The skies opened up in the middle of the night on Saturday. I was awoken by the rain sometime around midnight. I haven’t heard it rain that hard in a long time and I was very grateful to have a good roof over my head.
By morning it was hard to tell that it had rained: the sky was cloudless and the sun as hot as ever. Only a few puddles remained as evidence of the storm.
We spent a few hours in the morning reading and relaxing then rode our bikes into town and bought postcards. After walking around the shops a bit and buying a bag and sarong, Tanya and I went to a restaurant for lunch. I had a great fish curry and we spent a long time there writing postcards and watching the people on the street.
But it was very hot and I wanted a cool drink, so we made our way to the place where we got the delicious banana milkshakes a few nights ago. Sadly, their blender was not working so they couldn’t make my favorite drink. They didn’t have anything else cold on the menu, so we walked across town to a coffee house and I got a mango lassie while Tanya got a cappuccino. We wrote more postcards. A guy handed us a flier about a free film festival going on in Stone Town that night and on Monday that sounded interesting. The movies were made by this Brazilian production company and this is the second year they are showing their films in around Africa.
In total, I wrote 15 postcards and Tanya eight. There are only two post offices in the area and we were near one, so there was a push to write them so they could be mailed right away. Chances are if you are reading this and following my adventures, that there’s a postcard in the mail for you. It might not arrive until after I’m home, but hopefully it will arrive sooner than the one from Nepal.
Next we went to the Darajani market in town and got some okra and vegetables for dinner. Since it was getting on in the afternoon, we biked home and tried to cool off a bit.
We decided to check out the film festival so got a taxi back to town in the evening. It was held in an outdoor amphitheater and reminded me a lot of being a kid and watching the movies outside in the evenings at the campground in Disney World.
There were two films. The first was a documentary film called “Mama Africa” and it was a series of interviews from people all over Africa about what is means to be African, what they are proud of, and how they hope their countries will improve. There were a few people from Zanzibar in it, and one of them was sitting right behind us in the audience! It also featured people from South Africa, Ghana, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Senegal, and a few other countries. Luckily it had subtitles so I could understand what was being said. It was great and really offered a glimpse into the richness of the culture on this continent.
The other film was a short, animated movie that was basically Jack and the Beanstalk but South American. It had no speaking parts but did a fabulous job of conveying emotion through expression, music and light. Jacob would love the art.
Afterward, we walked across the street to a park where vendors set up food carts every evening. For a few dollars you can get grilled fish, shrimp, or octopus, chapatti, falafel, or Zanzibari pizza. Zanzibari pizza only vaguely resembles what American know as pizza. It is a very thin piece of dough that is filled with toppings (either vegetables or meat), with an egg cracked in it. The dough is sealed to make a packet and it is cooked on a pan over an open flame. I got a dessert pizza with mango, banana and nutella in it and chocolate sauce on top. It was wonderful! I definitely want to try some other flavors.
Overall, it was my best evening in Zanzibar so far and there are more films tomorrow!