3/14 6:28 Eastern Time

Pi Day. Tau Time. MIT results are available. Here it’s already March 14th 1:28am. I am asleep because I have to get up at 5:30am.

At 5:30am my alarms rings. I get up and feel dizzy. My first thought is to check my results, but I postpone it to after the shower, because I don’t feel quite ready for it just yet .

5:42am I took a fast shower and woke up Khalfan who was sleeping on the couch. Now I am in my room. I take my phone, open chrome and go to the “decisions.mit.edu” website. The log in area appears and a warning that after logging in, I will immediately see my results. I hesitate for a second. But I am ready for any result. I have been thinking about this for weeks, now I just want certainty.

5:46am I log in. I have not been accepted. Well… I expected that, seeing that they only take around two or three applicants from Germany. Even though I put a lot of effort in this application, I do not see this as a failure. When I started this whole application process, I had no idea what I was doing. It was so different from any other application I had written so far. But not only did I learn more about the whole application process, it also made me think a lot about myself, my dreams and ambitions and helped me to get a better understanding of myself. Therefore, even if I was not accepted, I see this as a personal success.

I don’t have much time to think about this. At 6:00 Khalfan and me are picked up to drive to Kizimkazi with some other friends. The sun is rising and creates a beautiful atmosphere as we drive out of Stone Town. On our way we pick up Kathi and Tina in Jambiani and arrive in Kizimkazi at around 8:30. The air is still fresh (27 Degrees) from the night. In the palm trees above us little yellow birds are chirping while we choose our snorkeling gear. We are going to swim with some dolphins. Hopefully.

Our boat driver carries the motor and the fuel to the small boat, which is just big enough for us seven. We board and drive off into the calm and bright blue sea, while “Beautiful – Snoop Dogg” is blasting over my speaker. Our captain keeps checking his phone for the location of the dolphins and after a short time we find a group of around 7 dolphins that is already being chased by three other boats. We are ready and waiting in our snorkeling gear and jump in the water as soon our boat comes to a halt.

We see the dolphins dive down to avoid the snorkelers; however I spot one baby dolphin turning on his back and playfully and curiously looking at me. We get back on the boat, wait until we see their fins come up again and repeat this a few times. While all the boats follow the big group, we are the only ones to follow the mother with the baby dolphin, who decided to separate from the big group to have some family time. Before we go back on land we decide to go in one more time. This time I jump in first and find myself face to face with the two dolphins. I swim about half a meter next to them for a few seconds. The mother mostly ignores me but the young dolphin is super curious and approaches me over and over. It’s a beautiful moment and I get out of the water with a huge smile on my face.lunch.jpg

Afterwards we go snorkeling in a small coral reef and then drive back to the beach. At around 11am we are served lunch: freshly caught fish, chips, rice and a sauce.

After eating we get back to our car and drive to the Jozani national park, which is famous for the different kinds of monkeys that live there. When we approach the park we can see them jump around in the trees besides the road and as we get out of our car we are surrounded by little monkeys curiously looking at us.

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A guide is already waiting for us and shows us around the park while telling us about the monkeys, plants and history of the park. We end our tour in a mangrove forest, which is surprising me since the park is quite far from the ocean, but the guide explains that the mangroves get the saltwater through a river that brings in the water from the ocean during high tide and flows the other way during low tide. Right now it’s low tide and there are loads of big and small reddish crabs on the muddy floor or hiding in big holes. In the water we see some trumpet fish. The guide explains that the mangroves are an ideal breeding ground because the roots protect the small fish from big predators. Only when they are grown up they follow the river to the ocean.

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IMG_3584We drive back home, and finish the day with a sunset in the Travelers Café, after which we have a brief dinner at Lukmaan and then go to the Tatu bar to celebrate the last evening of Tina and Kathi who are leaving tomorrow. However all bars and clubs shut down and turn off the music after midnight, and  we end up going to the beach with a small speaker and enjoy the rest of the night there.

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20.02.17 Turtle Release Day

At 5:30 my alarm rings and brutally disrupts my dreams. A little confused, I walk over to my phone – cruel past-me didn’t put it next to my bed, so that I would be forced to stand up now – and turn off the alarm . I fight the urge to go back to bed, leave my room, go to the kitchen and boil some water to make coffee for me, Kathi and Tina. I make some french toast with some hard bread from the day before, and as the two get up at 6:00 breakfast is ready. We eat and then leave to go to the daladala station.

