“Pole Pole” which means “slow slow” in Swahili

My Zanzibarian friend, Ahmed, says “pole pole” (slow slow) a lot. I know that what he’s saying is very symbolic of the Zanzibarian attitude which is to ‘take life slowly and enjoy every minute!’. Coming to this island from the US, I am constantly struck by both the slowness of life here as well as the vitality.

One of my favorite things here that I think embodies this is the nightly ritual of kids jumping off these high poles or over the harbor wall itself into the water below. So joyful and beautiful to watch, they each try to outdo one another and are repeatedly silhouetted against the sky in their various graceful postures. I photographed this last year when I was here and this time again and I never get tired of watching (or photographing) this nightly dance.

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