I just got off the phone with my mom-we chatted for like 30 minutes for free. There’s this app called Viber that lets you call iphone to iphone and it’s a godsend, seriously. It was so good to hear her voice- and what’s crazier is that I’ll see her in person in less than TWO WEEKS! Ok more on that in a bit.
I just got back from Zanzibar and Ethiopia. Fantastic trips. I’m so thankful for the opportunities I get to travel, my goodness. And it’s so affordable here. Ok and now the funnier moments from the two back-to-back trips. In Zanzibar, most of the entertainment was provided by Fraser, my travel buddy :)
- Our hotel in Stonetown basically abutted with a mosque which we didn’t notice during the day. We discovered this, however, during our first night when, at 5:20am, the first call to prayer came blasting out of the mosque’s loudspeakers, causing Fraser to nearly leap/fall out of bed, thinking it was some sort of malicious alarm and me trying to insensibly calm him down in my own sleepy stupor. Immediately after my heart rate slowed down, the man doing the call to prayer over the loudspeaker apparently got a tickle in his throat and began to cough and hack something up… for the whole neighborhood to hear. Why he couldn’t have just switched OFF the mike for a second or two is beyond me. Maybe it’s some new kind of call to prayer. The cough to prayer?
- Day three, Fraser and I requested a last-minute snorkel trip from our small hotel (where we were the only guests…?). After an hour, a big sail boat appeared on the shore- just for us! We got a private boat ride out to clear blue water where we could snorkel in complete peace. Until Fraser took off his mask and snorkel to revel in the beauty of it all…and down down down went the snorkel and mask. I watched it sink underwater but when I came up for air and then looked under to see where the mask was, I couldn’t see it at all! The current had already hidden it! So the three Tanzanian boat men, realizing that we were one snorkel short, got in and all of us searched for the mask and snorkel for about 20 minutes. In the end, Fraser found it himself, dove down and retrieved the sunken treasure!
- It was very hot and sticky in Zanzibar, and in our first hotel we had only one measly fan that wasn’t doing me any help. Or so I thought- until the power went out in the middle of the night. My eyes immediately popped open with an exasperated breath as I realized how still and excruciatingly hot the room had suddenly become. Thank God the power came at some point and I survived. We changed hotels the next day.
- I had pineapple (and only pineapple) for lunch two days in a row. That’s just how good the fruit is here. (screw the food pyramid… haha)
Ethiopia was a fabulous time as well, where I visited my friends Rachel and Eric. Tons of fun including- National Museum where I saw the bones of the earliest homo sapien, trying Ethiopian wine Tej, hearing great live Ethiopian and West African music, shopping in the markets (things are not so cheap there, so I bought very little), having the most Mexican-style-food I’ve had since coming to Africa, playing mom’s game Ricky Ticky with a bunch of new friends, having our Taxi break down in the middle of a HUGE intersection of flying cars… gotta love Africa. Check out the video!
This next week is our first Ndoto camp. 2 days. 14 hours of rehearsal. 50 kids…. Maybe I should have saved my vacation for after this weekend. Oh! But then NEXT weekend I get to run off to Aix, France to hear the premier of my first orchestral piece “Whipporwill Winter”—kind of crazy, right? I’m so excited I can’t quite tell you. There, I’ll see my mom and Terry, my friend Hodg, all of my Aix friends, and some surprise guests my mom is bringing….. the suspense is killing me!!