The turtles will be released in Nungwi, on the north peak of Zanzibar, where they had been taken care of by many volunteers (around 30 at this point of time) for the past year(s). The drive there will take us two hours. Therefore, we decided to leave early, as we still want to have some time in Nungwi before the release.

The daladala, although being empty as we begin the drive, gets crowded very fast, and soon people are squeezing against us, and a smell similar to the one on the meat market establishes in the bus. A woman presses her bottom against me and a man keeps stepping on my foot. Nevertheless I look out of the window and enjoy the constantly changing landscapes in the light of the rising sun. I admire the seemingly impossible way palm trees grow… How on earth are they withstanding even the smallest breeze with their incredibly thin trunks and all the weight and leaves on top?!

Outside of my window it seems like a movie tape with patterns of forests, small villages, markets and hotels is being rolled off. Suddenly a huge, flat maize field disrupts the tape partially, but disappears as fast as it appeared.
Sometimes I notice small details:
– a house in a village made out of still wet, red clay and only held together by some wood
– a school where the paths are marked with white stones
– a butcher who is skinning the head of a cow
– a short peek at the ocean in the distance
– kids playing and laughing on the dirt roads

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While I am listening to Alt-J on my earphones, I reflect on my situation and think about a few things that have been on my mind for the past few weeks.

Overall being here for one and a half months does not feel very different from being here for one week. Everything merges together and becomes one big memory with some details sticking out. It is very much like the film tape that I see when looking out of the window of the daladala. Life is all about making the small details that stick out as interesting (enjoyable/rewarding/fulfilling…) as possible… I am trying to figure out which details I want to be a part of my life.

I feel like, since I came here, I have undergone some changes. The first one maybe even occurred as a result of the decision to come here by myself. I definitely feel like I am more independent and mature now (I know this might sound odd, I am only 17, but still…you know…). However, I believe that I will only notice most changes, when I come back to Germany and see how I lived before.

We finally arrive in Nungwi, walk through a village for about twenty minutes and then reach the beach. Next to it are some souvenir shops, and next to those, cows and goats are grazing on a garbage dumping ground.

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We stroll along the beach for another 30 minutes, before finally reaching the turtle farm where we are the first ones to arrive; nevertheless the place is crowded with the volunteers working there.

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After chatting with some of them, I find out that their work mainly consists of picking up some garbage on the beach and taking care of the turtles throughout the day. Seeing that this task does not require 30 people, most of them are free of any obligations most of the time. Moreover, after the turtle release there will be even less work, and I am really starting to wonder what they will do with all their free time, seeing that the turtle farm is quite isolated and there are not really any attractions to visit nearby…

We spend the next few hours until the event starts with walking up and down the beach trying to find somewhere (cheap) to eat. We end up in a small restaurant called “Saturn” where we eat a breakfast menu consisting of some coffee, fruits, omelet and bread for only 8000tsh ($3,50).

At around 3pm the event finally starts. The turtles that are normally kept in an artificial lake were caught in the past days and are now carried to the boats.

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After there are 10 turtles and about twice as many people on each boat, we depart from the calm beach and head into the deeper waters. Although the water is flat close to the beaches of Zanzibar, the waves get very high after some distance to the beach. After about two kilometers we are surrounded by waves that reach up to two meters (which might also be due to the fact that it is a very windy day). The local people, however, do not care. They are singing and dancing along with the rhythm of the sea while standing on the upper deck and trying to keep their balance.

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A few kilometers further out, all boats come to a stop which results in some people falling off the upper decks and others intentionally jump in the water. Our captain has to turn off the motor to let the people back on the boat. He cannot correct the direction the boat’s nose is facing, and we slowly drift until we are facing the waves with our side. The waves here reach up to three meters and I fear that we might capsize, but luckily the captain manages to turn the nose back into the waves just in time. After that, every two persons release one turtle on a count of 3, and we watch them disappear quickly in the depths of the ocean.

After all turtles on the boats are released, we head back to another beach where all younger turtles were brought. On the beach, people are standing in a semicircle waiting expectantly for a countdown. The countdown begins and all baby turtles are released to race to the ocean while the people are cheering for their favorite one. The young turtles struggle, fight their way through the sand, but stay focused on the water and in the moment the first wave hits and embraces them, they have finally achieved freedom in the seemingly infinite vastness of the oceans. But miraculously they will return here to lay their own eggs year after year, and new generations of turtles will have to fight their own way to the ocean.

