Stone Town, Zanzibar: 73 Year Old Energy

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    Sitting on the bicycle backwards with a grinding wheel on the handlebars and a belt to the rim that had the rubber tire pulled off to the side so he could pedal and run the grinder. Ingenious.
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    Needs more cowbell!
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    A big beautiful sail on that dhow.
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    Kids diving from the wall in the hot sun.
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    I saw this guy sharpening knives on this bicycle.
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    Zanzibar pizzas.

Stone Town, Zanzibar: 73 Year Old Energy.
Dec 27

Derrick from Germany, 73 – “How was it at home?”
German friend Marc – “Beautiful.”
Derrick – “No, a woman is beautiful.  Temperatures are hot or cold.  How was it?”
Marc – “It was hot.”

And that is the mind of a 73 year old German man I met today named Derrick.

It was the slow beginning of a day, and it took Marc, Sofia and I until 14:00 to get out of the house in Stone Town.  We ran around Stone Town, ate like kings all day, and in the evening we met with a local girl named Samantha.

Samantha is from Tanzania.  She is 29 years old, attractive, and married to Derrick, a 73 year old German who I would later meet.  How it happened was that Derrick and her father were friends and Derrick began to take notice that he had feelings for Samantha.  When they built and built, he told her father about them.  Eventually, a relationship formed and they married.

Derrick was in the German armed forces for years.  All of his children are older than Samantha.  He took her home to Germany.  The family accepted her, but they were mostly concerned about her future after he is gone.  He ended up sending Samantha off to university.  She studies in social work in Uganda.

Last year Samantha got a phone call that Derrick was in the hospital.  She was in Dar Es Salaam at the time and she was told to hurry to Zanzibar.  Derrick had cerebral malaria.  He was in a coma.  He stayed that way for five days.  When it started looking bleak and the doctors told her to call the family, she got in touch with Derrick’s oldest son Doug in Germany in the evening.  By 14:30 the following afternoon Doug was in Zanzibar.  Samantha spent 20 days at the side of the bed while Derrick was in a coma.  Her local friends told her, “Run.  Go and take everything.  Take everything you can and hide it.  We can get you a lawyer to make a fake death certificate, and you can clean out the bank accounts.  Go.”  Samantha told her friends, “This is my husband.”

Derrick came out of the coma and he survived.  Samantha said that she did not want her friends anymore.

Samantha and Derrick have been married for eight years.  In two years they will renew their vows on their ten year anniversary.

Derrick showed up to meet us.  He brought an amazing and powerfully energy to the table.  He is one of those people that make you a better person just for knowing.  He and I chatted for about 20 minutes.  He told me that he loves what I do with my life.  He said to the table, “So, can you guys take care of Samantha for a while?  I am going to go and travel with Beaver.”

When Derrick went to leave us with Samantha as they had other arrangements he said, “Well, we have to go and meet my other wife.”  I told him I really liked his energy.  He was an amazing man.  I asked Marc about the ‘Second Wife.’  Marc said that it is Samantha’s sister, who lives here.  She is not actually with Derrick, but they spend a lot of time together while Samantha is away studying.

I initially wondered how a 73 year old man had a 29 year old wife.  I assumed it was money.  I no longer think it is.  I think it is totally energy.  That man has it… 

Meeting Derrick and Samantha was easily the best part of the day in Stone Town.

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