Africa, Destinations

Dear Mom:

December 28, 2008 • By

Since I moved from Stone Town to Paje on Zanzibar, I need to combine my updates as I am without a computer (just trusty blackberry).

As I celebrated Boxing Day in Zanzibar, I was reminded of the following:
CNN International sucks. I mean do we really need to see,”Planet in Peril” on holiday. I think not. If I’m wasting away in Tanzania, tell me the gorillas and wildebeests are going to be extinct and the snow caps on Mt. Kili are disappearing after I get home.

When ordering your entree and dessert at the same time, make sure to specify which one you want first because spiced ice cream before samosas just means you will then need another round of gelato.

When I started traveling in 1996 to places like France (give me a break I was 22), I would tell people I was Canadian and I would even recite their National Anthem and list the provinces and try to say things like eh at the end of my sentences. That is no longer necessary. Now I’ve got a secret weapon. I’m from Chicago. Guess who else is from Chicago? (Before you answer that please think twice). The one and only Barack Obama. So much for the Canadian flag. Americans just need to plaster Obama 08 on their suitcases and backpacks. “Hey where are you from?” My response, Chicago, which instantly garners a BARACK OBAMA.

You are all probably wondering why the title of my post. Let me share with you an email I sent to my mother yesterday and it will definitely clear things up (Jack and Jill -yes those are their names- did receive equally alarming emails).

From me to Joyce via email…

“Omg mom I might really die. On other side of island. Beautiful white beaches sort of what u think of Indian Ocean.

But no room at the inn

I’m at boutique hotel and may have mentioned I was on a budget so I am literally staying in a hut. No bathroom no windows but it does have a mosquito net which I will also be throwing mine over since I see many holes and not the ones so I can breathe.

It is 35$ a night however. It is clean and this place is nice but omg can I survive? I’m not sure. I can’t piss in the sand all night. I think if u saw pics u would say it is gorgeous so not sure how to explain the rest except that I am a city girl and don’t camp and this isn’t really camping I mean its a wood hut on stilts. 2 days here and I’m off. I just found out that flights are cxld for rest of week. It’s africa what can I do. I guess ill have to take ferry back to Dar and fly out of there what an ordeal that will be. I think i might have jill or jack book me some tour to get me out of here.

Arusha is apparently fine. I’m not even in a town here. And I was a snob and didn’t want to take 2 hour hot bus here so I paid 60$ and now I have like 50$ left and there is no atm and no one takes credit cards. If I get out of here, it will make a good blog story otherwise ill let the sharks eat me and take my chances.

I mean I don’t need fancy but I do need a bathroom and electricity.
Don’t worry.”

Joyce back to me overnight…

“Kelly, Dad wants you to stay at better places, don’t worry about the money. We are sitting here talking and I said I probably won’t recognize you in another week (I sent her a email with self-portrait of me in my mosquito net and hut. Clearly cause for concern). Love to you, ps I never liked camping either, Mom”

Thought I would share.

I did make it through the night but I had to pee so bad that as soon as I deemed it light enough to crawl out of my patched hut which the birds had been gnawing on since 430 am I ventured to a public toilet. I will be skipping the public shower aka the janitors closet.

After I get back to reality, I promise to pass on my other African observations. I had to keep a journal of those during my current crisis.