17.02.17 Started From The Bottom

Three years ago Abdullah Mohammed Omar (Short: Abdulling) was at a point in his life where he had no money and no way of getting a job. He aspired to become a policeman or to work in a hotel, but to be employed he would have needed to speak a good amount of English. Seeing that most teachers in the public schools do not really know how to speak English themselves, they are unable to teach the students a level of English that would qualify them to work in these jobs. Hence, he was stuck in a situation that many people experience in Zanzibar. And there is really no good way out, since everything is about money here:
If you want to get your ID – you need to bribe at least two people. Driver’s license? You can either pay the normal price and take a course, or you can just bribe someone and get your license without ever sitting in a car. Want to be employed? Either you know somebody who knows somebody, or you will have to bribe someone again. Therefore, if you do not have any financial means in this society, you can hardly do anything.

That is where ZL4LF comes into play, providing people that are stuck in this situation with a way out. Through education, work experience, social connections and financial support, the give young men and women the opportunity to live a better live and achieve their dreams.

Abdulling, being stuck in this situation, was very excited when he heard of ZL4LF through a friend of his. He started to learn English and improved rapidly. Additionally, at that time the “chicken and organic farm” project was established, and Abdulling was given the opportunity to work there, gain business experience and make some money. He proved himself to be very talented and soon became the president and leader of the farm; keeping chickens became his new passion.

In the past few weeks I got to know Abdulling very well, as he is one of the most ambitious students in our German class. Now, three years after coming to ZL4LF, Abdulling is 26 years old and lives together with the other farm members in a room between two chicken coops. Last year, he additionally started teaching English. He seems quite happy with his overall situation; however, he would like to take the next step and become independent. And with the microfinance project he has finally been given the opportunity to do so.

The day we announced the project, he came running to me and asked me for an application form. He rushed to answer all the questions and came back a few days later with an elaborated business plan. Together we specified and sorted out the last few things and then wrote his application. Only two days after that, Gasica approached us and told us that Abdulling had been granted the requested loan.

He joined ZL4LF three years ago with nothing except his hunger for knowledge. He then learned English, how to run a business, keep chickens, started teaching and now he is finally opening his own farm. Through hard work he has turned around his situation and with the profit he makes with the new farm, he will pay back into the micro-finance fund, and hence allow other students to follow his example and become successful. Abdulling started from the bottom, but he fought his way to the top and has been an inspiration to many others.

Last weekend we visited the new farm which he started with two other friends, and we were surprised by how fast they had got everything to work. I am very happy to see him succeed and hope that many others will follow his example.

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If you want to support ZL4LF, become a part of the community and allow more people to follow the example of Abdulling, you can do so here: Take Action!

Be assured that we are very thankful for each donation, seeing that even the smallest amount can have a big impact here.

11.02.17 Beautiful Sunset

Today is the birthday of one of my best friends. In Frankfurt they are having a huge party, and I am here missing it… But I cannot complain. The day, although it started off pretty tough, turned out to be really nice. We had demanding meetings from 9:30am until 2pm, but after that we were free. That meant, I finally had some time to think and to call my mother, father and friends. At around 5pm we went to the Travelers Café to drink something and watch the sunset. I truly appreciate these moments, in which you can forget all your worries, simply feel good and admire the beauty of this world. Here they say “Hakuna Matata” (you probably know this from the lion king).

I must say this was one of the prettiest sunsets I have ever seen. The Ocean was calm as always, but the horizon was clear, allowing us to see the sun change its shape as it approached the horizon. It became much flatter and wider, and Dhaw’s were driving through this sunset giving it a truly beautiful and iconic feel. Even after the sun had disappeared, the picture it painted with different shades of yellow, red and blue was overwhelming. No camera in this world can capture such moments, therefore, I try to feel them as profoundly as possible, hoping that a part of them will stay with me… 

09.02.17 Kathi and Tina are here

The day before yesterday the whole house was busy preparing everything for the arrival of the two new girl-volunteers. Arsheen brought some pictures that we put on the walls, and some white canvasses on which we could paint our own ideas. At 11pm everything was cleaned and made pretty. I wanted to go to sleep but Khalfan was urging me to paint something on one of the canvasses. We only had black and white color, so I decided to paint something simple I found on the internet:


