kikois watamuLetter from Africa… a sabbatical in Malindi

My rented treehouse is just a minute from the pristine beach where traditional Swhahili fishermen repair their nets and sails during the day and launch their boats after dark. They sometimes have time during the day to take me out to the reef for snorkeling…

And yes, the milk goes off if you leave it out in the humid heat for 10 minutes, and the roads have huge potholes and often things run out in the local shops. But you CAN get hand-caught live prawns, crabs and clams every day straight from the fishing boats. And the most delicious halwa in the world (handmade with locally grown almonds and pistachios and cardamom seeds) is made right here in Malindi. And there are sunsets to make you cry with the beauty of it all. And the children’s laughter when they play on the beach in the cool of the evening will still ring in your ears when you go to bed at night.. and the hauntingly beautiful, monotonous chanting from the mosques wakes you up at dawn.. the vast, ever-changing, ever-pounding Indian Ocean… and wise old men in faded kikois and prayer-hats, leaning on their walkingsticks.. or beautifully dressed in white, on their way to evening prayer… and those gentle Swahili greetings – the way they lightly touch their foreheads and their hearts… Salaam Alaikum… Alaikum Salaam… I’m feeding my soul. By the bucket load.

(For the full article see Sabbatical in Africa)