Day 3

Today was Saturday, and we spent most of the day learning more about Mwanza, our area, and Swahili! When we woke up, my uncles and Nafisa came over to set up our SIM cards, after which Nafisa took us to a market close to our house to meet Mumtaz (her mother) and Sifa (our help and my uncle’s family friend). When we arrived at the market, we noticed that we were the only mzungus in sight! As we walked through the narrow market, everyone called out to us, welcoming us to their little kiosks, and greeting us! At this point, we didn’t know any numbers, so we had trouble asking for prices. We separated from Nafisa, Mumtaz and Sifa as they looked for clothes for Nafisa’s children, and we ventured further into the market. Iman found a skirt that she liked, and we tried negotiating with the man, but the communication barrier was too large. After he gave his initial price, I said “mimi Baba kutoka Moshi na mimi Mama kutoka Singhida”, which means my dad is from Moshi (a city in Tanzania near Kilimanjaro), and my mom is from Singhida (another small town in Tanzania). After hearing this, he greeted me enthusiastically but my lack of knowledge about numbers in Swahili made it difficult still to negotiate, and we ended up leaving the skirt!

After the market, we returned home and learned our numbers! I’ve found that I pick up Swahili quite quickly, as some words I recognize from the dialect I speak to my parents in, but also because I feel really comfortable with the tone and pronunciation of the language. By the end of May, I want to feel comfortable holding a good conversation in Swahili!

We met with my uncle after sunset, and he took us for the best mishkaki in town. Mishkaki is marinated beef skewers, and is one of my favourite dishes. It is really popular in my faith and culture, and reminds me of home. The other interns loved mishkaki as well, and I really hyped it up so I’m glad it exceeded expectations!.

Finally, my uncle dropped us to Rock Beach Garden to meet the other expats at Chicken Run, a new bar right on the lake. Here, we met with Steph, Helen and Brenda, as well as 3 or 4 other expats. As soon as the DJ saw our group, he immediately changed the music to recognizable English music, which I found quite funny.

I’m having a great time exploring Mwanza, but I’m eager to get started at Mikono Yetu!

Kwa heri,

Nareesa

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