It took me three hours and I ended up going to bed at 3am.
The next morning we got up early to go to the market and buy chicken before it spent a day laying in the sun. Shorty after we got home from that, the girls arrived with Arsheen and Abdi. They are called Tina and Kathi and seem really nice; they are both 25 years old, study health&care management, work as nurses and will be teaching the kids about health and nutrition.
We showed them the house, but I had to go shortly after that, because I had to meet with a student to finish his application. While everybody stayed at home I went to the school. The student did not show up and the school was locked… At least after 30 minutes someone came and opened the door for me, and I spent the rest of the time preparing the German lesson. We ended up practicing a conversation between a customer and vendor to prepare them for a game we will play next week. 

When we came home after school, we cooked for three hours straight while drinking whine, listening to music and getting to know each other better. At the end we had sooo much food and it tasted great. At around 11pm we went to the beach where we found a bar that was still open. We drank some more whine, and as the bar closed we were still sitting there, enjoying the sea-breeze and listening to the best music of the 70s and 80s. The moon is really big and bright now and illuminated the whole night sky. This created a very intense and beautiful atmosphere. At some point we just took off our clothes and jumped in the water in our underwear. The water was even warmer than the air and we tried to do flips and danced around to the music that was still playing over my speaker.

08.02.17  What Happened?

Writing this blog has become very time consuming, and I want to focus on other things like improving my Kiswahili and spending time with the students. I am, however, still keeping you updated, I am just not doing it daily anymore.
On Thursday last week Alexander, another volunteer from Germany, arrived. He is from Hamburg, around his 50s and an ex-teacher as well. He is extremely funny and we had a great time the past few days. His way of handling the conditions here is a little different. He was rather shocked by the busses, how the house looks, the rats etc. but I think he’ll get more relaxed in a few weeks. At ZL4LF he will mostly give computer and English lessons. He is a great cook! It’s awesome to get some variation in our food, which for the past few weeks tasted very similar every day.

Last week was really busy and we had almost no free time, except on Friday where we could finally relax a little bit and went to the “floating restaurant”, built on a pier, to drink some milkshakes and catch up on some tasks. In the evening we ate nicely and then went to the beach with two bottles of whine. We sat down on an old boat, listened to the constant sound of the waves breaking on the shore and talked about life, politics and the universe. It was great.

The next morning I had to get up very early and go to the school to finish three more applications. I was veeery tired and had a terrible headache that only got worse over the course of the day. At 4pm we had a big event with about 200 parents and students, where Gasica and Arsheen mostly talked about the upcoming projects and the collaboration of the Daraja Foundation and ZL4LF. We were positively surprised by the amount of people that showed up and the event was a great success. 

When we came home I had a baby rat in my room. We caught it, called it charles and brought it outside to feed it to a cat. We found a baby cat and thought this would be a fair fight… The cat didn’t even bother catching charles and he disappeared in the next hole he could find. I went to bed early that night and slept really really well. I even remember some of my dreams. In one of them I was on some sort of a pirate ship. The CIA had assigned me the secret mission of infiltrating a country to kill a man. I don’t remember much, only that all my dreams felt very vivid and real that night. 

The next day we had to get up at 6:30am to meet with other students at ZL4LF. Together we then took two bigger dala-dalas which Gasica had rented, to go on a trip of which we did not know the destination. The dala-dalas who were originally designed to carry about 20 people each, carried about twice the amount of people and were veery packed. The drive was fun anyways: we listened to loud music and everyone, even Gasica, was singing along, while we drove from hill to hill on empty, unmarked roads, cutting through green uninhabited palm tree forests and fields. Here and there a lonely cow could be seen wandering around with seemingly no destination. 

Our first stop was a small zoo. We had a guide who told us about the different animals. The enclosures were made with simple, knee-high, stone walls that seemed hardly enough to keep a snake or leguan inside, but somehow did. Unlike in zoos I have been to before, here we could really touch the animals. At one point the guide handed me a chameleon, which then proceeded to run up my arm with its funny looking and feeling feet. It looked as me, cross eyed, and opened its mouth wide open, looking like it was screaming “I AM FREEE”.


