Saturday, March 29, 2008

Paradise Found

We came to the East Coast and Emma proclaimed, “This is my kind of vacation.” The green shallow waters extended for kilometers into the ocean. I tried walking out to the end of it, but 30-40 minutes later, I didn’t feel any closer and was getting monster-radiation from the sun, so turned back. It was very cool standing knee deep with green water almost reaching to the horizon. We’re on a super-long (maybe 2 miles?) white beach. Some of the sand is so fine it is almost the texture of baking soda.

I apologize for the whining in the last post, but to my defense we had been trying to order local cuisine with no luck. Most often, the kitchen simply didn’t have the seafood mentioned on the menu, and when they did, it was pretty abysmal. But we found out why. It’s the beginning of the rainy season, so for restaurants, it’s the start of the low season; they don’t keep their refrigerators stocked with beer, sprite, shrimp, fish, etc. So that explains it.

Last night I tried the Swahili platter. It had beef, octopus, prawns, mystery fish, and some Swahili side dishes: plantains with coconut, potato-like things with coconut, spinach with coconut, etc. The coconut in all these dishes is like a paste that they sauté it with. Sometimes it’s good, and sometimes it just reminds me of a pina colada or a cake, since those are pretty much the only times I eat coconut. The octopus was intimidating with all its tentacles visible, and your tongue notices them too; in the end it’s just chewy and not a big deal.

I have been barefoot running the beach in the mornings. It feels great to the legs and the lungs back into at least a little action, but going so slow is hard on the soul. I couldn’t help but pick up the pace until I found myself sprinting towards some finishing line. I swim a bit afterwards, but even after 50 yards, with the salt stinging my eyes, I decide I am meant for land.

It’s hot here, but a few times a day we have been getting rain storms. It makes cool textures in the sand, but it also made a small puddle on my side of the bed last night. The thatched hut roof had been doing great until it started dripping on my forehead.

But ah! The beach! Sitting on the beach, looking at the water… nothing beats it. All of sudden you don’t feel like doing anything else. Em’s been rolling through books, and we’ve been playing chess here and there. Not bad at all.


mad said...


Wow, Zanzibar. I didn't know if I ever wanted to go there because when I was 10 I read "Stand on Zanzibar" and it turned my hair red.

Anyway, come back one day when you've finished going everywhere.


chelsea said...

the pictures are amazing! i am wishing so badly i wasn't in school so i could come chill there with you guys. chris, it might be time to shave the beard...

plantnerd said...

yah monster radition kinda sounds scary to me too, and I'm not the physics specialist either. I enjoy NOT thinking about the molecules that make up your skin that probably melt upon exposure.
at home (NWUS) the sun is finally just coming out and people look like hibernating bears or something.
you guys are so out of place.
live it up...while you can
the sun loves you.