February 1, 2004
A narrow path, children asking for ‘pen school’, a wide vista, azure blue ocean, and surf crashing on to the shore of Tumbatu island in the distance. We are in Kendwa. The owner of Malaika Cottages shows us his rooms, bare with Zanzibar beds, a kind of four-poster. "Only $10," he says hopefully. His place is deserted.
A wide sweep of fine sandy beach, dhows, fishing boats. "Come and see my shop." We follow him. It’s a shack with biscuits, mangoes, and woodcarvings. We walk on. ‘Coffee?’ we ask, but there is no hot water. In Sunset Bungalows, some 20 tourists, not a sound to be heard, all absorbed in their books. The next beach hotel has hot water: we sip strong instant coffee, tiny cups.
The massage ladies seek shelter, a sudden downpour, big drops, soon a vertical sheet of rain. Blue skies on the western horizon. The reading crowd has shifted to our place. Some have brought their books, some stare at the ocean others have become gregarious. The artist painter paints his canvass white with broad strokes and paints delicate figures with finely protruding lips and noses, an exact likeness of the locals.
Tables are laid for lunch, one by one they fill. Four tables, 12 people, the Zanzibar lunch is of excellent quality: tuna fish in banana sauce, octopus Zanzibar style, chicken in creamy sauce, pilau rice, stewed vegetables, crispy salad, two dressings and a fruit salad that never came.
In the afternoon the sun appears and people drift back to the beach, swimming, lounging in hammocks, nothing much happens. The atmosphere is peaceful, quiet, relaxing.
A 100-room hotel is in progress of being built, operational in 2004. There is still time to visit Kendwa before noise, people, and pollution take over.
From journal Nungwi, North Zanzibar