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Saying goodbye and Zanzibar

Wow! the sights and sounds of island life are all around us and the Indian Ocean is just steps from our hotel. We have arrived on Zanzibar and everyone is healthy and happy.

It was with many tears that we left the community of Maji ya Chai. The village threw the most amazing farewell ceremony for our group, with all the families, the entire school (some 800 students), community leaders, school leaders, and friends. We had song, an acrobat troupe from the school, a short play, and many many speeches and thanks. Each student was recognized and received a small certificate and gift. The students became so close with their families that it was really difficult to leave. All the families helped see off the students and for both family and students it was a difficult day.

We’ve been able to take some time to talk about how much we learned already and how we are all dealing with the transition. We have all learned so much from our experience and can’t wait to share stories with you all.

Zanzibar has been amazing so far. We are greeted by scents of spices mingling with the ocean breeze, sparking water all around, snaking cobblestone alleys, and the sounds of call to prayer at dawn. It’s a world away from our village, but we are adjusting as we go. Today we took boats out to a nearby island where we snorkeled, swam, and enjoyed the pristine white sand beaches. We look forward to our last few days on the island and spending more time together sharing this wonderful experience. Tomorrow we will take a tour of spice plantations and see some of the interior of the island before we head to the beach for the last couple nights.

We hope this finds you all well and we will see you very soon. As always Asante tena (thanks again) for reading.

Team Tanzania ’11

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