Monday, April 09, 2007

The Best and Worst Couple Dollars I Ever Spent

Sometimes you don't have to spend a lot of money to create memorable experiences.

The pictures in today's post represent the best two dollars I ever spent, and the worst three dollars I ever spent, both transactions taking place while in Zanzibar.

Yes, five dollars worth of memories....okay, I know full well that I'm ignoring the not insignificant price-tag of flying to Africa in the first place.

(Heh, it reminds me of the time my friend Emily responded to my compliment about her gorgeous dangly silver earrings. She said, "Yes, these earrings are special alright, they cost me five thousand and five dollars---five thousand for my trip to Turkey and the five dollars I paid for these earrings there".)

The Best Two Dollars: Were spent as the admission fee for the Mnarani Natural Aquarium, an educational conservation project in an enclosed tidal lagoon on Nungwi Beach to protect the local green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles from being killed for the use of their shells in souvenir products, to raise local sea turtle populations by protecting hatchlings, and to raise money for the local community through turtle tourism.

We got to feed adult sea turtles seaweed and hold baby ones! How cool is that!

The Worst Three Dollars: Getting a Black Henna design painted on my skin on Zanzibar the very next day. It was very pretty. At first. Then I had a severe allergic reaction and ended up in a hospital in London with second-degree chemical burns and blood-poisoning.

Note: Black Henna is not real plant-based henna. I learned the hard way. (If you want to see a gory picture of my arm taken three weeks after I got this done, I posted one over on my other blog. Never, ever do what I did.)

So, part of the reason I mention these things is because you can now read about them in fuller detail if you are interested at my travel blog (

I'm finally writing the last posts for it. I'm actually writing about my last day there--whew, finally. (I've had all the posts started in draft form with the photographs since December!)

My motivation to finish writing about this trip? Well, pretty soon that blog will have to be the new Spider Girl Goes to Italy blog and I should really finish transcribing the journal for one trip before I start the next one, right?Geez, it's taken me long enough.

I hope everyone out there had a good Easter holiday.


Gary said...

Wow. Blood poisoning sounds pretty serious. I hope it wasn't too bad. Think I would really like Zanzibar, though. I can't wait to read about Italy.

Josie said...

I'm going to check out your travel blog. I travel vicariously through other folks. I would love to go to Africa.


Gnightgirl said...

I popped over here from bloglines, and inadvertently got portal'd to your travel blog, which I somehow didn't know existed! I left a comment, then came back to read again, but was on the wrong blog...I'm in bloggy twilight zone!!

Cute turtles, terrible black henna! You've done a lot of cool stuff.

Nancy said...

I can not imagine how painful that must of been. The scar must remind you of your horrible ordeal. Thanks for sharing