Six weeks ago, during our first couple of days of staying in Stone Town, a man approached us next to the beach (polluted beach so we didn’t swim). He introduced himself and told us about his taxi service and gave us his business card. His name was Yahya. He has since taken us to Prison Island (read Kieran’s post: Changuu Island!), and driven us from Stone Town to Nungwi, Nungwi to Paje, and then from Paje to Kendwa. We learned that he is a college graduate from Dar es Salaam and has a degree in Political Science. We met his wife and their baby (OMG so cute), and cooked with them at their house (read Janet’s post: Cooking class!). He has told us stories, and us him, and he has really helped by telling us many interesting and essential facts about life and the culture here. He told us about the best place to find pineapple and mango, so that we could really get the best out of our homemade smoothies.
In Arusha, we had one taxi driver who we would call and schedule with to pick us up and drive us places. His name was Emanuel (not safari Emmanuel). Yahya is like our Zanzibar Emanuel, and we are very grateful to have met him.
We also learned that his wife has never been to Kendwa. They had hosted us at their house in New Town (Zanzibar City), so it only seemed fit that we got to host them here.
Jasper and Kieran made the beds in both the rooms, even though our guests never went in there. We cleaned up the main space, and prepared food. We tried to aim for food that they might have not tried before.
They told us they would come at 1:30, and that was pushed back to 2:00. Lunch at 2:00 is normal for us. Back in Seattle we would eat lunch around noon. Since Spain, our schedule has more or less shifted to later meals. It is hard to imagine eating lunch at noon. It is also hard to imagine drinking water from the tap, or even sitting down at a restaurant and there being water at the table or free water. It is hard to imagine many things, because the way of life here is new and different, which I like.
Yahya arrived with his wife, niece, and baby son. We sat around the table on our porch and served some entrees such as smoothies (a must), and then gazpacho, which was for them an exotic food from Spain. It was fun introducing them to new foods. After that we served a small platter of bread topped with cheese and tomatoes (an Alviar invention) and a big pot of beef stew. Yahya commented on how the beef stew was much like a dish in Zanzibar, called Zanzibar Mix. I didn’t expect that even though beef stew was invented elsewhere, Zanzibar had its own version.
For dessert we served small plates of rice pudding (we added golden raisins and they triple the quality) with a sugar cookie on the side (slightly undercooked due to the technical difficulites with the toaster oven). We talked about many things, hopping from subject to subject, from world religions to ways to design an economy. We watched as little lizards crawled around on the house wall, eating bug after bug. We could almost see the jealousy of one lizard as the other moved in slow-motion, inching toward a juicy insect. It reminded me of the lions in the Serengeti, patiently hunting their prey amidst the tall grass.
It was 5:00 by the time that Kieran reminded us that we were going to go down to the beach for a swim, so we spent the rest of the afternoon down at the beach, either playing with Yahya’s baby, or swimming in the infinitely fun waves. The water was a beautiful light blue, and we stayed down at the beach until we had to return for dinner.
We served them Italian food (pizza and pasta) for dinner, and we all ate until the sun dipped below the horizon.
Below: Gazpacho entree
Below: Gazpacho ingredients
Below: Meat that Alex was able to find for the stew
Below: Yahya and family at the beach with us
Below: Us three huddled under the sunset at the beach