We excitedly headed out camping this week. 3 families, 5 kids. Coordinated meals, tents, gear. Met up at ISM with full tanks, big smiles, and piles of travel snacks. We were heading to a new site 'Island Style Campground' that was recently opened by an ISM parent. At this point we called her for directions. Ha Ha!!! 10 km later we arrived!! Not even one 'are we there yet?'
Meet Leandra, Claudia, and Yves (eve). Claudia's sister owns the Blue Heron, the garden cafe with the fountain. She was raised here and her parents still live in the country, mainly doing volunteer work. She went back 'home' to Switzerland for university where she met her husband. They moved back here a few years ago to build a house and spend most of their time working at the Heron. Leandra is less than a year younger than Kaia, and Yves is only a month younger than Theo. They also have twin cousins in Kaia's class at school. We've known them a long time now... since our babies were just big bellies.
The camping site was really nice. Green, spacious, shady, private. They had a hammock, tons of plastic chairs, grass mats, playground, bar, bathroom, (cold) showers, wood, charcoal, water. It was close and easy, something we could do comfortably on a weekend. She was extremely accommodating... more than happy to help us set up tents anywhere... next to the playground, or even in bar garden :) She also said there were some nice walks nearby, we didn't have time but if we like them then it is a perfect weekend getaway.
The only problem was the seafoos (biting ants). There was a huge nest near the hammock and they were all over the site. They are carnivorous and devouring a bit of hot dog in the photo above. Originally we built the fire on top of the nest hoping to drive them underground but it only drove them out!!! I am terrified of them and it took a lot out of me to be comfortable tenting with them. We put on shoes and pulled our socks up over our pants. Surprisingly it was fine. Still gives me the hebegeebies to think about it though.
Playground was very Tanzanian... The splintery wood kept falling out the swings. The seesaw was too high for the kids to play on alone and so heavy that it was incredibly dangerous for the kids to walk under. One slide had a 'bump' on it, great idea but was so abrupt that it was just a painful speed bump. No matter though, kids always manage to have fun.
Fire was nice. They built it on a piece of tin roof which was a great idea for easy clean up.
Boys did an awesome job of helping to build it.
The ground was harder than I remember it being. Gospel music rang out from the nearby church well into the night. It rained and our tent leaked a little bit. Kids were all up by 630am. But despite a questionable night sleep, and between a few minor breakdowns, the kids got on so well.
Two peas in a pod... we always have to remember to bring two balls when they hang out together or it is tears all day long.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Can't wait to go again.