Mkoma Bay, the Swahili Coast

 

  

  

  

  

 

I am actually very sad that we have to leave Abdul and his village.  We took the “African luxury coach” at 9:30 in the morning from Arusha to Tanga.  Let me just say, there was absolutely nothing luxurious about the bus.  Maybe the company thinks that if they call it luxurious, more people will want to ride.

The bus ride to Tanga was beautiful and we arrived in the coastal city around 3:00pm.  Lisa and Ulridge, the American and Danish owners of Mkoma Bay were waiting for us at the bus station.  We heard about Mkoma Bay from a good friend and BYU and figured it would be the perfect place to relax and restore our bodies after our grueling Kilimanjaro Climb.  Also, there was a chance that baby sea turtles would be hatching on the beach during our stay.

No sea turtles came, but we did enjoy miles of beach all to ourselves, three course meals with delicious sea food, and tours of the historical villages that surrounded us.  It was a very unique experience to stay on the Northern Swahili Coast (despite the baby turtles deciding to stay in their shells a little longer.)(Below: Andrew’s Post)

Both Kylie and I woke up well before our morning alarm and just lay in bed enjoying the fact that: (1) we weren’t camping, (2) we were clean, and (3) we were off the mountain. As Kahe village awoke we heard the sounds of village life also increase. We heard the donkey outside, the roosters crow, and Abdul’s mother as she worked on breakfast. Kylie and I tidied our gear for the journey to Tanga, and walked out into the sitting room. Abdul’s mother had already prepared for us breakfast which consisted of chapati and tea. Needless to say we ate the chapati and left the tea. It was very touching to see her excitement about our visit and enjoyed the broken English conversations we had with her. When we returned to our room we found Abdul with his son who was dressed in his school uniform. Abdul proudly told us this was his son Ki (short for Kili, after the mountain where he works) and that after taking him to school we would leave for Moshi and our bus. We enjoyed the last few moments Abdul’s home before leaving to get Moody and meet Abdul’s wife. Abdul’s home like Moody’s was very humble. A single room building, it had a bed, a dresser, and a night stand with a stereo on top. Abdul’s wife was very friendly and held Dai, Abdul’s youngest. I noticed in the back corner a leather basketball, a gift from Gary Lew after his climb with Abdul. It was amazing to see the kindness of our family friends influencing the lives of these people. After Abdul are I this family we grabbed our things and ran to catch the bus. Prayers were answered and we caught the bus despite a couple delays- we owe it to simple prayers being answered that we made it. When we arrived at the station we said our goodbyes to Abdul and Moody, both of which joined us on the trip to Moshi to ensure we caught our bus. I honestly have been so touched by their kindness and love. These men who really by many people’s standards have nothing, shared with us everything and treated us like family. It was a touching goodbye and I look forward to email and whatsapp contact in the future.

The bus ride to Tanga was quite eventful, we had a couple people throw up, were delayed by all sorts of things etc. despite all the delays and stops, we miraculously made it to Tanga and found Ulric and Lisa, the owners of Mkomba bay. They both came to Africa for work, Ulric with his company and Lisa with the peace core and have been here for a while. We enjoyed chatting with them about their thoughts on African development and handsome great lessons on what barriers exist to lifting the society/communities. 

When we arrived at Mkomba bay, it was a beautiful place. Situated on the beaches of the Indian Ocean, it is a little African oasis. They have a pool, clean rooms, hot water, and wifi (that you have to pay for). In all senses of the word here in Africa, it is a luxury spot that we got for a very low price given the season. We had a lovely meal of kingfish and called it an evening. 

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