Swahili class today included some wonderful singing of Tanzanian songs, both gospel and secular. in return, the students offered a hymn or two from the Mennonite hymnal. Also as part of Swahili class, in small groups the students were asked to act out both inappropriate and appropriate cultural behaviors. Remember to offer and receive gifts and greetings with your right hand, avoid smelling food at a host’s house (it suggests you are unsure of the food’s quality), and please remember to greet your elders with the customary shikamoo (I offer you my respect.)
After class, we boarded daladalas from the church to visit the Makumbusho Cultural Centre & Village Museum in Dar. The center seeks to celebrate and educate Tanzanians and visitors alike regarding the unique cultural heritage present in Tanzania’s more than 120 tribes. More than 20 of these tribes are represented at the center through construction of houses, gardens, and industries that typify their communities in the rural landscape. We were lucky enough to be attending during an annual 3-day celebration where villagers came to town for dancing and singing representative of their tribe. We were also treated to a buffet of ugali, rice, vegetables, and fruit.
Tomorrow we will go to the beach for a day of respite, reading, and relaxing. Likely Sunday, students will go to church with their families. We’ll touch base again on Monday. Weekendi njema! (Have a nice weekend).