Later he showed us their house snake. Everyone was too afraid to touch it, so I decided to take it. Its skin felt like rubber and very adhesive but not at all slimy or wet. It wound itself around my arm, curiously looking around at all the kids watching. After that everyone wanted to take it. 
After the zoo we went on another 20 minute drive to visit the cave of Misa which has an interesting story itself. It is believed that long time ago the cave was filled with magic. One was not allowed to talk in it and when calling someone’s name that person, as well as the name-caller would turn into stone. One day an envious women, named Mathilda, went to get the fresh water at the bottom of the cave with her husbands second wife, Misa. While Misa was still in the cave, Mathilda went out and called Misa’s name. Misa responded, forgetting about the magic, and turned into stone. Until today visitors of the cave can see her stoned face. 

After the cave we drove even further to the southern peak of Zanzibar. When we arrived, and I first saw the beach which was our final destination, I thought this must be heaven. It looked so surreal. The water was shining in a bright blue, the sand was white like snow, and several dhaw’s were calmly drifting on the calm water. 

I could not wait to get in, and when I did, I realized that the water does not even reach my knees, and it did not get much deeper even after walking 200 meters in. We spent the rest of the day at the beach, playing games, listening to music and practicing different languages. It was awesome!!


As the sun began to set we drove back home and the landscape on the way back shone in a different beautiful light.

29.01.17 Bububu Beach

Today we finally have some free time, which I use to catch up on some sleep and on some blog entries. We spend the morning mostly just doing different small tasks that have accumulated over the course of the week. At 5pm we meet with Khalfan, Hamad, Othman and Hassan to go to the Bububu beach, which is about 30 minutes away by dala-dala. 

There are different types of dala-dalas here. Some of them look like small busses, and have seat-rows. Others just consist of a driver cabin and some banks behind it, on which all the people squeeze together. If you are lucky they have put a roof on top.

 Normally we take a dala-dala type 1 to school, but to the Bububu beach we take a dala-dala type 2 which is a new, and quiet frightening experience. 

From the bus stop we have to walk another 20 minutes to get to the beach. The way is really beautiful: there are palm trees, farms and small houses on each side of the dirt road and kids play outside and greet us with “Hi’s”. 

As we pass though a last, thick forest of palm trees we have a first glance at the beach, that immediately blows me away. It is a thin strip of sand with 20 dhaw’s (local, wooden sailing boats mainly used for fishing) lined up on it. Wherever there is some space, kids are playing around and people are doing gymnastics. The ocean is really calm and waveless. Only the small movements on the surface of the water reflect the light from the setting sun, and make the ocean glitter as far as the eye can see. Some dhaw’s are still calmly drifting on this water. They give the impression that it is somewhat solid, and make me think that I could just walk over there and sail into the sun.

We join a group of people that is doing flips, and Hassan introduces some of them as his friends. I quickly put on my swimming trunks and jump in the warm water as the sun is starting to set in the mist that always floats above the horizon. The sky turns yellow first, and then bloody red as the first stars, as well as the moon start to appear. This is the first time I see the moon since I came here. It is about to set as well, but in the red sky it appears as a thin, crescent moon. Because the sun is almost directly behind it, you can not only see the bright part, but also a thin red line outlining the whole moon and painting a picture in the night sky that is absolutely astonishing. 

I could stare at this forever, but sadly we have to go not much later because the dala-dalas stop operating at some point. On the way back I take every opportunity to admire the night sky, that is full of strange constellations which I have never seen before. I spot the Venus and Mars and point them out to Khalfan. I tell him that soon the first people will go there and how crazy that is. He answers with “So there are no people living on Mars right now??” and is surprised as I tell him that Mars looks much different than Earth. 

28.01.17 We Are Surrounded By Deaf People

Today starts like yesterday. Breakfast, washing some clothes and going to school at noon to finish some of the applications. At least today we conclude four of them and send them away. At 3:30pm we take a dala dala to an event to which we were invited. We do not exactly know what this event will be about, only that there will be some sort of book presentation and that we are supposed to go there to represent ZL4LF. After getting lost and walking around for 40 minutes, we finally find the location and take our places. It should have started at 4pm but at 4:15, when we arrive, there is still almost no one there. Being on time isn’t exactly something that Zanzibarians care about… 

A man with a black shirt, that seems to be the organizer of the event, announces that we will have to be patient for another hour because “they just opened a new office and are still there”. We don’t really know who “they” are, neither do we know what this whole event is about.

