In the winter of 2019, Henderson Productions took a small group to Tanzania for a 14-day adventure. This blog series tells the story of the trip and our fellow travelers. Using our network around the world, we curated a tour to give us local connections and experiences beyond the normal tourist choices. For more information about our upcoming trips, subscribe to our newsletter.
D, J and I, and ultimately S and V, hit the beach at sunrise for great shots of the small fishing dhows coming in while hundreds of women carrying buckets waded out to get the fresh catch creating any chains of silhouettes before daybreak, mirroring the lines tying the 8-10-man boats to shore.
Back and forth they went while running clubs did the same in a low-tech super highway of dawn activity. A lone farmer washed his cow, then another came with an ox-driven cart. As the sun made for better visibility, I saw a woman handing cash to the captain, presumably buying the catch to resell in the market later. We were offered three 3-inch squid for 50 cents each – uncooked of course. Hakuna asante. No thank you. It was a peaceful, chatter-filled, bustling, natural start to our morning providing much inspiration photographically and for painting. Just perfect.
We had another elaborate and lazy breakfast in our Villa with plenty of laughter and good memories. The trip home via bus to ferry to Freddy and back to our Oyster Bay home was uneventful. All along our plan was to drop off bags, pick up bathing suits and turn around for a cooking class with Njeria. By the time a late pickup (35-minutes late – not a record), we hit the house at about 5 PM and a few of us immediately set to work earning our keep.
Four of us tried out the coconut grating stool which we were very slow at even after we got the idea. Our sweet teacher made quick work of half a dozen coconut halves to 1 each for us! The coconut was mostly used to create first and second press milk by soaking in a couple cups of water and then hand smashing thru a fine sieve. After a second press, the remains are useless except as a compost.
Chopping, peeling, dicing everything from leeks, cassava, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potato, and green unripe bananas eventually netted three appetizer servings: tomato/cuke salad, cassava and sweet potato roasted wedges with a spicy habanero dipping sauce; and a hearty banana soup that everyone thought was basic potato soup. Major yummo success. (If you’d like the recipes our gracious chef shared with us, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org).
While appetizers were being consumed, beef ribs were rubbed with a garlic and papaya mix to sit for a bit before roasting. As they were in the oven, more coconut milk was used to make white rice, fresh peas and a pink cannelloni/pinto beans. It was a great opportunity to learn new skills and all of us loved the combos and choices. Local friends came and went. Quantities of alcohol consumed. Cards Against Humanity and all hands-on deck for all the washing and cleaning up so our hosts didn’t have to. By 11 we were headed back to our house for the last full night.
We spent our final day lunching at Slipway and a quick run to the huge Kariakoo market downtown before packing for our late-night flights. One big last dinner at the Seacliff Resort and Casino for gorgeous sunset views of Oyster Bay. We shared a seafood tray of fried prawns and calamari with a double serving of fries. A nice cold beer and a jug of water were an excellent compliment to the cheerful chatter at the other end of the table.
There we were getting ready for our final flight home to our very own beckoning beds and pillows. All were in good spirits. On the way home, M retrieved her lost cell from our arriving flight at the Turkish Air domestic terminal in Istanbul on what she deemed a 15 point on the adventure scale (which tops out at 10). I had no doubt once they emailed us they had found it that the gracious hospitality of the Turkish staff would ease her challenges. Tessekur ederem Istanbul.