I am a student of Swahili!
Began Swahili lessons today! Our teachers are Godson and Beatrice, and they are really kind. They give us chai (=tea, not the flavor) during our break. I'm not sure if I ever clarified, but "jambo" means hello in Kiswahili, although the proper word is "hujambo." However, I've noticed that most people use the slang "Mambo" (what's up) with a response of "Poa" (cool). I can put together a few phrases so far...
Jina langu ni Marissa. ( My name is Marissa )
Habari za safari? ( What news of/How was your journey? )
Mimi si mdudu. ( I am not an insect )
The apartments lay right in the middle of a low-key neighborhood full of local families and shopkeepers, so the walk into town is always pleasant. Now that a few days have passed, we walk in smaller groups, but soon we will be able to venture out alone (only during the daytime) if we want to.
Like I sensed at the airport, Pelle is awesome. He was one of the two teachers that came to an LTP workshop in Durham as part of the Sister Cities program. (Durham & Arusha are sister cities.) Since then, he's been the guy behind most of the LTP coordination here in Arusha. He's an artist himself and is just such an extremely warm person -- he's already invited my family to visit him in Salzburg if we get a chance to! I enjoyed a long conversation with him at dinner the other night (Ethiopian food!)
Been cooking every day. We pick up produce on the way back from town or Swahili lessons to our apartments. I've discovered that it's something I really enjoy when a) I'm making for other people to enjoy and b) we're cooking together. Someone called me the "head cook" or something to that extent today, and I laughed. Who woulda thought?