Chole Island, Chole Island, Chole Island!
This little island, known as Chole Island lies just off the coast of Mafia Island, Tanzania!
While working on Mafia Island, Tanzania from September 2014 through March 2015,
many days were spent on this quaint little island, as this is where my "office" was located.
Although, the days were filled with that of office work,
there were those moments,
where we stayed for the evening.
that time around the setting of the sun was spent walking around the local village,
camera in hand,
curiosity within and an overwhelming sense of joy!
Below you can witness various time capsules taken during the special moments on this island
along a story or two to help put them into context.
As always, enjoy!
The community on Chole Island is one of vibrant colors,
traditional values and livelihoods
and a new sense of opportunity.
Above, you can see three different time capsules sharing various aspects of this delightfully incredible community.
As viewed above,
there were those mornings where I arrived on Chole Island
not too long after the sun had risen,
still radiating its glow on the earth below.
Just after my walk along a coastline filled with frangipani (plumeria) trees,
I would look to my left and this very sight is what greeted me.
The morning rays illuminated the stagnant boats,
wading in the high tide,
all the while the contrasting of greens and blues subtly reflected along the waters surface.
And then there were those evenings,
when I’d walk along the shore line,
mesmerized by the colors radiating from our earth
and my attention would get caught by the very name on this boat, “Computer.”
In the waters in Tanzania, boats are to be named before launching in the waters.
I found it very amusing as although in a Swahili speaking country,
many of the boat names are reflective of the English vocabulary.
Whom “Computer” (above) belongs to,
I do not know,
besides a local fisherman
who utilizes his transport for multiple means of economic benefit –
fishing and delivering maji (water).
Some early evenings,
just after all my work was completed for the day
and my bags were moved to one of the amazing tree houses of Chole Mjini,
I ventured around the soccer fields and outskirts of the neighborhood,
camera in hand,
curiosity radiating through my soul
and a subtle smile on my face.
I got stopped and greeted by the local children,
all ecstatic to get their photos taken.
A couple photos usually turned into around twenty or thirty,
as they all repositioned themselves
and piled on top of one another wanting to be the main focus of the time capsule!
These moments were truly beautiful,
as it was another medium for me to connect with the local community in which I was working!
As pictured above, each interaction lead me to that very moment,
a scene of ruins,
trees wrapped in veins
and my boys posing,
flowers in hands,
gazes shooting off into the distance,
thoughts I really want to be able to imagine,
and a happiness.
A subtle happiness as we create these moments,
this very exchange,
these very moments.
I am ever grateful, thankful for.
And then there was that day,
that one day when we were exploring an island called Juani
where there are ancient ruins, known as Kua Ruins.
This island was fascinating as to my knowledge,
there is only one known person to live close to these ancient structures, a man and his cows.
Although the ruins are intertwined with stories from decades upon decades ago
tracing back to the 13th century during days of slave quarters,
princesses that couldn't leave their towers
and transactional exchanges,
what caught my attention most was the foliage,
the nature growing in
these ancient ruins.
immense growth in, over and through the stones
was an instant reminder of the power
and force of mother nature,
of our dear earth
and all she is capable of creating.
As you can witness by the tree above,
our existence is truly breathtaking!
Chole Island used to serve as the headquarters,
the central trading point when boats would come into this part of the world.
this reality has changed as Mafia Island is now the landing quarters for trading and incoming ships.
But, what is most fascinating are ruins,
such as the one on the top right,
that represent what used to be,
what once was the center of town,
this one in particular the gereza (jail).
It's truly beautiful how much history surround the grounds and environment that I once called my office.
In December 2014,
a week of adventures occurred in the small beach community of Diani Beach, Kenya.
Dan and I were presented with one of the most beautiful homes
tucked away amongst ancient baobab trees.
Our home for the week,
was filled with the most welcoming and generous souls,
alongside full of home cooked meals, cocktails and ice cream desserts!
this town was one of the most popular tourist destinations,
there are abandoned hotels after collapsed buildings,
but all wrapped with welcoming and smiling faces.
Although the reality of this very environment has shifted,
the beauty of the culture and the land
still very much shines on.
We spent the week,
in chill mode.
We drank cocktails along the white-sanded beaches,
took photos at abandoned, burnt down casinos,
watched the sunset alongside a river mouth,
with camels taking their evening stroll,
drove around a game park looking for animals,
all the while drinking beers and laughing.
It was spent,
enjoying a mini-vacation away from Mafia Island, Tanzania
and the sweetness of one another’s company
in a place,
new to both hearts and minds.
all these travel experiences go,
it was eye-opening,
truly thankful for!