A marvellous two weeks on the spice island are just behind us, with the spectacular fine sand (as soft and sumptuous as shortbread dough according to Stephanie) of the beaches we visited still cascading out of hair and visible in ear canals.

Many incredible memories from the best family trip ever but by far the best is an early morning knock on our bedroom door with a race to the phone to hear from halfway around the world the ecstatic voice of brother Jeremy announcing that Janet had given birth to a daughter, Jennifer Alison Carr Fraser. Our whoops brought smiles to all and we are thrilled to be seeing photos of our new niece and cousin!

To see photos of the trip click here or go to:

The children all broke Guinness World Records for time spent in pools and the ocean and Lachlan, the most renowned heat seeker in the family, still has cheek cramps from smiling so much and has already vowed that he may be moving to Zanzibar one day. From his mischievous look and suppressed grin, several Victoria friends may be involved in Lachlan’s planned slacker schemes, so parents beware. He learned to swim in Zanzibar and it takes little imagination to jump ahead ten years and imagine this being used as an attention getter in beach conversations with young women he is courting!

The often painful history of Zanzibar with its voluntary and involuntary migrations echoed to us in the meandering stone corridors of Stonetown and ghosts seemed to silently surround us as we sweated in the subterranean slave chambers of the former slave market, now a museum / memorial and Anglican church inspired by the work of Dr. David Livingstone, among others, to redeem the site from its history of humanity at its worst.

But the present yields a more positive reality, with a rainbow of faces blending African, Indian and Arab shapes and colours and mosques situated alongside temples and churches. In the background amble the ever-smiling Tanzanian rasta dudes, scattered along the spectrum from casual (must be wearing red/yellow/green stripes at all times) to ecclesiatic (the name Haillie Sellasie is exhaled reverentially through narrowed, bloodshot eyes).

After Stonetown the beach beckoned. Exquisite coral gardens and fish which seemed painted by an inspired artistry of a school beyond random Darwinism dazzled us for days and Stephanie and I delighted to see our childrens’ flippers churning the water as they scooted after a new parrotfish or wrasse. Not so delightful were lionfish sightings but no difficulties ensued!

The spice island revealed itself on an amazing tour of the island centre , where clove scented air introduced an amazing array of the flavourful plants which are central to our lives but never before seen by us. As you can see from the photos it all went to our heads in an unfortunate way.

We send love and best wishes for the Holidays and the New Year to all. We await the arrival of Margie, Lonn , Ajay and Amecia tomorrow from Victoria and look forward to sharing an African year end celebration with them. They are coming heavily laden with bags containing all manner of items for the Kilema orphan program and even today Stephanie was mumbling, “could I use a scale right now”! Thank you very much to all the generous contributors who created a travel nightmare for Margie and Lonn, lugging some 5 duffels as they are. Asante sana especially to Sue, Colin, Chris W. and Carolyn (condom king and queen) and Margie who coordinated those efforts.

2 thoughts on “Zanzibarbarians

  1. Jen Nicol

    Hi Chris!!

    What a wonderful adventure you and your family are having! Just wanted to wish you Happy Holidays. Take care, and I suppose I’ll catch up with you at Cool Aid next year.

    Jen Nicol

  2. ronald

    Hello from Cormorant Cottage, Crescent Road, We are loving your journeys and wonderful experiences that you are having. You all look so healthy, tanned and happy, and we are wishing you a VERY JOYOUS, PEACEFUL 2008 with many special surprises. It is such a pleasure to read about your exciting adventures. Warm hugs to all of you, Lillian and John Ronald

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