The day started later than most with breakfast not until 8.30 but many were up and enjoying the surroundings well before that ... a lovely walk upon the beach for some with the sun coming up ... Breakfast was a mix ... yoghurt with muesli, fruit, toast, local breads and eggs anyway we wanted them (a pleasant change as we have had hard boiled eggs at least once a day since being in the country). The mangrove lodge is almost too posh (if that makes any sense) as it's more like a beach holiday anywhere else in the world and almost insulates you from the poverty around whilst still allowing you access to the local foods ... it's a long way down a dirt track from the rest of the world ... however the students have been mingling with the local youth on the beach in that way that young people can connect and interact with anyone else their age if they have not been brought up with prejudice ... great to see.
Received unsolicited praise for the. behaviour of our students this morning after breakfast ... and then again later in the day which doesn't surprise me but is still good to hear 😃
I have to report the first sea urchin casualty of the trip ... Ellie who did everything right, wearing sea going footwear and going carefully, has part of a spine in her leg and the very ends of some spines in her feet as they went through her footwear. When I consulted the owner and staff of the hotel they were clear that no hospital is needed ... if they apply Papaya milk it will stop the pain, act as a disinfectant and encourage the spines to come out in a week ... Ellie is happy to go along with this as she doesn't want to break the hospital zero ... so I will monitor the situation and see if the African remedy will do the trick for her. The students are trying to do things I notice to get into the blog ... but I don't think this was one of those! However I must again mention Oli T who purchased an African shirt last night and is wearing it with real aplomb today ... he really carries off the style ... I'm regretting not getting one myself but not sure I have the elan to carry it off as well as he does!
Lunch was fantastic and then a relaxing couple of hours with many students paying for henna tattoos from staff at the lodge ... boys and girls ... so parents please expect your child to arrive home with a variety of different tattoos ranging from dolphins to lizards to patterns ... mostly in places where I won't have to tell them off on Wednesday 😃
Then it was time for the Stone town tour ... so we embarked upon our daladala transportation ... up the crazy rutted track to the road which seems to go on for ever and nearly causes sea sickness because of the rolling of the minibus ... the tour was great ... started at the slave museum where we learned all about the disgusting degradation of human beings by other human beings ... really gritty stuff that made them all stop and think ... then onto the old fort and the house of wonders (first elevator and electricity in east Africa many moons ago) and food at the fish market where the items desired the most were the chocolate pancakes and the chocolate and banana pancakes ... very tasty open air fare surrounded by lots of Zanzibar nationals ... Miles was the odd one out with the meal supporting Sampson by having a Donner kebab (we had cleared three stalls to give choice of meal to the students and everyone had gone for two stalls with beef kebabs and naan and the pizza stall) ... you can always rely on Miles to do the right thing ... he has been really great on the trip, quietly getting the job done with a smile on his face ...
On our return to the lodge we had a fire on the beach with lots of conversations ... some getting far too deep and meaningful for this stage of the holiday about life after death and whether there is life on other planets ... but they all had a ball ... and now to bed ... bit later than expected but it was hard to get them to stop their conversations and I didn't really want to ... but it's a long day tomorrow and I want them to be as well prepared as possible. I'll sign off for now ... next wifi is likely to be Dubai at silly o'clock Monday night so I'll write a few words in preparation for that. Good night for now. Mr L