Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run, and out of which they grow. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
Jambo fellow bloggers.
How much Kiswahili (Swahili ) do you recognize? ( glossary below)
Before we volunteered at The Ilula Orphan Center in Ilula, Tanzania, we were given a handbook which included suggested words and phrases to practice. While visiting any country, a little local lingo rolling off the tongue becomes survival language, while other phrases are necessary to exhibit good manners and that you care enough to learn a little.
Ron & I were assigned a staff member to be our new rafiki. Morning, noon and evening she expected us to say the proper Swahili greetings for how are you this morning, how are you this afternoon and how are you this evening?
I mastered it and she beamed. Ron didn’t do so well.
Throughout our stay, Ron was called Babu and I was called Bibi. I guess the grey hair earned us that honor. We also heard ourselves called mzungu from village children as we walked into town. There weren’t many of us mzungus around.
Every evening when we bid good night to the girls, they would reply, lala salama, the two most beautiful words to hear.
Soon after we got home from this wonderful trip, we threw a lively Afican party for our friends which included drumming, singing and good food. Before long, men were wearing the kanga cloths and having their pictures taken. Of course, the evening wouldn’t really be complete without a slideshow travelogue of our pictures shown through the TV. Indeed, an enjoyable and lively evening.
At the beginning of the party, each person got a list of Swahili 101 and to this day, five years later, I still hear some of these phrases ring out in the grocery store or in an email. Jambo Lynne!!
ASANTE SANA THANK YOU VERY MUCH
HABARI ZA ASUBUHI HOW ARE YOU THIS MORNING?
HABARI ZA MCHANA HOW ARE YOU THIS AFTERNOON?
HABARI ZA JIONI HOW ARE YOU THIS EVENING ?
MZUNGU WHITE PERSON
HAKUNA MATATA “NO PROBLEM”
POLE, POLE SLOWLY, SLOWLY
LALA SALAMA SLEEP IN PEACE/GO IN PEACE
MUNGU AKI BARIKI GOD BLESS YOU