Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yet another language..Chaga

So my friend Hellen invited me to Moshi today to go to her house in Kili. Moshi is SO much smaller than Arusha. The soil is like the red soil you'd find in the Southwest of the US and there are banana trees everywhere, but it is also MUCH hotter. The first baptism in TZ occurred there too! Beautiful area! Unfortunately it was cloudy so I couldn't see the peaks of Kili and Meru (usually you can). And I found a deal for climbing Kili so it's happening in Dec!!! Have I said how great this week has been :)!

I went to not only a Tanzanian church service, but a Chaga (tribe) service so the songs were in Chaga. It was really cool to hear some of the same tunes though, showing how universal music can be. Regardless of the language change, the music remains the same. On the way out there, we listened to the radio and it was choir music (some even from St. Olaf! talk about a small world!), but in Swahili. I would never have guessed it was an "African choir" because I always think of them having a beat, but once again the stereotype was broken.

Fortunately, most of the sermon and lessons were in Swahili so I could have my friend help me translate. It was really interesting though. The sermon wasn't based on the gospel saying this is the context of this verse, etc. instead it talked directly about what actions we should do. Very different than the US. Also, the service was THREE hours long. Not because it was all part of the service, but because an award was presented, the whole finances were read including how much each area collected, money was raised (yes during the service) for the children's Sun. next Sun., and there were two offerings. Because it was a village there was the typical offering, but there was also the tithes of people's goods such as 3.5 m sugar cane sticks, huge banana bunches, fruits, vegetables, and even a bundle of grass for cows. THEN after the service, we walked outside and proceeded with a 1/2 hr auction of said items. Definitely a cultural experience!

Then we went to her aunt's house for ndizi ya pikwa, cooked bananas with meat in a broth. Basically like a potato stew but with bananas. Quite yummy! We were then going to go hiking, but it was too hot. Banana wine is still on my list of things to try, but it seems many religious TZians don't drink because they know it can be abused. Which kinda bothers me and in my opinion should be all the more reason to drink because I feel that is all the more reason to show there is such a thing as responsible drinking (sorry that was a horribly constructed sentence).

My Swahili notebook probably got filled up with three pages of stuff. So yea, eventful weekend after all! I can't believe it's already Mon. tomorrow. Friends, it was SO good to talk to you!!! Miss you all, but loving TZ and can't even believe I considered rejecting this offer.

Pendo na salamu (Love and best wishes)

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