During the night it rained and I realized there are no windows, only burglar bars. I close the shutters to prevent the rain from coming inside. I am under a mosquito net and don’t need any sheets, the heat is still so intense and I welcome the coolness of the night rain. Grateful for a fan in the room, it stays on all night and I finally drift back to sleep with the buzzing of the fan.
I awaken with a light drizzle and say goodbye to Helen. We are given a cell phone for her to contact us and told not to let the dogs out as they are not welcomed in the village. I go back to get some more sleep.
Finally I am able to pull myself out of bed and wash my face. Outside the drizzle continues and looking out the window is a beautiful full rainbow that welcomes us to Zanzibar – Karibu – Welcome.
I feel safe. I have nothing to fear. I am so excited, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the real Zanzibar. Not staying at a hotel but really living and interacting with the locals. Buying and cooking our own food. I am ready for this adventure.
Today we did not do much, it rained till 11am, but we were still exhausted from our flight and getting used to the heat. Fed the dogs and had yoghurt for breakfast. The water in Zanzibar is salty and not drinkable, but once boiled we could enjoy some coffee.
In the late afternoon we ventured outside. We were warned that we have to have our arms and legs covered when walking in the village to respect the locals and their religion. So sarong tightly fitted around our waists and over our shoulders, we are ready to greet the locals. One street down away from our house are lots of little shops selling fresh fruit and limited vegetables, Pringle chips (I was surprised), dates, air time and water, but only one or two men speak limited English. The women don’t speak English at all. The challenge has begun as we try to buy bottled water. We get 6 litres of Drop of Zanzibar water for 4000 TSH. There are a few different bottled water labels, but we decide to stick to what we received last night, the real good water. Water and some food, we head back home to cook a simple pasta dish.
We also have to pump water out of the well to use to flush the toilets. Walking up the steps with a heavy bucket of well water that we have had to hand pump, and realizing how privileged we are back home with flush toilets. Water seems like such a small thing, yet so precious in this place.
The excitement of staying in a rural area, and learning how to live like a local – it can seem exciting yet I wonder how long I could really live like this, being “spoilt” with privileges of having flush toilets, fresh drinking water available on tap and even street names and house numbers.