I sit at the breakfast table overlooking the sandy Nungwi beach; fork-and-knifing my way through a full plate of buttered croissants, eggs and beef sausages that I’d have preferred were made from pork.

With my head immersed in the contents of my plate I see him, from the corner of my eye, approaching slowly- with calculated steps as if to make sure I don’t notice his presence. I keep my face down, wondering what he could be up to. He bends his knees slightly, twists his long body to the side and approaches, stepping side ways on his rubber sandals. His garment, a deep red cloth hangs meticulously onto his lean body; I think he’s Maasai.

My face is still down, my chewing has become more quiet, more measured. As he comes closer, an object is drawn from his waist and upon realising what it is, my breathing becomes heavier. I want to raise my head to confront him but my cowardice nature doesn’t allow. I brace myself as he prepares the weapon- placing a small stone on the thin leather part, holding with his left hand the Y shaped wooden part and stretching, with his right, the thick elastic band. The contraption is pointed straight at me and I can feel my nerves running wild. The disappointment I’m feeling stems from the fact that I’m about to get seriously injured but I’m too afraid to do anything about it. I squeeze my eyes shut and tighten my kegels (I prefer keeping my dignity intact throughout this whole ordeal).

I listen out, my hand now covering the delicate parts of my face. Any minute now. I could die any minute now. The sound from the ocean doesn’t soothe me, the counting down in my head does nothing either. I get to 4…3…2 and before …1, I hear a loud thud from the man’s weapon, then I’m jolted into reality by the clinks and clanks of falling cutlery behind me. Then, when my neck finally loosens, I turn my head and the lifeless body of a crow with blood oozing from its head greets my instant happiness. Hallelujah, I’m alive!

Good morning Zanzibar 🙂