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Sunday Salon: August 6, 2023


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz hosts The Sunday Salon. 

I am in Zanzibar! It is so gorgeous and wonderful and I am loving being with my daughter. I am learning that many Americans have heard of Zanzibar, but don't know where it is. Hence, the maps above for those of you who need it. I left home on Tuesday (door-to-door travel time was 33 hours) and I arrived on Thursday morning at 5:00am Zanzibar time. Luckily my daughter and ex-husband, Abe, met me at the airport so I didn't have to navigate local transportation in my groggy state. It was nice for the three of us to hang out for a few hours before Abe flew back to the States in the evening.

We are staying in Stone Town, the old part of Zanzibar City (center west cost). I am all about winding alley ways and cool wooden doors so this is an interesting place to be.

My daughter had Swahili class all morning while Abe and I got money exchanged, saw the Freddie Mercury Museum, and walked along the sea front. We met my daughter after her class and picked up lunch of sambusas and veggie biryani (rice dish). I took a brief nap in the afternoon and in the evening my daughter and I walked down to the ocean to Forodhani Market. There were huge groups of young men and boys cheering each other on while they jumped into the ocean; it made me smile. And we got the one of the best dinners that I have ever eaten. It's called Urojo (basically a soup with potatoes, bhajia, kachori, coconut chutney, tamarind, and crunchy casava. Also called Zanzibar Mix). And, yes, I know that the food doesn't look interesting or good, but it is DELICIOUS.

Zanzibar is Muslim and quite conservative so the women and girls cover in varying degrees. However, I do not feel out of place that I am not covered. My daughter has discovered that for her, a headscarf goes a long way toward making walking around easier and that people then assume she is a local. That said, Zanzibar feels totally safe. People stare and sometimes approach to chat as we walk along, but I do not ever feel physically unsafe or threatened as it can feel in the US. People stare not in an ogling way, but rather as if they are interested and observing. Women walk alone at night without fear; it's quite refreshing!

Friday After my daughter's Swahili class, she and I traveled to Paje (an hour and a half taxi ride, about a third of the way up the east coast) for a relaxing weekend at Mr. Kahawa Hotel. What a stunning place! I can't even describe the peaceful vibe of this town. The water is warm, crystal clear, and a beautiful color. We took a beach walk and for dinner had street food falafel (one of my favorites).

Saturday was so relaxing. In the morning we discovered that the tide was WAY out, like 3/4 of a mile out, so we enjoyed walking out in shin-deep water to check out the kite surfers (the whitish areas are the shallow bits). By the time we stood around enjoying the experience and came back in the tide was quickly coming back in.

Sunday we will leave Paje mid-day and returned to Stone Town for our last 5 days.

Here is is the current state of my 2023 challenges. At this point, I am counting individual books for multiple categories in each challenge, but I'll replace them with other books throughout the year.


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