Stonetown story was over, for now. But our journey didn’t stop there, it kept unfolding new adventures before us as we went along to explore more of Zanzibar’s island.
So we caught a dala–dala (12 seat minibus that carries around 25 people) and drove up north, to the village of Nungwi. Among the locals, bags of vegetables and noisy chickens, we arrived, after an hour, at the destination. The first thing was checking if we still had with us our luggage that was carried on the rooftop of the full van. Sometimes, in Africa, this may prove to be quite a difficult task and it’s always a nice surprise to see that you have them in one piece.
Walking towards the beach we passed some old constructions that were home to the villagers. In front of them, little kids were having fun, playing with car tires. A woman holding a baby greets us with a joyful “Jambo”. They may not have much, but from them, you learn that true happiness in not measured in possessions, but in spirit.
On the other side of the road, two guys that look like Bob Marley and Bobby Brown, are simply sitting there. They are selling colorful tinga tinga paintings and seemed to be the village’s artists. Next to that was the barber’s shop.
Further on, we spotted our guesthouse, Brother Inc. The dirty and smoky roads were changing into the sand as we started to feel the salt of the ocean separating itself through a turquoise line from the sand. And there it was again – that postcard like white powder sand beach with boats parked in front of the shore and…these cattle chilling around.
The kids just finished with school for the day and were running on the beach in their sunny blue uniforms, trying to catch crabs on the shore. The colorful dressed Masaai men were there, walking around proudly with their rock and roll haircuts. As the sunset was covering the Indian Ocean, fishermen were returning from the sea in their dhows, as old men are fishing octopus at low tide. The chill out restaurants open with candles on the tables that are set on the beach. A place of serenity, inspiration and authenticity. A place to return to in your honeymoon, later when you retire and once again before you die.
My happiness completed only when I found my ex office, The Loco bar. There were Eva and Natalia (their scene names), the two Masaai girls from the staff, together with their brother Justine. They welcomed me with ‘Karibu’ and a large smile. The surprise came when I heard them talking in English. A serious improvement since 2 years before when, asking them for a dish, I got an answer in Swahili and the wrong order.
“Karibu ! Welcome again friend!”, Eva said. “Justine says sometimes about you ok. You back, please feel happy again. Here everything very perfect.”
And indeed it was. A pure, simple feeling of joy enveloped me, only by knowing that I was there again, in that peaceful and friendly place. That great feeling you get when reencountering people in some faraway places that welcome you there, and you realize you became a citizen of the world…