Simple Days in Bagamoyo

Friday, June 23

Today was a more leisurely day but we started at 6am for a sunrise walk on the beach. I tried to climb a coconut tree. Of course, that went terribly but the guy in the next tree scampered up to the very top, sliced off the tops of coconuts and filled his water bottle with the milk before climbing down.

After our usual delicious breakfast in the Travelers Lodge, we headed to shopping in Bagamoyo where we spent some hours looking at the local art. After pizza and Tusker (local beer) at Poa Poa Restaurant we headed to the Asante Sana For Education office and spent a couple of rewarding hours working on reading comprehension skills with the Students Empowering students members. They were remarkable, serious and motivated. It was as hot as usual but I didn't want to drink water in front of the students as many are fasting for Ramadan and hadn't had a drink of water since sun up.

Dinner was delicious again at the Funky Squid with garlic prawns and my first time trying ugali. Ugali is a very common "corn porridge" type of food that you scoop up with your hands and dip into sauce. Many people eat just this every day.

Saturday, June 24

Started out with a very hot beach walk- I left too late at 8 am. It was still pretty and I saw lots of fishing boats. After breakfast Tuma took us to the Catholic church that he and Emma were married in last year and then the slave museum with really interesting English captions about the history of the area with regard to the slave trade. We then headed out to Kaole, a neighborhood in Bagamoyo. It was a great glimpse of small town life with kids, chickens and a few cows roaming freely. We visited the run down Kaole Primary School and made a gift of a soccer ball. The boys were playing with a pretty cleverly handmade ball made by stuffing plastic bags into a fabric ball.

We spent part of our afternoon with a woman named Love who met with us at the hotel to shop for her hand made batik fabrics. They were all beautifully done and we took forever to choose. She was thrilled because Ashley invited other guests to buy as well and then the manager of the hotel wanted to employ her to re-cover all of his hotel seating! She offered us a big piece of pretty batik to split up between us to thank us. Soon after we hurried over to Pili's shop. She must be a genius with fabric because she took minimal notes on our dream dresses and measured us up while her kids ran around her. The machine was an ancient treadle machine, not electric and Ashley told me that her iron was heated with charcoal burning in the top. Just goes to show that it isn't about the equipment.

We walked home from Pili's in the pouring rain and although we were soaked we still managed to share a bottle of South African Chardonnay and Laura and I split a chicken curry with chapatti - flat bread - which was fantastic. We finally headed to our hut to pack and jump in bed for our 3:30 am departure for the safari tomorrow!

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Email: asantesana4education@gmail.com

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Asante Sana For Education is a 501(c)3 orginization in the U.S.A. and a registered NGO (Non-Government Orginization) in Tanzania.