| Abandoned | Zanzibar

There are 2 sides to Zanzibar. The stuff for the tourists and then there is reality. For us, we cannot see one side without the other.

These photos were taken on a long walk along one of the many beaches of Zanzibar. An island that many people associate with expensive resorts and exotic paradise imagery. 

It might shock you to know that behind this abandoned failed hotel was a small village where people are scraping together a living in whatever way they can.  I have no photos to share with you about the more human aspect of this because my heart couldn't bring me to take them. But we walked through the village, greeting those that we passed, paying our respects to the elders and laughing with the children. 

I have been told that showing aspects of poverty on our blog makes for uneasy reading. Challenging our comfort zones can be a positive thing to do so this is something that we will continue to explore on the blog. After all a huge portion of the world's population live in poverty and we cannot pretend that they don't exist. 

Despite being born in East Africa. I have not grown accustomed to seeing poverty. Instead I understand these scenes in the belief that these are my people and this is my homeland.  see the people with the respect, compassion and dignity. These are people just like you or I. People trying to make the best of the life that they are given.

Travelling with an open heart and mind will open doors to experiences that no amount of money can buy.


  1. These are wonderful pictures. Sometimes we want to shut out the things like this and only see the beauty in life and sometimes that's perfectly fine as it gets us through the day really. But, we can't turn a blind eye to thinking poverty doesn't exist, even in the grandest of places there is poverty. And the people are not asking for handouts or pity, they just want to be seen as people just trying to get through life just the same. I don't think one should ever become accustomed to seeing poverty, I think it's those that do, that turn a blind eye and pretend it doesn't exist. Instead we need to see it, respect them, and have empathy and compassion. Because we could easily be there too. Let it in and take it with you wherever you go :)) xx

  2. your post reminds me of an article i read about taking photos in other countries of people in vulnerable situations. there is a certain etiquette that even photographers should follow. i felt a similar thing when i was writing about the world cup and all the protests and horrific things that are going on over there which are overshadowed by the celebrations and cheering. i had written a whole paragraph but then had deleted it before posting. i kind of wish i didn't. it's not uneasy reading about poverty on your blog.. i'm glad you shed light to the issue and in such a way that is more genuine and less "savior complex" ish.

  3. If we don't sometimes share things that are challenging or uncomfortable, how can we learn and grow? Personally I have always been fascinated by the old, rundown and abandonned; I think this is in part because I grew up in a very new country where buildings rarely have enough time to decay before they are replaced by somethhing new and shiny. Perhaps this is our North American way of trying to save people from living the way the villagers behind this complex to, by taking away places where they might make a home for themselves, I don't know. We still live with quite shocking poverty all around us, particularly here in Vancouver where there is a large divide between rich and poor. I am less shocked by it than I once was, I admit, and that desensitisation perturbs me.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note, they are the stuff that keeps us going.