Friday, November 18, 2011

Kiswahili week 2

Jina langu ni Susan.  Mimi mi mwanafunzi wa Kiswahili hapa.  (How are things going?   My name is Susan.  I am a student of Swahili here.)

Well, two weeks down and one to go.  I feel like Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass, I can't remember which one, but the part where they have to run as fast as they can just to stay in one place.  Pastor Lee shared a new Beatitude with us last week....Blessed are the mzee....blessed are the old.  We pray for God's help in studying, thinking and especially remembering.  It is making sense, but slowly.

We have spent the last two weeks learning lots of vocabulary, as well as grammar both in Kiswahili and English.  It has been a while since we gave a lot of thought to verb tenses, adjectives, adverbs etc.  We also learned the names of fruits, vegetables, and the language for shopping.  On Wednesday, we went by bus to Tengeru Women's Market (Tengeru Sokoni Wanawake).  We were each given 2000 TZ shillings and a list of items to buy.  Our job included bargaining with the vendors.   "Hapana, ghali sana!"  (no, too expensive).  Tom and I bought tomatoes, green peppers, carrots, cabbage, onions and a coconut.  My favorite vegetable name is green pepper...pilipili hoho.  It means the pepper that is hollow.

Bargaining, also known as haggling is not one of my favorite things.  I like barcodes or a price marked on an item.  I really don't like yard sales, either as the buyer or seller.  Give me the Shop Rite any time.  By the way, the big grocery store in Arusha is Shop Rite...same spelling, but the things for sale are way different.

We had three different teachers this week.  It was nothing we did, trust me.  Mama Elda was replaced by Kisanji, who was replaced by Mama Lois.  Mama Lois worked here for many years before retiring.  They asked her to come back for the next few weeks.  She is a wonderful teacher.  She is incredibly patient and explains things so clearly.  She also speaks in a very proper and exacting way, so we can follow her without too much trouble.

When we told her that we are the Pole Pole (slow) class and that we are all Wazee (old people) she gave us some wonderful advice.  Mama Lois told us that the most important thing we can do in life is to accept ourselves as we are.  God has made us as we are and we should be glad for this.  She also is very big on positive thinking.  She told us of a student who became so discouraged that he talked of quitting and going home.  Mama Lois asked him if he felt he had been called by God to serve in Tanzania.  When he said he had, she asked if God had told him to quit.

Please pray for the teachers and students here, as well as those throughout God's world.  We also pray that we can all be glad for the person God has created in each of us.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you. Amani, Donna

  2. Happy Thanksgiving Susan and Tom! I'm thankful for you and your work. Your blog entries are wonderful. Thanks for writing!