They say Kishwahili is an easy language to learn. I’m not sure what they were comparing it with but I certainly didn’t find the first day easy at all! In fact, I had a minor melt down when at the lunch table Mama J asked me how many children I had and I burst into tears! I had no idea it was going to happen but it did! I had just come from my room and the messages I had tried to send to Gemma and the boys hadn’t gone through, my foot was swelling alarmingly, I couldn’t remember any of the things I had just been taught in the classroom.......
....anyway.....thanks to the understanding support of my wonderful friends, who have each gone through or are going through similar melt downs, I survived the day and even came out of the final class feeling in control of some of the Swahili!
Sitting on the steps, enjoying a cool drink and chatting, I had the very pleasant surprise of the much looked forward to meeting with Polly. I had told her that I would be available any day between 4-6pm and was hoping to meet me Tuesday however she couldn’t wait to meet me either and arrived unexpectedly.
Polly, the founder of SEGA, is an American who has been living in Africa for 10+ years and is married to a South African. She has a daughter as well and they have just moved from Dar to Morogoro into the house Sandra, my volunteer predecessor, was living in. Polly has rented a newly built 4 bedroomed house for me and has furnished it with all her furniture from Dar. She took me to the house where I met, Camilla and Elaina, two 17 year old lovely American girls on their gap year. They are at SEGA October – start February. They have just moved in this week and are getting the house ready for me. The curtains had just arrived and it looks fantastic...very welcoming already. I am so lucky to have the girls to start my placement with. I am sure they will be Tanzanian savvy very quickly and so be able to teach me what they have learned! They are taking the girls swimming this Wednesday....a job I will inherit when I get there!
It was reassuring being able to talk to Polly about my placement and her expectations and especially what she is doing at SEGA at the moment. I am right in thinking that I am going to be drawing on all my past experiences during my placement. I can’t wait!
Polly’s visit was certainly well timed!
Tuesday. Day 2.
Avocado and orange for breakky instead of white bread and jam! Verbs...past, present and future. This was followed by a very informative, and much needed session, on Do’s and Don’ts in Tanz. There are so many that are different from Western Culture! Being left handed I was surprised by the custom that I shouldn’t put food into my mouth using my left hand without utensils. I am going to have to be very aware of this when eating out! Hands are the preferred utensils.
I have serious study to do as I am learning so much and not retaining very much however the more we talk in Swahili with each other and the gentle Sisters here at Amabilis, the easier it is getting....I think!