January 18, 2011

Swahili class and navigating town

Swahili classes have begun!  Yesterday and today, the students arrived at the church for Swahili class in fine fashion.  In fact today, everyone was on time!  That is a feat when one considers that students are learning how to navigate the daily commutes from their homes to town via daladalas, of which some trips can take 1-2 hours.    Daladalas are a cultural experience in themselves and the primary mode of transportation for many Tanzanians.   The students’ host parents and/or sisters or brothers helped them come to town the first day, now most students are flying solo, and doing very well!

This afternoon we had the entire group to our home in Mikocheni for our first “unit house” meeting.  We shared a light lunch of fresh mangoes, pineapple, and passion fruit (“How do you eat a passion fruit?”) with fresh vegetables from the market.  Today’s cook group started “making” lunch by visiting the local market and bargaining for the day’s menu.  After lunch we processed our first few days in Dar with students leading sharing, singing, and reflections.  Students left our house in small groups to explore the area and find their way home.   The pulse of our daily lives is falling into a rhythm, students are finding their way, literally and figuratively.  It is an amazing group, supporting one another with both compassion and laughter.

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