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February 6, 2009

A memory

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6 February 2009

I continue to return in my mind to my holiday in Zanzibar, which I took over my birthday last year. I think one of the reasons is that it is very close to my birthday, while another is that it was one of the periods in my life where I had the most clarity and inspiration. The trip gave me insight that I could never have achieved in ordinary circumstances, while also giving me the chance to smell the bluegums, so to speak!

I originally wanted to go to China, as I'd been planning for 6 months to do so. However, the special for the Zanzibar trip just landed up on my monitor one day, as though it was meant to be. I had such a good feeling about organising the trip, and going away, and, although I was afraid to be going all by myself, I now believe it was very necessary.

It was so beautiful, and the people were so friendly and helpful. Yes, I'm certain they were that way because I was a tourist - I think tourism is one of the, if not the largest, industries in the country. But it was so relaxing, and exactly what I needed!

My favourite memory from the trip is definitely snorkeling, right on my birthday. We set out at about 7am, walking along the sand strip for about a kilometre with our flippers waving at our sides. We reached the dhow, and found that there was absolutely no breeze to speak of. We were pushed along in the shallows by the sailors with their long rods, and the feeling was so soothing. Add to that the fact that the sea was as still as ice, and the reflections in the water made me feel as though I was stuck between two worlds.

Snorkeling was another story! It was the first time I'd ever worn flippers! Coming back at about midday, the wind had picked up, and the dhow spread its sails wide to give us an exhilarating return trip. Walking back along the sandbank was also interesting - the sun was so hot and the air so still that day that merely walking into a puddle was enough to scald my poor feet!

I was also as red as a lobster that evening in the weirdest spot - I'd forgotten to put sunscreen on the back of my feet, and I started to worry that I was poked by some poisonous creature because I could hardly walk! :)

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