Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday in Bagamoyo

We had a good Saturday. It was our free day and we spent some time exploring the city. Unfortunately, it rained part of the time and shortened our time. We went to a museum that explained the history of the area, the Arab slave traders, the Christian missionaries, the German colonization, the British colonization, and today. Because of the Arab slave traders, there is a long history of Muslim influence. Even the Swahili language is a derived from the Arab language.

The area is economically depressed. Because of the ocean, they have more tourists than if they were farther inland. But two resorts burned recently and left 400 people out of work (representing many, many more people). They used thatched roofs on a lot of buildings here. They are very traditional, great for cooling, but can easily catch fire in a dry season and high winds (sounds like wildfires in OK).

The "food court" of the local people was extremely interesting. They have long lines of little outdoor eating places. They have a roof, but all open air. They all cook on charcoal fires. They eat LOTS of fish, of all sizes. They use these huge pans, kind of curved sides, like a wok. They fry their fish in those. They eat sardines, shrimp, changu, kingfish, red snapper, and more. We wanted to take pictures but they said we had to pay them to take pictures. So, we didn't take any, but they would get angry, just because we were carrying a camera through there.

They have a lot of historical sites, some are being restored but most are in decay. They don't have a vision for preserving these buildings. One of the trademarks of the area are the carved doors, but it is hard to get pictures of them.

And Ed went hunting for shells by the ocean, he has quite a collection now. He puts them out on the table, if they fall off, that means that there is still a creature inside and we throw that one away.

Today is our last day here. We will be picked up tomorrow morning and go back to Dar es Salaam. We will miss the hot water and quiteness of this place.