First 72 hours in Stone Town

It’s been three days since I arrived to Zanzibar and a lot has happened already. When I arrived at the airport I was instantly greeted with karibu – the Swahili word for welcome. On my way to my accommodation I picked up some useful words, that I now have been using at least 20 times a day, such as; asante sana (thank you), pole pole (slowly slowly) and all of the various greeting phrases like jambo, mambo and habari. And of course hakuna matata (no worries) which to my surprise is frequently used by the locals. People are extremely friendly here and you feel welcomed straight away. Besides some miscommunication and not getting used to a new currency, everything went smoothly.

These first days I have just wanted to feel the place out, get to know my surroundings and rest from the long trip. Because of this, I haven’t been writing on my thesis at all. Hopefully I will get going with it tomorrow. And besides from wanting to take it a little bit pole pole, there is an international music festival in town right now so Stone Town is packed with people from all over the world. I have been going to live shows, watching some kids do crazy flips and diving in to the ocean and eating the most amazing street food!

View of Stone Town from The Swahili House
Kids jumping in the water

I also took the opportunity, while strolling around the town with some new-found hostel friends, to go to the Slave Museum and the Slave Chambers. This year it will be 100 years since slavery was abolished in Zanzibar. I was really saddened to hear about and see the atrocious cruelty that happened and it left many emotions in me for the rest of the day. I really recommend anybody visiting this island to go to the museum.

The circle in the middle is where the people that were brought in as slaves would be whipped and then sold for auction. The ones who endured the pain the most got sold the quickest because it showed signs of strength. This place is now a church.
These are the real chains that were used for whipping slaves.
In this very tiny chamber, over 75 slaves were chained together and stayed there until they would be auctioned off.

 

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