Hey from Tulsa!
Our little family is finally back together. We got to pick Zoi up yesterday evening around 6 pm. My goodness, her furry body cuddling with me was the best ever. I missed her like crazy and I was only gone for three weeks. When she saw Pat, I thought her little mini corn dog tail was never going to stop wagging. Adorable. She sure missed her daddy this summer.
Little recap, we visited Zaznibar this past weekend, ate a real Subway sandwich in Tanzania, flew home, and now we are prepping for our good friends’ wedding and to move! Today we closed our bank account, got insurance figured out, talked about what washer and dryer to purchase, and drove all over Tulsa. Staying busy was nice though because I didn’t have time to take a nap and screw up my sleeping schedule even more! However, I am beyond pooped right now.
Zanzibar aka Zanzi was amazing… once we got to immigration. Patrick was the first to the window and when asked why he was in Tanzania he replied “I’m working with SUA in Morogoro and looking at soil”. Well,”working with” can have multiple meanings. The immigration officer assumed Patrick and Claire were making money from SUA through their research; whereas, Pat meant it as a student exchange and mentor program. After checking their visas, the officer said you all are going to have to come into our office because this (meaning passports) are not right. Excuse me? What? We went into the tiny cubical shaped office where air flow was non-existent. The population of the cubical went from 3 people to 7 at this point.We sat there for a good 5 minutes before the officer even spoke with us. Finally, Pat asks why we were in there. The officer stated we needed to talk. Pat getting frustrated, goes alright let’s talk. We moved to the back part of the glass boxed structure where the officer proceeded to state that Pat and Claire were violating Tanzania law because they only had a Holiday visa and not a working visa. More information included they could be prosecuted, including three months in jail, or pay $600 each for the correct visa.My heart was racing, because if we had to pay they $600, we might had well took our rears back to the ferry because there goes our fun mun for our Zanzi beach weekend, plus some! And we know sure as heck you don’t want to be in jail, much less an African jail. Finally, the officers agreed to speak to Patrick and Claire’s advisor. Dr. Kraybill is fluent in Swahili and spoke magic that allowed us to get a firm it’s okay and a pretty stamp welcoming us into Zanzi. Even though Zanzi is a part of Tanzania, you still go through “customs” going in and out.
Let’s just say words cannot even describe how scared I was in that moment!
When we got released, we found our hotel, with help from a man who we didn’t ask to help us and wanted a tip. In Stone Town, we did a lot of wondering. The buildings are so close together, with lots of winding roads and alleys. We found Forodhani which is a big fish fry, minus the frying. Many fishers bring their fish to a main square, by the ocean, and grill up anything from octopus to king fish. They had fresh squeezed cane juice with lemon and ginger. It was way better than McAlister’s Sweet Tea or a Chick-fil-a lemonade- holy mess it was good. Unfortunately, we got screwed on the price. We found out later, we spent five times more than what you were supposed to pay for it. It was so delicious that 5000 TSH sounded reasonable- ha! The spiced lobster was my favorite.
Saturday morning we went on a spice tour and had the best time! We were in a van full of Canadians- which was a hoot! We ate fresh coconut and ginger, smelled cardamom and saw how cinnamon comes off the “bark” of the tree!
Our driver picked us up after the tour and we headed an hour east to our eco lodge beach “resort”. We didn’t exactly go to Zanzi for luxury, but for the best, private beach and a good time- which we got it all! For $55 per night, we only shared our beach with 4 other women. Breakfast included eggs, toast, fresh fruit, and the freshest juices! My favorite juice the server made was avocado, orange juice, and a banana! For 48 hours we stayed in our swimmies, didn’t put on our shoes, played so much Catan, read, and ate seafood pizza, calamari, grilled fish, and slept. Delightful.
Coming back to Dar on the ferry was not as nice of an experience as going. We were going against the current and I lost my lunch plus some about 20 minutes before we ported in Dar. Next time, some motion sickness meds will have to be packed!
Although we had a great time and it is weird being back, we were so happy to hug Zoi and see our friends and family! We are celebrating a wedding tonight and tomorrow and load up Sunday. There have already been too many tears!
Our final Zanzi give-away winner is Abby Minch! I’ll get your goodies to you when I see you next!
I will update sometime next week with pictures of our new home! We get to buy a couch and a washer and dryer our first day- I’m pumped! The Mr.- well not as much 🙂