Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Insight from my youngest host brother

One of the first things that trainees were taught in coming  to Botswana is that everyone greets people. Literally everyone exchanges hellos and smiles when passing. I think it's great because you are interacting with people, getting to know your neighbors, and becoming part of the community. Part of what makes this so great for all of us during PST is that we get to practice our Setswana. Common greetings is to say "Dumela Rra/Mma" and then ask how they are doing ("O tsogile jang? or "O kae?" or some variation). When we say these things, the Batswana laugh and laugh and smile and laugh! Normally this would seem to be a deterrent and we wouldn't want to keep trying for fear of saying things incorrectly or being embarrassed. I told this to my youngest host brother the other night and he laughed and laughed and smiled and laughed at me... again. And then he gave me this insight: "You can't laugh if you're not happy!" Basically, he said, the Batswana are just so happy that we're trying and that we're learning. Sooooo ke leka Setswana!

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