No common language? Hakuna matata!
Trip Start Jan 19, 2010
4Trip End Jan 28, 2010
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Where I stayed
There is a popular phrase in Italy called "mal d'Africa". It is defined as the earnest longing of a person to return to Africa after just one visit. In fact, this is the power of its land and locals. Imagine a place where children run happily about barefooted, where youths are enthusiastic to have a chitchat in spite of a lack of extensive vocabulary in English, where villagers out and about for work greet you cordially with "Jambo!".
I carried a child of almost three years in my hands, and I was surprised that she felt light as air. I tossed them in the air a few times, to their great elation, and immediately after I put down one, another wanted to be taken on the tossup ride as well
A beachboy friend of ours, Ali, took a long walk of 9km with us to reach Pongwe, without asking for any money or favors. He recounted to us the life and culture of Zanzibar, while also helping us get a hitchhike on a lorry back to our resort in Kiwengwa. We treaded through springwater streams (that threatened to suck us deep into its source), mountains of seaweeds, and plenty of dead corals and rocks. Low tide is a good time to take a stroll or a long walk.
In Kendwa, a young fisherman tried incessantly to communicate with us using his limited English vocabulary. He was born in Zanzibar, but the fact that he couldn't understand where was Pongwe or Kiwengwa meant that he had never been away from Kendwa. It must have been really alienating for him to see these foreigners intruding on his beautiful beach.
The cheerful greetings from staff of our resort brightened my day. I learned the word "Kwaheri" (goodbye) and "Assante", and my small knowledge of these two Swahili words instantly endeared me to them, if only for willingness of trying.
The languor of the popular Swahili song "Jambo Bwana" emphasizes the blissful happy-go-lucky attitude of its people -
which in layman's terms mean..
How are you?
Visitors are welcome
Our country Kenya