I’ve never been a fan of pirates. As a lifelong fan of both Peter Pan and ninjas, some might say that pirates represent a sort of eternal nemesis. They’re the Wolverine to my Buckeye. This time, however, they’ve gone too far.
This is not the first time pirates have attempted to ruin my vacation. Ask my family about the time I threw up in the middle of a Disney World line while waiting to ride – you guessed it – Pirates of the Caribbean. I couldn’t have been older than ten at the time so being the fearless, resilient kid that I was, I’m pretty sure I got on that ride anyway. Like with terrorists, the second you start letting the pirates dictate your lifestyle, they win. A man of principle, even at the age of ten…
Things are unfortunately different this time around. Instead of Disney World, the destination was to be Lamu, Kenya. Lamu is, by all accounts, a breathtakingly gorgeous island off the Kenyan coast. Its combination of beautiful beaches, tasty seafood, and old Swahili culture have made Lamu a great destination for tourists in East Africa. The abundance of rich tourists, coupled with its proximity to the seemingly lawless Somalia, has also made Lamu a great destination for pirates.
A group of us were planning to spend Christmas and New Year’s on the island, but after the rash of recent kidnappings and violence attributed to the swashbuckling scallywags, Kenya in general and Lamu in particular are now off-limits to Peace Corps Volunteers. My good friend Ashley actually arrived on the island where, within hours, she was turned right around and evacuated (after her evacuation from Egypt during the Arab Spring Revolutions - she is well on track for some kind of record).
We’re considering moving the plans to Zanzibar (a second choice only due to its higher costs), but with the pirates reach continuing to extend, we’ll have to be careful about planning even this. We’ll see what happens. I really want to make it to a beach for the holidays, but we’re starting to run out of options.