Friday, May 31, 2013

Days 107 - 109 : Our Last Days Together

We were able to see the new baby girl of our Assistant Academic Director (pictured below). This is he and his wife's fourth girl of six children. 

We went on a spice tour after seeing the new baby!:

Seed from a Plant Used to Make Lipstick.

Star Fruit.

Our Assistant Academic Director Climbing a Tree to Grab us  Star Fruit.
One of Our Guides Climbed a Tree to Throw Us Down some Coconuts.
He Used a Robe Made from Leaves to Bind his Feet.
Then Proceeded to Climb to the Top of this VERY Large Tree,
Husna Tried to Climb the Tree . . . .  . . . . .

Well we end our journey on the island of Unguja in a whirlwind of a spice tour, stimulating the economy, eating, and saying good bye to our favorite places. On the day of the third of May, nine depart the island: Lindsay, Emily (who will forever be known as the beautiful Iptisam), Hayley, Hannah, Colin, Conor, Grace, Spencer, and Avery. The day after, I say good bye to Maggie and Olivia followed soon after by Jaclyn. This leaves me the last SIT Spring 2013 on the island. 

I spent my final day in Stone Town, where I eat my final ice cream from my favorite ice cream parlor and attempted packing the excessive amounts of Konyagi (gin) I purchased into my luggage. Baadaye Tanzania! Hello . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . reality.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Days 79 - 106 : Uzi Island

Well I have finally begun the long awaited final project period of the semester. I can be found on the island of Uzi, just South of the island of Unguja. The island is connected to Unguja by a man-made bridge that becomes inaccessible at high tide. Dala dalas (the public transportation option in Tanzania) drive as often across the bridge as possible but have the tendency to get stuck on one side or another once the tide comes in. Encompassing about 15.6 km² there are two villages on the island with a population somewhere between 3,000 to 7,000 thousand (no one knows the actual number so the estimation varies greatly).

Home: Five Bedroom, Two Bath, Well on the Property. Pretty Darn Spiffy.

Boat Used to Collect Rain Water for Showering and Flushing  the Toilet.  

Closest we Came to McNuggets the Whole Trip. (They are actually POTATO!)

I am doing research on the mangroves that surround the island. There are three areas that can be found to be the most dense: Nyeke, Dikokuu, and Chokaani. Mangroves forests or mangals are completely unyielding so my initial plan of walking straight lines through them turned into me walking and often times wading through the forest. I must say it was great fun and my guide, Juma, was a peach because he insisted that he hold my stuff because I often times was a stumbling hot mess.

Roots of Sonneratia alba.
Coral Rag is a Dominating Factor of the Landscape.
Seeds of Xyocarpus granatum.  

My Guide for the ISP Period, Juma, was our Gondolier for a Day as he Used an Oar to Paddle us (Olivia and I) Across the Channel that Separates Uzi from Unguja.
Yep, he's Carrying our Boat to Intertidal Safety.
The Anchor we were Going to Use BTW was a Piece of Coral Tied to a Rope.

No Point in Wading in the Water when I Can Practice my Swimming.

I am on the island with three other members of the SIT group: Olivia (the fellow midwesterner), Hannah or Hanifa (the professional turtle catcher as you can see below), and Conor (the crabman). We know it is a great day when the power does not go out (the electric comes across Dikokuu mangrove from Unguja, where it is sent initially from the mainland of Tanzania) and there are  BEANS for lunch. Breakfast and dinner consist of bread (very traditional for the people of Zanzibar) and peanut butter (our American addition).  

We Wore Socks to Protect Ourselves from the Turtles Sharp Shells (They Actually Weren' t that Sharp but we Didn't Want to Take any Chances).
What is That??
Hide-and-Go Seek Turtle Style.

Ugly Chicken!
We spent the remaining time in Stone Town writing our papers and enjoying delicious food.