The friends we meet in the path of life make the trip worthwhile..
It happened so, that I shifted to Dares-salaam last year, but the feeling was different this time. Maybe because, I was leaving home for good and I had no idea about when I will return back. Although I was heading to a land where I had lived my early childhood, yet I stored fear underneath the smiles and exhilaration shown on my face. I wasn’t so sure if I would easily manage to settle down here. Because, all I was lacking with, was FRIENDS. Only if I would have been in contact with my school friends back here (in Dares-salaam), it would not have seemed so difficult to fit in. Eventually, I managed to do so.
As A-levels started a month later, I met two of my very old long lost friends. (Both named Zainab). Coincidentally, they had also applied and got in the same school and class as mine. That day was a delightful one. I was so pleased to see them after all these years. Imagine how you would feel when you see someone you know, after a long gap of 10 years- where you can actually see the transformation taken place, from how cuddly and cute they used to be in grade 1 to how lady-like and beautiful they have become now. As a year passed by, both the Zainabs and I turned out to become very close friends. Or let me put it this way, we became more like “overly attached sisters”.
Apart from these two, who knew I would meet other new people too. Someone who would turn out to be so important to me in a matter of few days. A series of events followed. What came about now was that both the Zainabs along with some of their friends were planning to go to Selous (a place in south Tanzania) during Eid. So they had also asked me if I was interested to join in for the trip and more to my surprise I decided to tag along with them. However, it weren’t just us girls, but a group of 4 boys too who already were friends with both the Zainabs. Abbas, Juzer, Qusai and Mustafa were initially strangers to me but with time turned out be excellent company and long-lasting friends. I was pretty much comfortable with the girls. But I wasn’t so sure about the boys. However, being considerate enough, they tried making me comfortable in every way they could. As they might have realized how awkward it was for me to come up from nowhere and suddenly end up in Selous with them.
Well, as it was, all 7 of us packed our bags with excitement and thrill to board on an adventurous trip which was of 2 nights and 3 day of camping, enjoying ourselves, making memories and most importantly taking selfies on the very day of Eid, the 17th of July
Day 1: The journey started off slow and lazy and the roads seemed never-ending but the music conquering our moods and a slight hum from here and there made the journey worthwhile. It was dark enough when we reached and the jungle looked silent and spooky from all sides. But as we were tired from the long ride, everyone hurried off to get fresh and grab food. Dinner that night was sururu and hajam along with soft drinks of course. (Sururu is a barbecue dish where small pieces of meat are aligned on a barbecue stick and cooked on coal. Hajam is a traditional chapatti. It is served with chili and tomato sauce). Though not so luxurious, but the food made s all satisfied after which we were off to play a few games. Everything seemed nice and serene and I had forgotten for a while that I was away from home and was actually amidst a jungle with my friends beside me. Each moment felt so lively. We played, chitchatted, giggled and made the most out of it.
Day 2: the day started off beautifully as we witnessed the sunrise of Selous, who would want to miss that sight?! Where the very first rays of the sun kisses the grasslands making it glow and the lakes to sparkle, when the sky turns golden and the clouds seem to shine. Oh what beauty it is to view the sunrise! Breakfast for the day included left overs from the previous night along with nutella sandwiches and tea. After which we set off for the game reserve. The Selous game reserve is Africa’s largest game reserve and one of the favorite wildlife viewing areas. The rivers and lakes of Selous are the heart of a park that hosts some interesting species of animals including elephants, wild dogs, buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles and fantastic prides of lion together with over 440 known species of unique and beautiful birds. The park is home to a very good population of Giraffes, hyenas, sables, baboons, wildebeests, zebras, impalas, and vervet monkeys. It took us 6 hours just alone for safari but one worth our time and filled with nature of the beauty of Allah. We came across exclusive species of animals along with their habitats. It was as magnificent as one imagines it to be. All 7 of us along with our guide had been enjoying the drive as thoroughly as one could do so. We lived each moment there in Selous to its fullest and would never mind going back there again. We were satisfied – with simply no regrets! Day 2 ended up being even more thrilling and adventurous, dinner for the night being barbecued chicken along with French fries, a rare combination it was. Later we stayed up all night playing games, star gazing, chatting and getting to know each other more.
Day 3: unfortunately this was our last day and packing up was in process, breakfast being served as Nutella sandwiches along with sausages this time. After which we took off for Dar-es-Salaam. This trip proved to be one good justification to why and how we have all got so close. Although it was a short trip, these 3 days changed so much in our lives. I found true friends. We have gotten along so well, that they mean so much to me. I am grateful to them that they have helped me fit in and enjoy being part of their small family – of closely attached friends.
So, this is how we molded a small group of ours. Our bond is pure and treasured. Life seems so meaningful and colorful when we have such friends. Because, “FRIENDSHIP” is itself a rainbow between hearts sharing 7 colors: love, sadness, happiness, truth, faith, secret, and respect. All 7 of us stick together no matter what. We stand by for one another. Our journey is endless. Our paths are one. We are together, all as ONE.