I know it’s bragging, but what should I do when my pictures and text are printed in one of Berlin’s magazines- COME TOGETHER? I guess I can say YEHA! 3 double spreads!
I just wish I could be in my favorite city for the lounge of this issue. Anyone going to Berlin sometime soon?
I postponed this moment as long as I could, but it’s time to say good-bye to white sands, blue sea and good mood of this heavenly place. But is it possible at all to come back to reality after this island? NO! It infects your thoughts with beauty, plants a constant yearning for the sunny beaches and tunes the mind to the sound of waves. I am not a yoga/ ashram person, however the images from Zanzibar are still so vivid they sometimes break into my mind and start a relaxing meditation, without even asking for permission. That is why dear friends, if you feel exhausted, overwhelmed with work and difficulties of everyday life- Zanzibar is the place to recharge the batteries. If you plan to go there- please say hello to the BEACH from me :)
Mesmerizing Zanzibar. Even though I still haven’t been to Thailand, I dare say I know how Richard felt while entering “The Beach”. Morning breeze wrinkling azure sea, shimmering palm leaves, giving shade to the impossibly white beach, made my chest burst with joy. The perfect amount of sun and wind make you want nothing but to close the eyes, breath deeply and just BE. I wish I could say that indeed I needed nothing but sun and seafood for lunch. Unfortunately, since I remember I had this really ugly habit of feeling the time pressure. Being afraid to realize that I “wasted my week in this heavenly place” (as if it was even possible!) I decided to be more active. An afternoon of beach volleyball ended up with making new friends and burning our backs, therefore the next day in the sun was simply not a good idea. This was a perfect excuse to finally try diving. I know, it is not a big deal, but for me it was. Honestly, I have never even done snorkeling, so breathing underneath the water made me a bit nervous. I had to constantly remind myself to “breath with your mouth, breath with your mouth, damn Marta!! With your MOUTH not your nose!” Moreover, the moment we hit the bottom of the sea I was sure I ended up with a different group and without my buddy- oh how wrong I was.
Despite the fear, breathing problems and underwater hallucinations it was a great experience. This world of floating beings in all possible colors made me fall in love with nature with an entirely new strength, which reminds me how precious and fragile it is.
This time it is all about posing and being photogenic. Honestly, how difficult is it to take such pictures if your models are so full of grace and charm? Well, whether they knew about it or not, scenes of their everyday activities have been captured and shared with you, my friends. Enjoy!
Stone Town on Zanzibar is indeed an entrance to paradise! It will always stay in my memory as one of the most enchanting places I’ve ever had a chance to visit. Narrow streets still reflect the “golden ages”, when the slave trade brought prosperity to the island. As a popular destination, mainly for the Arabs and Indians (from India), Zanzibar has been influenced by these two groups significantly. The Islamic heritage is reflected in magnificent architecture, while the local kitchen surprises with its vast variety of Indian spices.
A good, strong 4×4 car, land cruiser or land rover, in Africa is like your best friend. „Someone” you can (or have to) relay on and cooperate in difficult conditions. If your „companion” keeps a secret from you for example about spare tyres, which have been repaired too many times to be used again- you’re simply sc…ed. In fact that’s happened to our happy group THREE times! An absolute record considering TWO spare tyres we had. Moreover, we found our tipsy driver completely helpless in the face of changing them. At least this sudden accident sobered him immediately up J Fortunately male German- Belgium team with some help of kind locals was capable of handling the crisis… so that we can get a puncture two more times ;)
The bright side of the whole situation was a possibility of meeting the locals.
I’m sure that for young Massai shepherds watching the change of a tyre was nothing special… more like a new episode of their favourite serial. What might have been a novelty were the lollypops one Polish girl gave them. Nice hugh? Unfortunately, later came the pangs of conscience, knowing that they don’t brush their teeth and maybe giving them sweets was not the cleverest thing to do??? This ignorant white people in Africa… Oh well, we ended up having fun and a bunch of good memories and pictures.
Each man of the house is treated with respect and worship by all his kids and wives. The women are the ones who work most, though. While the men are sitting the whole day somewhere on the rock, looking at their cows, talking to the fellow shepherds, the women are looking after kids, selling convincing Massai jewelry and…. building the shelters! Yes, it’s a female job to build a manyatta – a house made of sticks fixed into the ground and interwoven with branches. The construction is plastered with a mix of mud, ash, sticks, grass, cow dung and human urine! Some Mzungu, which means “white people” in suahili, feel too ashamed to enter those houses. Everyone, however, looks curiously inside. The reason for those hesitations is the striking poverty of Massai people. They don’t even earn anything for tourist visits. They still smile and show their kindness and hospitality to Mzungu counting silently for their generosity. Sometimes this few dollars are enough to buy necessary medicine or school equipment for kids.
This particular village was lucky enough to live close to the Snake Park in Arusha, created by a couple of the Europeans. BJ and Ma are great people who apart from owning a campsite, a bar and reptile park were iniciators of a free medical clinic and a home for orphans, as well as the rebuilding of a local school.
What do you see when you hear“Massai”? A bunch of tall man jumping in their ritual dance? Scenes from a famous movie “The white Massai”? (I should watch it by the way). I was always recalling portraits of Massai people seen in one of the National Geographic magazines. Those beautiful, proud people, wearing multicolored jewelry were looking deep into our eyes almost asking: “What do you really know about us (you ignorant Mzungu)?” The truth is – we don’t know too much.
The Massai are one of the semi- nomadic tribes in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Their welfare is measured by the amount of cows a shepherd and head of the family has. The animals give them food- meat and their favorite drink- milk with cows’ blood. After they are killed, skin, hair and horns are used for parts of the wardrobe, accessoires and interior design elements.
Safari has its pros and cons. It takes time to get used to waking up at 5:30 every day, slepping in a tent and cooking your own meal. Moreover, there is no garantee to see all wild animals. Apparently we’ve been very lucky, as two first hours in Masai Mara National Park was enough to spot the Big Five. Check it out :)