THIS ISLAND WASINI

Reads: 403  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic


A work related adventure off the Kenyan coast


THIS ISLAND WASINI!

I dislike large water masses. Probably because I am a water baby (as defined by my daughter) and also because I imagine sharks, crocodiles and piranhas everywhere. I am one of those guys who go to the beach and hang by the water's edge, never really getting in. While working with MEDP a DANIDA affiliate in Kwale (Kenya), I had the misfortune (twice actually) of being assigned to carry out some interviews off Shimoni (the old slavers bay) on an island called Wasini. One half of it has white sand beaches and is a tourist hub, the other half is inhabited by indigenous locals whose Kiswahili dialect is so sing song(y) we needed translators just to understand what they were saying. The translator happened to the island's only school going daughter at the time, who was in class 8 (grade 8) and attended school on the mainland.

On that day we rose early and went to the quay, the KWS speed boat had already been hired for the day, so we were stuck with the only other option, a wooden boat mounted with a small engine. It was visibly leaking and there was a guy furiously pouring water back into the ocean. By the time we started filing into the boat I had a lump in my throat. I was mortified.

First we were sat in the boat according to body weight, so the damn thing wouldn't tip over. I asked the 'captain' if he had any life jackets and he only looked at me, incredulously. So I and my colleague, gingerly sat ourselves down and after a few tugs, the engine spluttered to life. Off we went, the assistant captain now arms flailing trying to counter the inflow of water from beneath the vessel The rim of the boat was only a few inches above water and our feet were basically submerged. All went swimmingly until, we were in the middle of the ocean, water all round, no land in sight in any direction. I suddenly felt movement behind me, the the sun was bloated and a huge shadow cast over the boat. I stood up screaming and tried to run for dear life, my mind was screaming Shark! Shark! There was pandemonium as the boat started rocking dangerously, we actually took in quite a bit of water in the process. The captain was shouting at me to sit down, I was praying like I was at a crusade holding onto peoples heads and seeking divinity as I tried to get away. Finally, I was subdued by the captain no less and made to sit down. I realised what had jumped out of the water and over the boat was a pair of Dolphins. Everyone was wet and miserable the rest of the way and the captain kept on referring to me as ule jamaa wa nduru (The fellow who screams, derogatory for a coward), "Huyu jamaa, kapiga nduru kweli, doh..!" (This guy can really let out a high pitched scream!). Later in the day on our return trip, captain had caught a Stingray and it was lashed at the bottom of the boat, I kept my feet suspended most of the way back because the damn Stingray couldn't stop thrashing, I was afraid its barbed tail would come loose and rip my leg to shreds. The water was choppy and there were huge waves, the height of storeyed buildings coming at us, the little boat just managing to ride the waves at the last moment. Each time this happened, the engine almost stopped and we seemed to get swept away from our destination. Captain told us in a matter of fact manner "Ikizima sasa itabidi tupige mbizi hadi ufuoni, itakuwa ni kifua sasa" (if the engine were to go off now, you all have to swim ashore, it will be everyone for themselves), two lumps now in my throat. We got there eventually thank God, I said to myself "ata kama ni pesa....." (even if it is for the love of money...I am not going back). I was back three months later for another epic ride. Story for another day..


Submitted: December 20, 2017

© Copyright 2021 just me andrew. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

Other Content by just me andrew

Short Story / Humor

Short Story / Humor