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Parker in Africa

Home > Parker in Africa > April 14, 2006

Parker in Africa - April 14, 2006

Dearest Friends and Family,

Well, I'm sure you're tired of hearing this line already, but I am in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Zanzibar, which is now synonymous to paradise in my mind has been my home for the past week. I'm on easter break and have come to the island of Zanzibar with a girl named Mary who is a volunteer I met in Arusha through a Dartmouth friend actually (It's a small world) and she actually lives in Bozeman Montana, so we have a lot in common and travel together very well. Unfortunately she is returning home to the US after our trip, so we have tried to make the best of her last weeks in Tanzania. (A couple weekends ago we actually went to a Shaggy concert in Arusha and got tickets to the after party. It was pretty sweet!) We started out our trip with a little hiking in the beautiful and quiet Usambara Mountains which are about half way between Moshi and Dar Es Salaam, then took an over packed speeding bus the remaining six hours to Dar, where we made our way through the metropolis (I have seen a place so modernized since I left the US) to the ferry. The island destination was only an hour and a half boat ride from Dar.

Zanzibar is truly indescribable. It is incredibly unique with a colorful history and maybe the most romantic place on earth. We landed in Stone town, the center of much of the trade that occurred on the island during the 12th and 13th centuries. It has bee popularly named Stone town because as you walk through the tight winding roads you find great old buildings made of stone and coral with an architectural style that combines Arabic, African, and European styles. There are incredible carved wooden doors sprinkled around the city and it is quite a tourist destination. In stone town we did some shopping, some dancing, and went on a spice tour. Zanzibar is well known for its large export of different spices and we were able to see where many of the spices we eat look like on the farm (plus the food was really good!) From Stone town we made our way to the other side of the island. It's hard to describe the beauty. White sand beaches, crystal clear blue water, great snorkeling, drinking coconut on the boat, eating seafood. I am now staying in a personal bungalow on the beach that is costing me about 8$ a night, my skin is a little red, and I have been swimming in the Indian ocean as much as possible (the Indian ocean is really warm!) So, just wanted to make you all jealous! I'll send another update later-On Monday I'm going to a family's house where we are going to slaughter and eat a goat (including the blood) so that should be an experience. I do miss you all so much, although homesickness seems to fade away with white sand beaches.