Tuesday, 29 August 2017

A date in Jumba

Who new Ruins could bring so much…
Photo Courtesy: Safari254

The excitement was relentless that day because this time, we weren’t taking aid to the needy or visiting the less privileged among us, no. We were taking the orphans of Bin Suleiman on a date. MTY (Motivational Talks for the Youth) had organized a treat for these orphans following the promise we made to come back after our Ramadhan visit. A day at Jumba la Mtwana Ruins in Mtwapa was the decided destination and frankly, a pretty sweet one too. Shout out to MTY leaders #awesome_sauce.

The journey there was kingly. Two buses were rented for the occasion; one for the members plus other goodies and the other for the orphans. We arrived there and the only thing tying the place to our civilization was its entrance; you had to pay first lol. And even with the good number of people, the slab-laced pathway descending to the beach graced beautifully, carved along the undisturbed sublime of nature and culture-soaked glimpses of the historical treasure.

Photo Courtesy: www.ermakvagus.com

We decided on a historical “chill joint” at the beach shore that composed a small series of rows, each with elongated benches forged from limestone dust and sand that rose from the sandy base. Its walls merged with the hilly slope behind that descended into a tile of stairs along one of its sides, completing the pathway to the beach. The place was finalized with company from canopying trees and crawling branches, a cool breeze and an ocean view that was to kill for.

Photo Courtesy: Jumba Ruins Monsoons

After some breathing from the boys and a few games from the girls, we begun the tour.

The 500 year old site was painted with a law court, time defined tombs and houses such as Of the Cylinder (for complete sanitary services for visitors), Of Many Pools and that Of the Kitchen; probably the most important of them all 😜. It also had two small mosques across the ruins and a grand one that overlooked the ocean. The latter was mainly used to offer the Friday prayers hence its name: Jamia Mosque. They were beautiful. These mosques also had water wells beside them so that the settlers could take ablution with ease. This is why we have the Swahili saying that goes, Haskii la muadhini wala mteka maji mskitini; to symbolize the placement of such water wells.

Photo Courtesy: safari254

Photo Courtesy: safari254

Courtesy of Safari 254
Photo Courtesy: Safari254

We finished the tour with a historical display of the cultures and practices the settlers had. Their artifacts and family trees graced us with the evidence of inter-marriage between the settler Arabs and the local communities; an act believed to have given birth to the Swahili language.

By this time, we were famished.

Luckily, it was already lunch time. We decided to pray first as we waited for food to arrive. To have the full experience of this site, we made our way to one of the two small mosques called Mskiti wa Kati; for its center most position in the ruins. Best. Experience. Ever. As for that brief Dhuhr time, we had a gist of what it would have been like living a humble life in such an amazing and stunning location.

Photo Courtesy: AMP. Zuru

Alhamdulillah, it was now time to eat.

MTY provided a generous and scrumptious dish of Biryani served with complimenting accompaniments. This is no wonder why everyone begun admiring the scenery even more whilst they laid under the cool ocean breeze afterwards. It was a full-filling moment. And a tasty one as well. Again, to the decision makers, made our day.

After tending to our bowels, the boys broke into beach soccer, some went for more site seeing and others rested under the afternoon shade; Biryani game too strong. 

The younger kids played at the ocean shore completely loosing themselves to time and to this new world they had discovered. It was heartwarming, how they would run across the shallow waters, cheering and screaming as they would splash water to each other, and fall in excitement, echoing the open sands with laughter…a true sign they had forgotten their reality. One of pain and dread.

It was everything.

The day now begun welcoming its sister to sky the earth and even though we were present in this timeless palace, time worked its magic on us. We regrouped once more for some refreshments and gladly did we eat ourselves through a buffet of wonderful snacks, while awaiting our royal carriage back home. At this point in time we felt home. Among the crafty houses and leafy tombs, we felt we belonged. 

At least for that day. And it was worth every second...

The buses arrived and we were soon in many goodbyes with our new friends. Promising each other for more memories together. We rode home that day taking digital souvenirs of our time together amidst the golden red sun, as we complained about how tired we now were.
But for us, it was a good kind of tired…

It was a good kind of day.

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