We were out and about this weekend: a welcome break for the students from their regular long days of working in schools and completing coursework. (Don’t worry, they’re having plenty of fun, too.)
We all packed on to a bus Saturday to visit the nearest town. It was a little strange to see so many people and deal with traffic again! We walked through a few markets, had lunch at a tiny cafe, bought kitenge cloth and then headed home.
Sunday, we took the dhows and traveled about an hour offshore to visit a sand island, only possible at low tide. I was able to snorkel again (woo!), paddled about in the clearest, brightest water I’ve seen, and walked along the sand island, admiring the different shells rolling in the surf.
There were several spear fisherman around the island who were more than happy to show their wares to the students: octopi and squid! Several of the students were just fascinated with them, letting them wrap around their arms and hands; most of us just offered a palm to feel the suction cups and left it at that. Later in the day, one of the boys was showing a small octopus to everyone on the dhow and ended up absolutely covered in ink, dripping from head to waist!
The trip back was wonderful. Everyone was happy, relaxed, laughing. We were able to sail, too, so there we were, skimming through the most beautiful aqua water in a wooden dhow, sail full in the breeze, sunburned and sandy kids scattered about. I have no doubt they’ll never forget the day.
We had a nice quiet afternoon back at the lodge, with students doing homework, playing cards, emailing. Then the tailor arrived! The students took turns, with the help of a translator, showing the tailor their kitenge cloth and explaining what they wanted: shirt, skirt, bag. He measured them, took notes and then the next one stepped up.
I can’t wait to see all of their outfits. They chose beautiful kitenge, so many different colors and patterns. Earlier that day, they washed them out in the ocean and hung them to dry along a walkway by the beach. I took video of the former and pictures of the latter!
It hasn’t been all sunshine and laughter here, of course, and I want to talk about those things, too, because they’re just as important a part of the trip as the excitement and the adventure. I’ll have to think through that later, though, since it’s time to send a few emails.