As the world mourns 10 years since 9/11, the people of our island have been dealt their own tragedy. Many of you have probably not heard of the tragedy that struck us yesterday. An overloaded passenger ferry, traveling from Unguja (our island) to Pemba (sister island) capsized and sank around 1-3 AM. The boat may have had over 1000 people on board (registered to carry only 600).
As of now, it seems that near 600 people have survived and been rescued (miraculous due to the timing and extreme lack of rescue equipment and infrastructure), but over 240 have been confirmed dead, and that number will only rise (some think it could top out around 500) as many are likely still trapped in the hull of the ship.
This has had a profound impact on these islands, as there is nearly no one that has not been impacted by someone that has died or was on the ship. Shock, despair, anger, sadness, grief. Many woke up this morning never to see their loved ones again. It looks as though one of Roxanne's English students is among those that lost his life. Tragically, the ship was full of children and students celebrating Eid here on Unguja and heading back home. Numbers seem to indicate that 90% of those that died were women or children.