Author Country :Tanzania Genre Type :True Story Location :Makoko, Tanzania Year of Publication :0/ Publication : Sub Theme :Education, Humor, Languages, Murphy's Law/ Author Name :Father Joseph Healey, M.M./ Author City :Makoko
Two months after arriving in Africa I began studying Swahili, the main language
of East Africa. After a few weeks I celebrated the Eucharist in Swahili at the
convent of the Immaculate Heart Sisters in Makoko, Tanzania. In introducing
myself I said, “I have come from America by ‘banana’ (ndizi)” when I
meant to say “airplane” (ndege). The Sisters roared with laughter as
they visualized a person riding on a banana. My language teacher warned me that
this would not be my last mistake in Swahili. It wasn’t!
Since then I have referred to the priest’s “pastoral work” (kazi ya uchungaji)
as “work of livestock and animal husbandry” (kazi ya ufugaji). I have
mixed up “fisherman” (mvuvi) and “a lazy person” (mvivu) with
embarrassing results. During a meeting at the Rulenge Seminar Center, I left
the delegates saying, “I’ll be back in a few days” (siku chache) rather
than a “few minutes” (dakika chache).