Three weeks ago, I was on a beach in Zanzibar. It was nice. Sunset on a beach in Zanzibar. My friend Michelle and I stayed on the northern end of the island, near a village called Nungwi, at a hotel called Sazani Beach Lodge. Our room at Sazani Beach Lodge. My amazing four-poster bed at Sazani. Every hotel bed in Zanzibar looks something like this — Zanzibari woodwork is magnificent. Our stay at Sazani Beach Lodge was interesting. The hotel’s website says “Feel like a castaway at our 10-room beach lodge…” We really did feel like castaways because we were the only two guests at the hotel for the entire four days we stayed there. (Incidentally, the entire island seemed relatively empty of tourists, despite the fact that it was the beginning of high season. Michelle was there at the same time three years ago and said it was way more crowded back then. So I’m not sure what’s going on — we asked several locals and no one had an answer for why tourism seemed down. I hope it picks up because this is an amazing place to visit and the island relies heavily on tourism.) Being the sole guests was cool in a […]
I know this title is bland. But it’s the only way I can think of to characterize the story that I’m about to tell. March 2007 I travel to Africa for the first time. I meet Jon. Jon takes a photo of me in a Tanzanian orphanage, with a baby named Praygod. Praygod and me at the Nkoaranga Orphanage in March 2007. (Photo: Jon Hrusa)
Five years ago today, I came to Africa for the first time. Over the last few days I’ve been thinking a lot about this impending anniversary, pondering what to say about it on my blog. I have many thoughts on the subject, but one thought keeps recurring: I can’t believe this all started just five years ago. That day — March 6, 2007 — feels like five lifetimes ago. I considered trying to recount what happened that day, and summarizing how it brought me to where I am now. But that would be the longest blog post ever written. Instead, I’m going to talk about Jon.