Monday, October 15, 2012

Chaza Mwamba

Chaza mwamba (oyster rock) is the name of a charming villa that some friends and I rented this weekend. We escaped Dar early Friday afternoon to embark on the 2 hour journey to South Beach…stopping in a remote village along the way to barter for vegetables, eggs, and other food. The weekend had an adventurous feeling to it.  Exciting with a dash of cozy…like a relaxed weekend retreat or the way summer camp used to feel. Being only just acquainted with the group, the trip was a great way to make some good friends.  Upon arrival, we enjoyed cooking and eating together in the fading sunlight. When the light was gone, we explored the estate by playing sardines…then sat together singing songs to the tune of a guitar…and ended the night swimming in the ocean under a brilliant sky of sparkling stars.  This was only the first six hours! I awoke Saturday and enjoyed my first exercise since arriving in Tanzania, a morning jog along the beach and a swim to cool off.  The rest of the day included a whole lot of relaxing on a secluded white sand beach. Buuut…you know me…I can’t help but explore a little. In the late afternoon, a few of us swam out to a reef exposed by low tide. It was actually quite an impressive rock and it's what inspired the name of our residence. We had hoped to find some interesting tide pools, instead we found ourselves in front row seats to a show of thunderous waves crashing over the rock’s edge. I tempted fate and chanced moving closer to enjoy the showering waves as they exploded on the reef. It was quite exhilarating for some time, but a particularly powerful wave eventually sent me airborne across the reef. In slow motion I watched my body turn horizontal and my left flip flop vanish. The world tumbled as I tried using arms and legs to protect my vitals from jagged edges.  Coming to halt some meters back, I notice a fair amount of blood but no protruding bones…phew! So I limped back to the villa with only my right flip flop. Charlie and Dustin cleaned my wounds with Konyagi, while I drank the rest in memory of my fallen comrade, the left flip flop.  The final damage is some rather deep cuts on my hands and feet…oh and on my right ass cheek (that one was less funny during today’s bumpy bjaji ride to work). But it wasn't enough to stop me from enjoying some more beach time before bed.  Sleep wasn’t easy that night, but both Konyagi and the gentle sound of waves do their part in sending me drifting off.  Awakening before dawn, I hobble a few hundred meters down the beach to snap some photos of the stunning sunrise. And then I caught a glimpse of blue in the sand.  Could it be?  No, it couldn't. It was! Coming closer I found my prodigal flip flop washed up on shore. I happily slipped it on and continued on my way.  And that is the beautiful reunion story between this man and his flip flop.  All in all, a great weekend with some great friends.  Oops, I forgot to talk about the body surfing.  We also did some crazy fun body surfing in the ocean!  But now I must sign off. Miss you all!  Enjoy some on the thumbnail to enlarge!

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