As part of volunteering to be a teacher here, Hope International School pays for a monthly outing/excursion. This has become one of the best parts of being here - getting to see parts of Tanzania and its culture. Tanzania has such diversity in its different parts - in one area it will be so flat, dry and dusty, and in another green lush mountains pop out of the landscape. So the driving is always interesting, even a long road trip like the drive to Tanga. It took us about 7 hours to get from Moshi to Pangani (a village) in Tanga.
|On the drive|
I love all the sights in the small villages - people sitting out on the porches with each other, just visiting and staying cool in the shade, women carrying all kinds of things on their heads, the kids weaving through the homes, racing metal rings by pushing them with sticks. People are friendly, they'll wave and smile, and the kids especially always stop and shout their greetings. It always makes me wish I had an unlimited supply of little candies to toss to the kids as we pass. They're so sweet.
|Friendly kids as we pass|
|Anyone want to stay at this "hotel"? I'll pass...|
After many stops with our caravan, including plenty of middle-of-nowhere-bathroom experiences (seriously, I am now such a pro at peeing behind a bush, do you think I can put that on my resume?), we arrived at Peponi Beach Resort, outside of Pangani. Quiet place, very simple, but a great spot to relax by the beach! They had both bandas (bamboo rooms with fans and nets) and campsites. Some of our group stayed in the bandas, and we stayed in tents in the campsites. The campsites were a mere 5000 shillings a night ($3.50), crazy! There is a restaurant and pool on the grounds, and hammocks all over the place. The beach was 30 feet from our campsite, and the water was warm and clear. The beach at low tide was even better - the tide recedes so far that you can wade on the sand for about half a mile out. The creatures and shells we saw were so fun. And the water was a relief, as it was the hottest and most humid it's been yet here in Tanzania. At night even, it was easily 90 degrees outside and so humid.
On the beach at low tide, you could walk out to this swampy grove of trees that was so cool to see. There were small popping sounds as bubbles from underneath made their way to the surface and popped in the wet sand. The ocean breeze blew through the leaves and it was such a unique combination to see leafy green trees growing in the sand with little waves lapping at the bases.
|The odd grove of beach trees, loved them!|
|The dhow took us to this sandbar island for lunch|
|If you look carefully, you can see my skin burning! =)|
|Pepi, the sailboat|
|On the sandbar, a crazy looking starfish|