The Wednesday of my first week out in Tanzania was a national holiday, due to the muslim celebration of Eid Al-Adha, so we were all off from placement and had the day to do whatever we fancied – so we booked a group boat trip to a nearby island for the day.
You know when you see those perfect sandy beaches on instagram, with the white sand and the leafy umbrellas and pretty much no-one there? Bongoyo Island is like that – its just gorgeous – I couldn’t believe it!
The boat over cost us 47,000 Tanzanian Shillings for a return trip, which is about £15.50, so pretty darn cheap really! We got the boat across at 9.30am and set ourselves up with handmade sun-beds and beautiful leafy umbrellas – it was just complete bliss! There weren’t too many people there either and as we were a group of about 16, it was really lovely – felt like our own private island!
We spent the day between our sun-beds and the sea – popping in for a dip when we got too warm and then laying back down with our books or music – what more could a girl ask for?!
It was a little overcast at times throughout the day but given how much we caught the sun even through the clouds, I think that was probably a bit of a blessing in disguise really! We all came away looking a little bit sun-kissed without being burnt to a crisp (though some people still managed to burn….I’m looking at you, Em, If you’re reading this!)
We ate lunch at the one little restaurant just off the beach – Calamari and chips, YUM – and then spent a few more hours soaking up the sunshine and relaxing. It did feel a little like we hadn’t done enough work to warrant a proper relaxation day just yet but I wasn’t complaining!
We got the boat back at about 5pm, which was….an experience! The wind had really picked up and we were travelling back on a much more precarious boat than the one we had travelling over on…it was a very rocky journey with everyone getting splashed with every wave and even a couple of waves where the water came over the nose of the boat – eek!
When we got back to the port it was nearly sunset so we got some ice creams from the local ice cream parlour and sat watching the sun set before heading back to the house.
Wednesday at the Work The World house is Karaoke night, so after dinner we headed down to Coco Beach, which is less than 5 minutes walk from the house, where they had set up a huge projector screen on the beach for karaoke. It was a really lovely mix of locals and the Mzungus (White People – Us!) and so many people were getting up and singing or dancing along. I got in a taxi with a couple of other girls at around 12.30 to head back to the house (yes, its a really short walk but it’s not safe at night so we had to get a taxi) ahead of getting back into the hospital on Thursday!
Such a good day and a little unexpected holiday-day too!
To read about the rest of my trip, see the “My African Midwifery Adventure” posts here, or click on the links below.