Baadaye Bangata

This morning was my last in my homestay in Ng’iresi, a small village on Kivesi hill just outside of Bangata, another village which is about 7 km from Arusha. Last night, I gave a frisbee to my sister Upendo (which means “love” in Kiswahili) and cousin Finny. Finny, Upe, and I tossed the disc around in the backyard for about an hour, making up games and telling each other hamna shida (“no worries”) after a bad throw–just like we do in the U.S. It was a nice final night with my family, who has been incredibly caring and wonderful in these past few weeks. After numerous nights chopping vegetables in our smoky outdoor kitchen with Mama, discussing the differences between Tanzania and the U.S. in broken “KiSwanglish” with my Baba, and helping B with her number-writing, I feel as though my family in Ng’iresi really has become part of my home away from home. Leaving them means not only leaving Mama Upe’s delicious chapati and fresh ndizi and maembe (bananas and magoes) from the backyard farm, but it also marks the end of my Kiswahili for a few weeks while we are on safari. I know that I will definitely miss a language where lala fofofo and shagalabagala are everyday phrases (meaning sleep deeply and random/chaotic, respectively) despite the trouble the language has given me in classes and in conversation. However, I find comfort knowing that I will visit my family again the next time we are in Arusha. Today, we are finishing up midterm papers and tomorrow we leave for the Mazumbai rainforest located in the Usambara region (for those of you not following along on your Tanzanian maps, it will be a very long drive from Arusha) where we will study rainforest ecology for a week. This semester is really flying by and I know that I will miss my fellow students and Tanzania a lot when it is over. But for now, there are many more adventures to come, so hamna shida.

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