After a quick turn around from Masirah, We (I and Fadiya) head for the Camel.
Highlight of the day was the Permit hookup.
Masirah Island 2013
Paired up with Demitri and Cathy
It’s been quite some time since I last visited Zanzibar. In fact it was 16 years ago that I helped and escorted my grandmother back to the spice island. Poor grand mamma passed away few months later.
This time, circumstances mandated me to revisit the island as I received a call from my sister informing me of our father’s multiple heart attacks. Fearing the worst, I packed my bags, pushed my passport for a visa and awaited the flight which was few days later. I heard he had lost his memory and had speech difficulties. I had this feeling that I would miss the opportunity to say goodbye to him.
He and I did not get on really well, though I was the sole provider to aid his pension. When it came to Benjamin Franklin, we got on like a house on fire, but when I opted for an alternative and an sustainable income, he did not like the fact he had to wait for it. After two years of support, I was disowned.
My solution was simple, I will fund him to build a house, rent it and let him collect the income – is that so bad!
Furthermore, he gave prime beach land to my elder brother who does little for him. So, since then till now, we were not in talking terms, not because of giving away land, but refusing to accept my way of supporting him. Nevertheless, it was haunting me – the fact that he might pass away with that in his notion.
Getting there – I was not the only one, in fact I was the last person to arrive. My younger brother whom I had not seen for 8 years was arriving from Canada. It was going to be a family reunion.
Upon my arrival, I was met with my sister and two brothers.
Dad had remarried to a 28 years old younger women that bear him a son and a daughter. The son now 15 years is deaf and dumb, the daughter is down syndrome. Our step brother and sister. Both are lovely people and have a caring heart. Extremely easy to get on with and somehow self-dependent.
I arrived at the house to meet the in laws. After greetings I saw Dad. He did not recognized me. My sister explained that the memory lost was due to the stroke. He was able to walk and talk, but could not make out who he was talking to. I was informed that his stubbornness was the cause of the stroke. Not taking his meds on time and not taking in enough fluids.
Next few days, his memory got better, he knew everybody and was able to tell stories about individual members, but names were difficult. His health was better and we were able to take him to the market and to hospital where I was able to get the in depth history of his condition. The doctor explained the memory loss is an age issue rather than the stroke and that nothing can be done at his present age (84).
Day five, Dad doing pretty well, can walk and do the gardening. Knowing his condition is improving, I hungered to explore the country.
We gathered ourselves (sisters and brothers) and headed to Stone Town. We tried out most of the exotic fruits and juices and enjoyed every minute. I kept looking at the sea and saying to myself – I need to be there.
Day six, Dad not feeling to good and a trip to the hospital to collect some extra meds. This time his knees were giving him problems.
Day seven, we spend the night at my sister’s cottage at Matemwe beach (northern east coast). The beach was white and light as talcum powder. It was protected by a parallel coral reef running 300m in front of the beach which generate a perfect flats and eco system. I informed my sister that by 8am next day, I will be on the flats.
As morning broke, we ate papaya and bananas and I eagerly await the right conditions. My brother-in-law said you only have an hour to fish as we need to get back, I was due to depart for Oman around noon. I was ready regardless of the short duration. I went into the room to prepare my tackle when I was informed that we had to leave early as my brother-in-law had to visit the farm and pay his staff. We were an hour away from town which meant it was not possible to go and be back to pick me up. Need I say any more – Game Over!
That day, I was dropped off at the airport with an extreme headache. It was caused by thoughts of being there, without being THERE!
All and all, I managed to see my father and to settle whatever guilt there was between us. Most of all was to see the family reunited.
Knowing that Dad is reasonably okay and that I have had the chance to see him, my heart can rest in peace.