So up until this year every winter I have had has been full of Christmas spirit, cold, sleet and snow. This year was to be very different and also daunting as I was going to spend it in Tanzania as Project Coordinator for Frontier. It turned out to be a lovely and memorable time.
The first noticeable difference was obviously the temperature and the weather. While everyone back home experienced storms, rain and below freezing temperatures, here in Tanzania it is the rainy season meaning we get the occasional tropical storm rains paired with 29°C upwards and hot sunny days.
The next was the Christmas spirit. Being in an area where the culture is largely Muslim means that just the ex-pats and tourists are familiar with the whole concept of Christmas.This meant no Christmas songs, lights or decorations! As such it meant we gathered in the lodges on Christmas with the tourists for Christmas Dinner which even on a remote an island as Mafia is we managed to find Turkey!! Yes it was different, but it was a Christmas to remember!!!
New Year on the other hand is a massive event here. Maybe not as big as I was used to back in Scotland but massive for Mafia standards with only around 20’000 residents. In past years it has consisted of massive beach parties and bonfires. This year nothing was planned so we had a home cooked roast chicken, roast potatoes and roast vegetables with some of the ex-pat instructors on the island and then a beach party to bring in the New Year. After this it called for a party into the early morning in our “local” till 5am. After seeing the first sunrise of the New Year it was time for a well-earned rest ready for a New Year of challenges, adventures and of course, DIVING!!!
By Iain Anderson - Project Coordinator
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