I got to Dar es Salaam airport at about 5am. Grabbed my bags and aimed for the boat to Zanzibar. I missed the morning boat by about 5min so I had to wait for the lunchtime boat. On the boat I got chatting with a couple of guys who were going to Nungwi by taxi and I managed to grab a lift. The journey should tale about 1-1.5 hours….. Not this one. The taxi hit a guy on a bike on the way, he got arrested, had to take the guy to the hospital and finally take us to Nungwi. 4 hours…. Nice! I felt sorry for a guy called Neil. He had to wait at the dive centre after hours for me to arrive. I could see he was a tad pissed off. Good start with my new colleague. Then I was told that I start an open water course the next morning. I expected to have a day or two to relax and get myself in to the motion of a new place. Nope….. I still have not managed to do so three months in. Days off are very rare. The boss is hard work. Delene works 365 days a year and gets stressed out the same amount. It makes it hard on the staff as you always feel you need to tiptoe around her.
Apart from that, I love my job. The rest of the staff are really good fun. I have found a really good friend in Neil. The only problem with Neil (apart from the fact he has blonde hair like a sheep stuck in the 70’s, ‘’Starsky n Hutch’’ style) is, he is too clever with words. Every sentence you say, Neil will come back with some kind of pun. For the first week, they were bad, but after almost three months…. You get the picture.
There is a really good community here. Within a week I had met most of the guys I am friends with now. Everyone is really welcoming. Tania was a real help to introduce me to everyone and has been a star of a friend ever since. On my second night in Nungwi I was dressed as a pirate in the local bar (for Halloween). A week or so later I was dressed in 70s gear and I’m sure there were a few other strange nights out too. Tania was even taking me to parties that I wasn’t invited to (or felt very welcome at). But I have to say a big thank you to her for taking me in with open arms and making Nungwi feel like home. Picks are on Facebook.
Our house got broken in to one night so our landlord decided that he would get us a couple of dogs to protect the house. They arrived and they were 2 week old puppies. Great guard dogs. They will be really good at licking a burglar to death. The two of them are very cute. Neil came up with the names ‘Freddy’ for the boy and ‘Mercury’ for the bitch (Freddy Mercury was born on Zanzibar). So now I get up early every morning and walk the pair of them and then straight home from work to walk them again in the evening instead of going straight for a beer. I feel all grown up. But I really enjoy them. They are now about 8 weeks old and the boy is great and the bitch is a bitch at times, but, I love them both.
So Christmas comes around and this year I was a bit home sick. I would have loved to have been at home with the family and my friends. Instead, on Christmas day I was 30 meters under water when a pod of about 50 Dolphins came and to say ‘’Happy Christmas’’ too me. It was an awesome Christmas gift. After we got back, I went for 2 quick beers and went to bed. It was a bit of a boring Christmas to be honest. Nobody really wanted to do much. So next came new year. It was a really funny night. I got invited by a few Turkish guys I know for a bit of food at the beach on the barbeque. I ate like a King that night. The food was amazing. Then, on to the local bar, ‘Mangies’ for lots of overindulgence. I got too drunk. On my way home at about 11am in the morning I got knocked out and mugged. ‘’Welcome to 2012!’’ My dive computer and a little bit of money had gone when I came too. Bastards! So that was the bad start but I have now got the computer back thanks to a good friend Morgan. Morgan noticed that one of the divemasters at his dive centre had a new computer that looked very much like mine. He had brought it from a guy in the village. I gave him a reward and now have my computer back. So all is well.
New year’s day was really nice considering how much of a moody git I was (sorry everyone who had to put up with me). We took the puppies in to the sea for the first time. They really didn’t like that. Then we had another barbeque on the beach with some freshly caught tuna and sailfish. The fish is awesome here. Always so fresh.
Other things I have been up to include Kitesurfing. This is where you attach yourself to a 12m square kite strong enough to take me back to the UK with the right wind. Then strap your feet to a piece of board and let the wind do the rest. Yep, it’s that easy…. Oh apart from the easy bit, that bit is not true. I have now got to the stage where I can stand up on the board for about 30sec and I can turn a little bit. I love it. It is such a thrill to be moving so fast under the power or the wind only. The pros can reach speeds of up to 50 knots (over 93kph). Needless to say, I won’t be trying that one this week. Maybe next week……
And that brings me pretty much up to date. Sorry this blog is not as exciting as the previous ones but I think I am starting to settle down a bit and find my feet again.
It would be great to hear back from you.
Ben and Sok. xx