Saturday, February 7, 2009

Jambo, Rafiki's! :)

I made it! After 5 days of laborious traveling, I’ve arrived at my final destination: Pemba Island, Tanzania. It took 4 connections, 19 hours in the upright position, 10 hours of layovers, achy sleep, foreign languages, 2 fabulous but sweaty hotel stays in Kenya, jet lag, smog, 3hour AC-less van ride and a turbulent boat ride. The 2hour speedboat ride was so rough that I couldn’t even let go of the railings long enough to wipe away the salty water that was assaulting my face. Not surprisingly, I though quietly to myself, “Ok, I’m over it. I’m ready to go home.”

I was exhausted, wet, salty, and I hadn’t even gotten a chance to properly wash my hair since I left the States. My hair was one giant sticky mess…and I HATE STICKY NASTY HAIR! My bravery was crumbling and all I could think of was the luxuries that I had given up to come to Africa- Shampoo, electricity, fast-speed internet, English, comfortable cars, a boyfriend, friends, family… the list goes on… But I knew I couldn’t go home. There was no way I was gonna repeat this boat trip today! So I held on to the boat railings and bounced forward. And that’s when it appeared…Pemba Island…like a beacon of hope… the journey was about to end.
The waves died down as we approached land and the sun shone above a picturesque tropical island. It was wrapped in turquoise water, soft white sand, and dotted with a neat row of luxury bungalows. I was in heaven. I grinned. The image was perfectly cliché and I was perfectly happy with that. In fact, I’m still happy with that and will be for the next month!

Ok, so, heaven is pretty sweet. I recommend everyone to come here. They have internet, electricity*, and best of all, shampoo. There’s a constant cool breeze on the island and their artfully designed bungalows channel it masterfully. And as you can see, there’s also a pool that faces a gorgeous ocean view . I have my very own bungalow (at least for now) and I am spoiled with delicious seafood and the friendliest company. I would love to tell you more about my new company, but alas, I’ll have to tell you about my new Rafikis (friends) another time because Cook is calling me to dinner. J

xoxo Yukari

*The internet and electricity are definite luxuries. However, like many luxuries they are saved for special occasions… like the evening and parts of the morning. :) The internet is also slower then what we’re used to (pretty close to dial-up)… so I guess what I’m trying to say is that I won’t be able to get online very often so I hope you’ll be patient with me and my responses! Thanks! And I miss you all!