers then sell the pupas to the Butterfly Garden where visitors pay an admission fee to see the butterflies. The farmers make money, the forest is preserved, and I get to see pretty butterflies. Everyone wins.


A few photos from the Sauti za Busara Parade

We are enjoying the Sauti za Busara Music Festival. It is a 4 day music festival with bands from all around Africa. Before the first day of performances, there was a brief parade through town.

Angi and I knew the parade was happening, and once we heard it start, we scurried across town (a ten minute walk) to find where we thought it would be. There was no map of the parade route, so we used our skills of deduction.

We found it!


So typical…

Here we sit in a fort in Zanzibar listening to a woman from the Seychelles (who currently lives in Australia) sing All Night Long by Lionel Richie in French.


Friends

A few weeks ago I did family portraits for some of our friends. We went to Forodhani Gardens for the photo shoot as the sun was starting to set. The Garden was filled with people, and when people saw some white guy taking serious photos (telling people where to sit and stand, ordering the family around, kneeling down, etc.) the chattering began. People wondered who the white guy with the camera was, and why this family was special…


Royal Cliff Zanzibar

Our friend (and Angi’s former Swahili teacher) Alwiya introduced us to a relative of hers who owns a resort here in Zanzibar. Alwiya asked if I would help her relative (Eddy) improve the website and brochure of the website, and I happily agreed.

Here are a few photos from a little over a week ago.


Our First Cup Final

Angi and I just got back from our first ever Cup Final.

It was the final match of the Mapinduzi Cup held here in Zanzibar. As you know (right?) Mapinduzi is the Swahili word for Revolution and refers to the Revolution that freed Zanzibar from outside control in 1964. So January 12th here is a little bit like 4th of July in America.

Anyways, the Mapinduzi Cup is the main soccer cup (tournament) played on the island and we were able to go to the championship match this evening.

Also, as you of course know, the game was between Simba (red and black uniforms and horrible font for numbers of the jerseys) vs Azam (blue uniforms).

There are no pictures – for a very good reason.

We went to the game with our good friend Archibold (yes, that is how he spells it), who is a Tanzanian. We parked the car somewhere safe and walked across the street to the stadium. We had VIP tickets (the highest quality seats we could buy – each ticket set us back 10.000 Tanzania Shillings – the equivalent of $4.60). When we got to the stadium, there was a long line for the VIP entrance. Archibold told us to follow him and we went straight to the front of the line. He spoke to a police officer and asked that we be allowed to cut the line. And the officer agreed.

The reason? (and the reason that I did not take any cameras) We skipped the line to ensure that we were safe and that no “funny business” happened. We felt completely safe, but for some reason we stand out in a group of a couple of thousand Tanzanians. I think it may be my shoes.

We sat on seats with no backs, right near midfield, about 5 rows up. And the President of Zanzibar walked right by us – if not for the dozens of police and guards with BIG weapons, I could easily have risked my life and tried to give him a high five. (He didn’t even look at us, so maybe we do not stand out as much as I thought.)

And I could tell you about the game, but I know that you all watched it live on television – but in case you forgot, I will remind you that Azam (the team I was cheering for) beat Simba (the team Angi was cheering for) 1-0.


Where we spend our time

One of my favorite things to do is sit at an outdoor cafe, eating good food, with a refreshing drink, and watching people go by.

We have found just such a place in Zanzibar. The food is great (and verrrrry affordable for us because it is priced for locals.) The juice is freshly made. And the owners and workers are really good people. In the past 2+ weeks (they just expanded their menu about a month ago), since we got invited to try their food (the owners know the owners of our apartment), we have been at Ma Shaa Allah easily 25 times. Sometimes it is for coffee (for Angi) and juice, sometimes for the best Biryani on the island, sometimes for ice cream or a smoothie, and sometimes just because. We wholeheartedly recommend this wonderful restaurant.

In the picture, Angi is in “Her” seat…that is “Our” table. 🙂


Santa!


Angi wanted a special birthday

We went for breakfast at a local place where the owner is our friend and the cook is amazing. She (the cook) brought Angi birthday cake with whipped cream and chocolate sauce for breakfast.

So that was special.

But then as we were walking back from market we got to see something very special.

Someone stole a car in market and tried to race away. But crowds and traffic made that impossible. A police officer with a serious rifle chased after the car on foot as the car struggled to make progress and barely missed hitting dozens of people and many vehicles.

The officer caught up to the car and fired his rifle in to the air twice. The car started to drive off again, so the officer shot the back tire. And still the car tried to continue.

By now there were hundreds of people around the scene so my view became blocked (mob violence is the response to many crimes like this in Tanzania and Angi and I do not need to be involved in that) but we could hear the officer fire four more shots at the car.

Then we saw the driver get pulled out of the car. About half the crowd converged on the car and the other half took off running. So we also hurried away, with a few Tanzanians making sure we had clear passage.

The day is only halfway through, but I am not sure how we will top that one.


I got credit for performing a miracle

Normally I ride a dala dala home from school.

(A dala dala is a passenger van that is used as an inexpensive taxi service. Dala Dalas are packed tight, there is usually little air flow, and the drivers have a reputation for being risk takers, but it only costs me 13 cents for a 20 minute ride).

However, yesterday I gave my midterm exam and thus had about 90 essays to bring home, with each essay being completed in a 16 page booklet. So they were heavy and a bit inconvenient.

I contacted my friend Archibold and asked him to pick me up. He agreed. He had taken his car to get a repair done earlier in the day, so he arrived in a friend’s car.

Archibold got out of the car to greet me and closed the door… With the car running… And the keys locked inside!

So we tried the doors. None opened. We tried the trunk. It was locked. The windows were all rolled up.

So he called the owner of the car to have him bring the extra keys. It turns out the extra keys and the owner’s house keys were in the car. The locked car.

So again we tried the doors. Still locked.

So I start pushing on the door frame of the driver’s door… And all of a sudden it opened!

Archibold immediately gave me credit for performing a miracle.

Does anyone have Pope Francis’ telephone number?