This week marked the final hoorah for this group and as we bid farewell to Stonetown (exiting with a hole or two in our flowy pant pockets) we headed off for our final projected at Creative Solutions. Guided by the animated Haji and Mbaruq, we experimented with recycled wine bottles in constructing everything from drinking glasses to windchimes. Despite the excessive heat and ruthless mosquitos, we emerged from that oven with a kaleidoscope of freshly baked mosaics and murals, both showcasing the Carpe spirit of course.
With tired eyes and butterflies we left early Wednesday morning to Matemwe for our first day of SCUBA certification. Four score and seven years after instructional videos, quizzes, and pool practice (trying to perfect our Angelina "Jolips" as Thomas would put it), we were qualified for most of our first ever open water dives on Thursday. The English language cannot do that first taste of utter weightlessness and defying all laws of nature justice, but it's safe to say that many of us found it to be nothing short of blissfully epic.
We spent one more short day learning the final skills and then we were ready to complete the final dives and officially earn our certificates. Returning to the same reef as the first dive, we descended to the maximum 60 feet, with the exception of Megan and Adrienne, who braved the 90 foot dive and underwater narcotics (nitrogen, that is). The highlight of the day was swimming with a pod of dolphins.
While we are all still riding the SCUBA high and are looking forward to reuniting with loved ones at home, it is important to reflect on how far we've come.
Twelve weeks ago, nine wide-eyed girls embarked on the journey of a lifetime.Whether we were trying to escape from a life back home or seeking out new adventures, we each possessed a desire to discover "what makes us come alive." Fast-forward to this final day in Zanzibar and we still can't present a definitive answer to that question, however, we are damn sure of our destiny is to kick some ass and take some names. What started as a small flame has grown into a blazing wildfire fueled by experiences completely unique to this group and the ethereal East Africa. None of us were prepared for the bond that formed between nine complete strangers, all braving a foreign world both physically and mentally.
At times the road got bumpy (literally), but here we are; a motley crew of world citizens and bad-ass chicks ready to grab life by the "kenege" and inspire communities all over. So, here's to the 40-hour train rides, countless mosquito bites, impromptu dance parties, rambunctious children, pineapple pools, simultaneous demon exorcising under the pale moonlight on safari, and every other defining moment on this trip. It was through these memories that we were thrown into fits of ceaseless laughter or forced to support each other in the outer limits of our comfort zones. And it was through each other that we learned and grew and evolved hand-in-hand, through thick and thin, unconditionally.
Here's to you, Nkula 2015. Ya dun good, kid. Rhino up!
We just heard from Megan and David, our fearless Nkula Overseas Eduators. The group is about to board their flight from Dar es Salaam and onward as the Spring 2015 East Africa semester comes to a close. It's been such a privilege and honor to see this group grow and thrive over the past few months – we wish them Safari Njema (safe journeys) as they embark on the next leg of their grand life adventures.