Month 3: Highlights and an Announcement! (This time it’s not the Congo, I promise!)

It’s been awhile since I updated the blog, and I’m sorry for that! I haven’t written much this past month for a variety of reasons.

The first and foremost is that during our 3 weeks in Moshi, Tanzania, Nathan and I were so busy waking up at 10:00 and passing time with our new friends, Anja and Laura, that it was tough (if I can use that word) to find time to slog to the internet café.

Since Moshi, time has been flying. We were in Zanzibar, the world famous tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean off the Tanzanian coast, for several days last week. I have never seen such beautiful beaches, and my first Full Moon Party was an absolute blast!

Nathan and I finished off our third month on the road, well, on the road. From Zanzibar we made for Lusaka, Zambia, via Dar es Salaam. The trip itself turned out to be so horrific that I actually find it funny at this point (though Nathan would disagree). More on that later!

For now, here are the best positive and negative highlights from the last month! The positives are—in keeping with the motif this blog has already taken—all about friendship, the people I’m around.

THE MOST POSITIVE OF NOTES!

Moshi

  • Falling into the most relaxed rhythm I’ve known since…since high school, I reckon! There’s something special about waking up with the sunlight comes, reading and playing chess over breakfast and lunch at local cafes, and going out with folks—Anja and Laura—who never fail to make you smile in the evening.
  • Dressing up as Harry Potter to get down and eat all the cookies (well, the famished zombies, Laura and Anja, ate more than me…) at the Halloween party in Shantytown! To make it even better, our hosts were dressed up as the cast from Mario Kart 😀
  • Rock-climbing up the Marangu Falls with Nathan!
  • Witnessing my first partial solar eclipse over chips in Marangu, Tanzania—I could clearly see the moon cover a third of the sun!
  • Finally tasting every major Tanzanian beer—Castle, Kilimanjaro, Safari, Serengeti, and Ndovu! Castle is definitely the best, followed by Kili and Safari.
  • Going for a 9 mile jog into the countryside near Moshi. How peaceful it was to be alone with my thoughts, stopping only to reply to greetings from a roadside chain gang (let’s talk about an awkward conversation…) and take in the gorgeous natural vista—jagged mountains abutting endless plains in classic Tanzanian fashion.
  • Making my first music video! I lost a bet and “All I Want for Christmas” by Mariah Carey has never been covered/danced to better 😀 No, you will not ever see it. And no, you will not ever share it—I’m looking at you, Nathan!
  • Learning how to bachata at classes hosted by a Spaniard at C’Africa, a bar owned by another Spaniard (they’re everywhere!) in the bush several kilometers from Moshi. This was SO MUCH FUN!

Zanzibar

  • Eating shark, barracuda, octopus, and squid & drinking sugar cane juice infused with lime and ginger at the Forodhani Night Market! The fish was all caught fresh in the morning and barbecued before our eyes. Some of the best food ever!
  • Trespassing on the roof of the Old Dispensary in Stone Town to get priceless views of the city. The door to the roof was unlocked for construction—that’s basically an open invitation to enter, I think.
  • Admiring the incredibly ornate, meticulously carved Zanzibar doors for which Stone Town is famous. I am so sorry I couldn’t take one home for you to admire, Dad! It didn’t fit in my bag…
  • Relaxing on the pier over Mbweni Beach, the hands-down most picturesque beach I have ever seen! This place was right out of a postcard—check out the photos to come soon! We had the best company as well—more awesome Germans and the swell Austrian, Ana, Manu, Lisa, and Julia!
  • Snorkeling over the coral reef with Manu, Ana, and Lisa, near Matemwe on Zanzibar’s east coast! To that point, I had never seen such turquoise water (that was until I went to Kendwa on the west coast 🙂 ). The fish were exquisite!
  • Staying in Nungwi, a beach village at Zanzibar’s northernmost point, where I shared stories with Manu and Julia, visited a sea turtle conversancy, and beheld the most beautiful sunset on the beach.
  • Full Moon Party at Kendwa Rocks with Julia and Lisa! This party really is something any visitor at Zanzibar has to make—the place is a downright resort.

EL NEGATIVO

  • The journey from Dar to Lusaka was always going to be long, but it was supposed to be smooth! For $50, a bus would take us from Point A to Point B. Unfortunately, this is not how it worked out. Instead, we were scammed out of $30, and stranded on the Tanzanian side of the border at night and the Zambian side of the border in the morning. I fought with a cop and with immigration, and I blew out my knee because of a toilet. And (!) we didn’t eat basically anything for almost 3 days! Needless to say, it was bad. But we got to Lusaka, and looking back, it’s almost comical how awful it was—but it’s still a negative.

But now we’re in Livingstone, right on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe! Tomorrow, I will be bungee-jumping for the first at one of the most epic bungee sites I can imagine, over Victoria Falls! I sure hope the rope doesn’t snap, but if it does, at least it’ll be a picturesque view on the way down!

In other news, the plan from here on out has always been to do Victoria Falls and then continue southward through Zimbabwe and on to Cape Town via infamous Johannesburg. But there’s been a change in plans, and anyone who knows me or has been keeping up with this blog knows that I really love last-minute changes! 😀

THE ANNOUNCEMENT! Instead of continuing through Zimbabwe, Nathan and I are going to track west into Namibia, hit the Atlantic Coast of Africa, and visit some of Africa’s most famous and beautiful sand dunes at Namib-Naukluft Park! Then it will be south to finish our most incredible journey in Cape Town, the city which has taken on nearly fantasy proportions by this point in the trip.

Since we’ll be on the road a fair amount these next several days, I reckon I won’t be able to post again until we’re settled in Namibia. So until then, I wish you all the very best, and know that—while I’m going to miss Africa like hell come December 21st—I am looking forward to seeing you in time for Christmas.

I have so much more to right about my feelings this far into the trip—but that’s another blog post in itself. It will be forthcoming 😀 Love to all. Live long and prosper, maties!

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