It is the middle to late afternoon here. I spent the day at the school I am volunteering at, Grace School. It is a private school with about 600 children from preschool through standard 7. The children in standard 7 are preparing to take their final exam next week which, if passed, will allow them to go on to secondary school. IF they choose. And private secondary school if their family can afford it. I will talk more about the school later this week, as I learn more about it! Now, Zanzibar!
I left out for Zanzibar on Friday, returning on Sunday. It was definitely not enough time! I had a tour of city centre of Stone Town, the major town of the island. Architecture here, as in most of Tanzania, reminds me of Florida. It is always hot here so you have to stick with certain things that you know work. I was able to see much in respect to the slave trade. I believe they said that over 600,000 people (men/women/children) were kidnapped and stole into the trading. The abuse that came with the stealing of the people was bad. They mixed people around so that no one would really know too many of the others so that they would try not to escape. Even after slavery was outlawed in the 1880’s, it was still done secretly for about another 10 years. And you all remember the statement “Livingstone I presume?”. Well, he had a lot to do with helping the African people especially the slave trade. He was their hero! I have to do more research.
The history is rich here. There were 4 different periods of colonialism and each brought their culture, which remains today, to the island. Spices are very important economically, but tourism remains the most import economical income. I did do a spice tour and was able to see the slave cave and the beach that they were brought in on (during the illegal time). Although this is not a fantastic beach, it is still beautiful. I did not have enough time to go to the north end of the island for snorkeling & diving where they say it is beautiful. Two of the guys I talked with Saturday said they had spent the past week doing just that! On the south end of the island are dolphins, in mass. Again, no time.
It was great to get away. Zanzibar is 95% Muslim and 5% Christian and everyone gets along. There is, as everywhere, a major problem with trash everywhere. People are friendly and they truly have the attitude of kuna matata! Go Simba!