Gustavo Maranes’ Diary
Tidal Forests of Kenya

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August 2, 2009: Food in the village

Feast Today was a mapping day but there was a need for someone to stay in Gazi for data input. I stayed working in the canopy and took it easy. Then I joined the group for the village lunch. The women of the boardwalk project cooked for us very good local dishes and we ate them sitting on the floor of the oldest building in the village. There are many sites of historical interest on the coastline, including this ruin in Gazi that was once used by the Arabs as a concentration center for slaves before they were shipped to Far East countries. Some nicely carved wooden doors remain in the building. The village is thinking on opening a museum there in the future to attract tourism. At the moment the only creatures using it are big bats. I spent the afternoon on the beach where I relaxed and talked to some fishermen who told me that the fishing season had not been good. Nevertheless they have Tanzanian fishermen coming to their bay since apparently it is a rich area compared to others, probably due to the big amount of mangroves. The village dinner took place that day. We were split in groups and were invited to different houses in the village to have dinner with a local family. Robert, Ray and I were Meal invited for dinner at Abdulrahman’s place. He lives with eight other family members in a cement house in the main street. We ate on the floor with our right hand in the traditional way. Other family members were passing by the room all the time and watching with curiosity the new guests at home. We had a lots of food, and enjoyed taking part in the family dinner that night.

Click image to enlarge.