Posts Tagged With: zanzibar

Blue Dreams

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I’m laying on top of a fluffy thing that’s on top of the ferry I’m currently riding on my way to the archipelego of Zanzibar. I chose to camp in the open deck, to enjoy the open air and the lovely breeze of the indian ocean. Everything I see is a perfect blue, with the exception of few dhow boats and commercial ships now and then. It’s 4:30pm on a Sunday afternoon of the coast of Tanzania. There is one special person I would love to be here with me, to share this view, this breeze, this tranquil moment. I’m having blue dreams. (And you’re in it…you know who you are).

Isn’t it amazing that I have a decent internet connection in the middle of the Indian Ocean? Gotta love technology. I’ll get back to enjoying my view and breeze as the perfect Swahili is spoken near by…

Categories: Africa Related, East Africa, Photography, Random, tanzania, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Picture Montage From My Study Abroad

It took me a while but I have finally finished putting together a video picture montage of my trip to East Africa this past summer where I was studying (near Arusha, Tanzania). I hope you’ll like it; the pictures are mostly in chronological order with my journey. Please enjoy!

Categories: Africa Related, East Africa, School/Students | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Update

I think I’ve been away from this blog for too long. How’s ya’ll? Ok, ok. Let me get to the point. I have finished my program in A-town (Arusha) and left there on Sunday for Dar es Salaam, where I’m currently at. I climbed Mt. Kili on Friday – amazing experience, I tell you. Tough as hell but I’m glad I did it. I know 3km climb isn’t much but someone like me who has never hiked, much less than climbed mountains, it is a pretty good accomplishment. I was particularly surprised to see the entire first (and second) level of the mountain very forest, almost jungle-like. Thankfully, there are no wild (if any) animals; just few birds in the first kilometer or so, then it is plants and trees – very beautiful indeed. We started our climb late so when we got to the first level we didn’t have much time to sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery around and had to get down just as quickly. Some locations are very steep, while other places are surprisingly near-flat ground. As the first two levels (3 and 5 kilometers, respectively) of the mountain consist entirely forest, rain is a constant threat to amateur climbers who can easily fall in the slippery surface deprived of sun.

The descent, I think, was more dangerous than the ascent because it is so easy to fall, lose balance, or sprain on the descent – especially the steeper spots. It took us (or I should say me) about 3 and half hours on ascent, while it took me only about 1 hour and 45 minutes to descent. After coming down every part of my body hurt like hell – not unusual, I was told. I think I deserve a few days of R & R in Zanzibar which is exactly what I’ll be doing later this week. A visit to Prison Island that I wasn’t able to make a month ago is in the itinerary this time around. I have never snorkeled before so should I do it now?

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The Marangu route of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

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Categories: East Africa, tanzania, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

ZIFF Opening Night

Zanzibar International Film Festival opened here in Stone Town last night with the premier of a South African movie. The opening act of the festival was a traditional dance from the dhow countries, along with a searing poetry (slam poetry is what you would call in the US, I believe) by a guy named Mrisho Mpoto. Of course the poetry was in Kiswahili but from what I could gather, his poetry was deeply moving as he discussed about social and political issues (he even made the former prime minister of the island, the guest of honor, so uncomfortable by what he was saying that the ex pm had to get up and offer the guy a ‘bus’ to take him around the island – to which Mrisho replied at the end, “be careful PM, I will be using that bus to come visit you” ). Whenever Mrisho said something someone in the audience agreed with or liked, they would get up and put money in his hand to show their appreciation (it’s like clapping, cheering, whistling, or giving the two-thumbs up equivalent). This is a tradition that doesn’t exist in the West though…I did see few Europeans do it, however, as they started to understand the concept (not his poetry) as the performance continued.

Izulu Lami, or My Secret Sky, that opened the festival was absolutely fantastic. The story of the movie is about two recently orphaned siblings, Khwezi and Thembi, a boy and a girl. Directed by Madoda Ncayiyana, the movie has a lot of depth in terms of content and message. I also loved the many symbolism the director inserted throughout the film. It would be useful for someone to know a little bit about South Africa to understand some of these symbolisms but anyone paying attention will get the message. I liked how the film dealt with the taboo subject of men infected with HIV/AIDS trying to cure themselves by ‘having sex with a virgin.’ This is one of the terrible crimes have been plaguing, really, many parts of West Africa especially, where men with HIV/AIDS believe they will somehow be cured of their disease if they have sex with a virgin; children, unfortunately, have been the most victims of this terrible falsehood. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I say this movie has a real shot at winning the best foreign film at the Oscars next year (I think, in many ways, Izulu Lami is better than Tsotsi, the previous South African movie to win the Oscar few years ago).

Opening Ceremony of ZIFF

Opening Ceremony of ZIFF

Old Fort Amphitheater, where the feature-length movies are screened.

Old Fort Amphitheater, where the feature-length movies are screened.

Categories: Africa Related, East Africa, tanzania, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Go Time

In two days I will be leaving for my study abroad program in Arusha, Tanzania finally. Not a fan of long trip but I’d take airplanes over any other mode of transportations. My flight is connecting through JFK via Dubai. Hopefully by Thursday I’ll be in Dar es Salaam (what a beautiful name for a city, eh?). A nice guy by the name of Adnan will be helping me out in Dar. Then off to Kenya for few weeks and back to TZ through Zanzibar, where I meet up with the rest of the group/faculty for the 12th Zanzibar International Film Festival and other touristy stuff (am really looking forward to Zanz!) before heading to our base near Arusha.

Stay tuned for more details, folks! And watch out for the daily tweets on the top right corner space of this blog once my cell is up and running (since the Internet is not as reliable as the SMS over there). A bon voyage is in order, no?

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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