A beautiful language originated in the 14th century with the native people along the coast. Arab and Portuguese influence. Swahili: Wa (we) Siwa (Ocean) Hili (this) The Ocean People.
Simon was our Swahili teacher for a day. His humor and humility made him the most genuine instructor. We could all laugh at ourselves!
He gave us so much to learn and think about:
Greetings: Hello- Jambo How are you? Habari yako I’m fine- Nzuri sana Thank you very much- Asante sana Plealse- Tajadhali Baaday see you later cool! poa good bye Kwa heri See you later! baaday
In the field: Twende! Let’s go! Simama Stop. Pole pole Slowly. Mbele Forward Nyuma Back. Sawa sawa OK
We had opportunity to use the language out in the field and in the dining room. Sometimes when I was at the spotlight, my excitement tripped up my newly learned words. I'd say "sawa sawa" insted of "simama!" It was a good thing nobody was really listening;) Seriously, though, we were encouraged to practice and speak as much Swahili as possible. And no matter how incorrectly we used it, everyone always responded with a genuine smile and laugh. It is powerful to connect to others this way. Not only through words, but through effort. (sometimes humiliation!) and respect. I so enjoyed this process, and I already miss speaking the language of the Ocean people in all its glory.