After waiting for more than one hour the event finally starts and we are enlightened. It is about a book called “The foundation of sign language” that has the aim to make learning sign language easier, and improve the overall communication with deaf people.

The event starts with two women singing in Arabic, citing some parts of the Koran and introducing the authors and teachers that played a role in writing the book. While they sing a strange ritual takes place, where some people, as well as the authors, stand up and tuck money into some parts of the women’s burkas.

After their performance is over, a man talks in Swahili for more than one hour straight. There are many people that translate into sign language as the majority of the audience seems to be deaf, but none that translate into English. Therefore, we sit there trying to look like we are paying attention, while not really understanding a word. I start to admire the whole location. It seems that this is some sort of school and they painted different, mostly islamic related, things on the walls in a childish way. The roof, like for almost all houses here, is made out of corrugated sheet (Wellblech). That reminds me: two days ago one of these roofs fell off a house in Stone Town and hit several people, severely injuring most of them and killing one. No wonder that Khalfan is always so worried and careful when walking around, here the unexpected happens surprisingly often. 

At around 7pm the event is over and we are hungry. We accompany another girl from ZL4LF home, because it is starting to get dark and we do not want her to have to walk the way alone. She shows us her home, where she lives with her cousins, aunt, uncle, siblings and parents. The living room has no roof, but there are four roof-covered rooms on each side of it. One kitchen and three sleeping/eating rooms. Although it is very small for a family of this size, it’s beautifully decorated and seems like a nice place to live. Her younger cousins and siblings are playing outside on the road and joke around with us. As we lease they chase after us and accompany us to the dala dala.

When we finally get home we just grab something to eat at Lukmaan’s. Khalfan goes to Fuorodani again, but I stay home and decide to learn some more Swahili and go to bed a little earlier today.

27.01.17 Are You A Snitch?

Although we do not have German classes today, we go to school at noon because many sponsorship/loan applicants are now done with their texts and want to type and send them to the foundations. This is a takes muuuch longer than I had anticipated because most of them cannot type, or type at a speed of one character per second. Hence, we spend all afternoon at school and still haven’t send a single application at the end of the day. 

While Rainer stays a little longer to work on the applications, I go to the chicken farm, where I have promised, I will practice English with some students. Due to the lack of classrooms at the ZL4LF school, they use one of the rooms in the farm to teach English beginners. 

Speaking English is more like a competition here. “Practicing” means that the students ask you and each other questions, the harder the better. They try to come up with the most complicated questions and feel like they succeeded when no one understands them. This concept, while maybe being a little overcompetitive, does not fail to motivate the students: no one wants to be made fun of, when he does not understand something. However, there is one issue that comes with it: while trying to make their questions harder and harder, the students often make mistakes that the teachers (mainly other students) often don’t notice/correct. The other students will then write down the question and ask it in other “practice” sessions. 
I get asked many of these questions. And when I am finally done answering questions like “are you a snitch?” two hours later, I have a sore throat. On the way back I learn some more Kiswahili with Khalfan. He teaches me how to conjugate verbs and I am starting to understand the basic structure of the language which feels amazing. 
At 7pm we finally arrive home and cook some pasta with a Zanzibarian peas-sauce. After that we go to Fuorodani, the night market at the beach, to relax and enjoy the fresh sea breeze. Tomorrow is going to be another long and demanding day.

Hamad found a cannon on the way back. 

26.01.17 It’s Her Birthday

Today is my girlfriends birthday. I wake up and the first thing I do is to check if the internet is working again. Fortunately it is and I can at least explain to her why I went to bed without saying anything last night. Khalfan was not joking yesterday: as I walk into the kitchen he proudly presents me a plate of spaghetti. I kindly decline, simply because pasta for breakfast does not feel right, and much more like a hangover food to me. “In Zanzibar”, Khalfan explains, “everything is breakfast: rice, fish, fishheads and pasta, we don’t care”. 

Apart from that, today is a normal working day. We go to school and do a wrap-up of the week, practice with some students… just as usual. I am, however, waiting for the moment that my girlfriend discovers the present I sent her. Just as I start to be afraid that something might have gone wrong, I receive a message from her. She is really happy and seems very surprised that she got something from me even though I am so far away. Just imagining the face she must have made when seeing it, fills me with great joy, but it also makes me sad because I would have loved to be with her in that moment. 

We go home and after dinner at Lukmaan’s I call her, and we talk for hours until we both go to sleep.