Welcome to Seabus 1
Well well well. The trip to Zanzibar was pretty incredible...I decided that it's a good thing that my friends are spontaneous and adventurous, because otherwise I'd be missing out on a lot of fun experiences and beautiful sights. We were able to take trip to Zanzibar courtesy of Blair's mom. It was a generous and wonderful gift, and we really needed the rest.
We took a short flight from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar at the last minute on Saturday evening. We ended up flying 20 minutes over the ocean just as the sun was setting. It was incredible and beautiful. We spent two days gettng lost in Stone Town's meandering alleys. I thought I had a good sense of direction until I went there--I must have done the same circle three times in one day. That place is mysterious and wonderful. We also got to spend one day on the beach, which was great.
The best and worst part was definitely the memorable journey on Seabus 1, the ferry back from Zanzibar to Dar. We did some running around town in the morning and made the ferry at noon. The water has been very choppy because it's the end of rainy season, but really we had no idea how bad it could be. The ferry was like a huge yacht thing, and we spent 5 bucks more to be upstairs in the AC part rather than with the live chickens. The boat started out and it is a two hour journey. I was content watching some kind of Jean Claude Van Dam movie where he was busting things up in Thailand. It was very dramatic and entertaning. Shortly thereafter though, people started utilizing their little black plastic bags that were actually labled "sick bag".
I have learned new things about the severity of my stubbornness and think I will forever be changed because of this boat ride. When the man was handing out these nice bags, I refused, thinking: If I take a bag, that means I will be admitting that I don't feel so good. I refused the bag, put on my headphones to drown out the sounds of other passengers who had started wretching, and looked out the window practicing deep breathing exercises. My lips were pressed tight together. My plan was working.
About 15 minutes into the ride, my poor companion Blair was the color of something...je ne sais quoi....not human. She got up from her seat to go out for air, and to not be sick in front of me. I continued to be passably ok for the next 10 minutes or so, all the while thinking that if I concentrated hard enough, I would not be sick. Then, I turned around to look back and find Blair because I was rather worried. As I turned forward again, it was the last straw. Not having the sick bag, I covered my mouth and leaned over toward the wall. Yes. Vomit. All over my left leg and down the wall, on my hands. This is quite humiliating, but I tell this story because even as I was crying from the disgust of sitting in this plastic seat on Seabus 1 with puke all over my hands, Blair sat back down and saw the state I was in. We both started laughing rather uncontrollably. I think people thought we were fully crazy. It was so funny and so awful...everyone being so sick, the smell of their sickness, my own re-lunch wafting up toward me every instant as I continued to fight the nausea.
Blair was sweet. She retrieved an anti-bacterial wipe for me, and sat next to me even though I smelled like vomit. Now that's a real friend.
It was just so funny. Welcome to Seabus 1. Welcome to puke-fest 2007. Seriously, I don't know if I will ever ride a ferry again. Perhaps I will. But for sure, I will be taking one of those sick bags.
We had more adventures getting from Dar back to Morogoro. We missed the last Hood bus (which are the big busses) and crammed into a packed bus that was not much bigger than a mini-van. Blair defended my honor by telling some over-friendly young men who were asking about my boyfriends (since I didn't have a husband) that I was married to Jesus, and I think maybe that I was a nun. They were much more polite, stopped touching my hair and gave me personal space after that, which was nice. We arrived back in Morogoro last night at 10:30 pm glad to be alive (these buses are known to pass on blind curves, and at one point there was a fight about fares, and people hanging off the outside as we drove along at 30 miles an hour) and thankful for little things, like showers and clean sheets. It really puts things in perspective to be covered in vomit.
Today being back and seeing the facilitators smiling faces and warm greetings was even better than vacation. I am starting to realize that I have to say goodbye to them in a few days, and that is sad. I'm praying for the next few days to be a blessing for the Arusha seminar participants (who are coming here to Morogoro for the workshop....no travel until next Thurs. when we return to fly out of Dar) and for those of us working together to serve them. God is good.