I apologize if I have been absent lately, but the hamster in my head has been running non-stop and I have struggled to find a spare minute to sit down and write a post (and to calm my thoughts enough to be somewhat coherent for you to read and understand!)
If you hadn’t seen it in our facebook posts our family is making a big move, we are heading to Tanzania (by airplane not by boat!!!!) where we will be staying until sometime in March. What’s bringing us to a whole new continent? Back in April Eben and I flew to India to take part in the Adventurist’s Rickshaw Run. That crazy experience of driving across Northern India in a 3-wheeled motorized vehicle showed the Adventurists that we have the kahunas to partake in unorganized, slightly-dangerous, but extremely fun adventures. In June Eben, and our buddy Ryan, took off to Tanzania to be guinea pigs for their Pioneer race, Adventure 9. This meant sailing dugout mango canoes “Ngalawas” up the coast of Tanzania. From all the stories I've heard it was an exhilarating experience, and the boys and several other teams, proved that the race is humanly possible. If you haven’t checked out the video yet you really should, it will only take up a couple minutes of your life. It’s funny and Eben’s voice/face is very prominent in it.
Now that the Pioneer race was a success they have opened up the race to the public, and Eben has been hired on as Race Assistant Coordinator. Last time he got to go the Tanzania alone (and I was slightly jealous), so this time he offered to bring all of us. And we figured if we are going to spend $$$ on international plane tickets that we should spend some time there and make it worth it. Also Eben fell in love with Zanzibar last time he was there and kept telling me, “we should check this place out as a family, I could see us living here”. That is what we are going to do. We figured 4 months will be sufficient time to spend there, to get around, to learn the ways, and see if maybe it could be a home for our family.
That is the skeleton of our plans. After that it is all a bit confusing and unplanned! The first twist is that we are not flying to Tanzania together. The girls and I got our flights sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines, that fly out of Washington. But Eben is flying with another airline, out of JFK. So we all fly out of St Thomas on the 26th, go to JFK, where Eben gets off to spend the night there and the girls and I switch planes and continue to IAD to spend the night there. The following day, the 27th, the girls and I fly out in the morning, where as Eben spends the full day in New York waiting for his evening flight. This means the girls and I arrive in Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), in an opposite time zone and completely wrecked from a 13hr flight) on the afternoon of the 28th, and Eben arrives at 6am the next morning.
Because I don’t know what state my brain will be after the flights with both girls on my own, we have booked a night at the Triniti guest house. We will go there and relax until Eben gets in the next morning. From there all we have are options! Our only real schedule is that the race, which Eben is working on, starts Dec 28th in Pemba. He would like to be on that island a bit early to help with getting things prepped.
Right now it looks like right when Eben lands we will turn around and hop on to a smaller plane, one of Coastal Aviations fleet, and fly to Mafia Island to spend a few nights at Kitu Kiblu and swim with some whale sharks (a pretty awesome way to kick off a trip!).
Do you understand why my brain is buzzing! So many exciting options, but also a lot of planning to get figured out, and A LOT of packing and cleaning of our boat too. Our boat will be staying at our friends’ marina in St Thomas, USVI, where they can keep an eye on it for us. They don’t need to do anything major, just make sure our home is not sinking when they walk past it every day. We think this is a fair exchange for dock fees! To prep we will be storing all of our sails and possibly canvas inside the boat, as well as everything else that is on deck, put our dinghy on deck, and make sure our bilge pumps are working. Prepping to leave the boat is almost like prepping for a hurricane, minus all the extra lines! She will be closed up tight, sitting, waiting for our return to take her out sailing again when we get back in March.