Meet Robert. Robert was hard to miss with his towering stature, booming voice, boisterous humor, and of course the handle-bar mustache! He was in the same hotel as us and so we enjoyed making small talk with Robert over breakfast, as he lamented over not being able to sell an expensive diving suit, or on the cobblestone streets of Zanzibar, as he gave us advice on how he makes mixed drinks out of mango juice and gin. Robert was a bit of a free spirit and although having come from the UK he considers Bangkok, Thailand his home town.
Juma lives in Kizimkazi, on the southern coast of Zanzibar and was our amazing Dolphin-Boater-Man. He took Astrid and I out at 6 am in the morning on a little wooden boat about an hour away from where we stayed just so that we could swim with dolphins in the open waters. He even let us keep swimming with them for a little while longer while the other boats that were following the dolphins left- later to find out the reason the other boats left is because the dolphins had gone into deeper waters where sharks were prone to be!
Such drama in simply trying to use our cell phone in Zanzibar is what led us to this place. But, as Astrid and I did in many scenarios on this trip, we talked our way into registering a SIM phone card we had purchased without showing the required ID. Girls do have an advantage when the people working across the desk are all men. We simply exchanged contacts and promised to bring our ID’s if we were ever closeby!
After wandering the streets and finding a beautiful church, Astrid said she wanted to go in and see the stained glass and cathedral ceiling. However it was locked and the Sister we met said it wouldnt be open to visitors until the next day. She was a bit suspicious of us at first but after talking a few minutes her countenance changed and she must have had a change of heart because she revealed her key to the church and let us walk around inside the church to admire the beautiful interior and also sit for a quiet moment to pray. The guy on the right is another man named Juma, on the left is his brother but I dont know his name. Juma is the guy who freaked us both out by insisting that we not buy anything from his shop but take what we wanted for free. Very nice guy… still perplexed over his marketing strategy.
This is Jimmy, the Hotel “Father” is what I think of him as. I dont know if he really had a bed or a room or if he always just fell asleep in the hotel lobby watching soccer with his feel propped up on the desk but he was great. Always helpful, always full of suggestions and ideas for where Astrid and I could go and really took care to make sure we were comfortable and taken care of.