Saturday, June 27, 2009

Preparing for Africa

Only 6 weeks until Africa!!!! I can't believe how fast it is going. We have officially paid for our whole trip and have money left over for spending money, covering lost work pay and I think a new camera. Our passports came a few months ago and last week we got all our immunizations. 5 shots each for John and I,3 shots for Jake and 2 for Isabelle (plus the 3 she got at her pediatrician last month). I still have a bruise on my arm from one of the shots but the sore muscle finally seems to be gone. We have been taking these homeopathic drops to help our bodies more quickly process the little "extras" that are in immunizations such as formaldehyde. 3 times a day (Ok 1-2 times or when I think of it) I go around the house and put drops in everyones mouth. It is so cute how Isabelle gets excited to take the medicine. She says it is good but it has a very distinct alcohol taste, John thinks it tastes like rum.

We have started meeting every other week with our team in preparation of the trip. Last week we all shared why we were going on the trip and it was a very bonding experience to hear everyone share. In some ways we are all going for similar reasons and it other ways all for different reasons. A few people in our group have gone on missions trips before and others like us are going on our first trip. Christian, our pastor, has asked if a few of us will share our stories on a Sunday morning so I am sharing on August 2 why our family is going to Africa. If you don't already know why we are going check out this post.

In preparation for our trip we are learning some Swahili words and songs. By the time we go I will know:

Jina langu ni--My name is
Bwana asifiwe-Praise the Lord
Psa ngapi-How much is
Asante-Thank you
And in case it isn't obvious enough:
mimi ni mgeni--I am a visitor

Swahili is basically a phonetic language with similar sounds to English so you just have to sound the words out. The main thing to remember is the vowel sounds:
I-Long E
O-Long O
U-ooo (short u)

So use those vowel sounds with normal consonant sounds and you can make those words all happen.

Jake and I have been practicing our songs all day. At first they feel like tongue twisters but now that we have the rhythm it is starting to come together. Just don't ask me to learn anything on the fly!

Song one is "God is so Good". Of course there is a twist on the tune that I keep forgetting but the first part is the traditional tune.

Mungu yu mwema, mungu yu mwema, mungu yu mwema yu mwema kwangu.
God is so good, God is so good, God is so good he's so good to me.

The other song goes "Jesus is mine He is Lord forever". African songs are very repetitive so you just repeat that verse over and over with variations on the tune or just the ending "He is Lord Forever". And usually you are repeating what someone else sang so theoretically it is just about following along.
"Yesu ni wangu wa uzima wa milele".

OK no problem now sing it fast and in tune. :) Maybe a little easier for the more musically inclined but am loosing in both language and tune. Still now that I have it I am enjoying learning to praise God in a new and fun way. I am falling in love with the African music we have heard and really look forward to this aspect of the trip.

Here are a couple versions I found on YouTube.

1 comment:

  1. I wish you a good trip to africa. I'm there right now.