MZUNGU! MZUNGU! HOWAREYOU!!

Slowly, people are starting to get used to us.  Most days, Mike goes over to the YWAM smoothieland to work on the garden project.  He is gone before it is fully light so that they can take advantage of working in the cooler hours. (Started before 6 am every day, yikes.)  I usually go over a few hours later and take him a nutrition-packed smoothie for breakfast.

 

Its about 20-30 minute walk, one way.  Its a good excuse for me to get out into the community, interact with people on a non-threatening level, and to pray for the people and situations I observe.

I see many women (and children) carrying bundles of wood)

I see many women (and children) carrying bundles of wood)

He saw me taking a picture of the lady with wood, and wanted me to take one of him too, once he had his bundle loaded!

He saw me taking a picture of the lady with wood, and wanted me to take one of him too, once he had his bundle loaded!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course, everyone wants to greet me.  The more I learn of the language, the more I realize that when people call me “foreigner,” its really not an offensive thing – for example, in Kinyarwanda, I could just greet someone “girl” or “woman” or “hello, old man.”  (I can’t bring myself to say the last one, it feels rude to me.)

The kids get especially excited and shout “MZUNGU! MZUNGU!” so of course, all their friends come running.  Then they shout at me, in a sing song way “HOWAREYOU!” or my favourite, “Good morning sir.” They all want to touch my hand, partly in greeting but also because they expect that my skin feels different from theirs, so they want to touch it.

these guys all came over in a group

these guys all came over in a group

So I have taken to giving “lectures” to the ones that shout the loudest, the ones I see everyday, with my limited Kinyarwanda.  translated back into English, I think it goes something like this: “Kids, come here.  Listen: I don’t like hear ‘MZUNGU.’ (here I imitate their shouting) I don’t like.  If you want talk to me… come, say, Hello, or how are you, or good morning.  Stop say ‘MZUNGU.’  Understand?”   Then they all nod solemnly I greet them all, and smile my friendliest smile.

—they were all lined up singing or something, but stopped when they saw me with the camera

—they were all lined up singing or something, but stopped when they saw me with the camera

At least, that’s what I think I am saying. It seems to be working.  In general, the adults think its great fun that I can have small conversations with them, and I have been able to have a few really great conversations with people.

then they all gathered round to touch my hand one more time

then they all gathered round to touch my hand one more time

 

 

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4 thoughts on “MZUNGU! MZUNGU! HOWAREYOU!!

  1. I love the way you write. I can picture this! Thanks for letting us walk a little bit with you along the way to deliver your nutritious smoothie! Sending love.

  2. thats awesome guys that you are doing such an amazing job there and changing lives of many, I recently got back from a 2 week mission trip to Kisumu Kenya at a childrens home i absolutely loved it and i want to go back again soon, god bless you guys

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