A stone house with a tin roof and maybe, one day, some glass windows.
Unguja Island, the largest island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, is according to Tripadvisor, a ‘breathtaking spot to escape the world’. And so it is. The East coast has beautiful white palmtree-lined beaches, a coral reef and warm waters. The tourists flock to the resorts, enjoy the watersports or laze by the pools, eat the gourmet food and drink bottled water. If it gets a little hot they turn on the air conditioning and or a fan. One can indeed escape.
In the sandy streets behind the beach, are many small villages where life is different. For them ‘escaping the world’ might mean something else.
But the right kind of tourism and development might mean that one day these kids get a decent education and one day perhaps a window with glass in it.
I have travelled to many UNESCO World Heritage sites. Zanzibar Stone Town in Tanzania, Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, the Medina of Fez in Morocco, Robben Island in South Africa, The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Grand Canyon in the USA, the rock-hewn Churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia, Lavaux Vineyard Terraces in Switzerland (below), to name a few.
I wondered what the listing actually meant, so of course I googled it.
‘Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.
Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.’
This got me wondering even more.
If these sites are to be passed on to future generations, why do we do so little when some are so threatened?
Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania
I don’t think I’ll ever lose my wanderlust. It ebbs and flows like the tides on my doorstep here in Western Australia. Sometimes the pull to stay ‘home’ is strong: when the beach beckons, and the outdoor lifestyle is easy, with good food, wines and friendships.
Then there are times when the lure of new shores overwhelms, the draw of old haunts tempt, and the need to leave this remote city to return to the familiar people and places of my formative years is stronger than the urge to stay.
At six degrees south of the equator,
the surprise of dusk is dramatic and sudden.
One moment you are enjoying the last rays of sunshine,
the next, darkness falls like a warm blanket.
Zanzibar, the Rufigi River in Selous Game Reserve, and the Uluguru Mountains in mainland Tanzania.
via Photo Challenge: Surprise
At the end of the day, watching the sun descend into the ocean in all its glory is deeply satisfying. No matter where I am, I try to catch those last rays.
In Zanzibar, the silhouette of a dhow sailing out on the evening breeze in the approaching darkness, pairs the imagery of sunset and dhow in a perfect match.