July 23rd, 2014

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Tenke Jamboree 2014, Part Three


Jamboree, a gathering of Scouts from different places, and hence a festive gathering of any sort, comes from the Swahili greeting Jambo! which you can hear all over Central and East Africa. (Jambo is also the origin of Jumbo the elephant’s name, but that’s another story.) All over Tenke, you can hear the people say, “Jambo!” sometimes in the form, “Jambo, Mama” or “Jambo, Baba.” (Mama and Baba are Mother/Father but also Ma’am/Sir.) A follow-up in Swahili is Habari? meaning, “What’s the news? What’s happening?” The appropriate reply in the local dialect of Swahili is Muzuri or Muzuri sana (good/very good). (It took me a while to catch on to this last; I started out saying, Nzuri, which is very proper Swahili, and made me sound Tanzanian, I’m sure.)Collapse )
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Tenke Jamboree 2014, Part Four


Thursday, 7/10

Our first morning in camp, I’m up early as usual. The kitchen area is next to our campsite, and I discover to my delight that the coffee is ready! The choice this morning is porridge or bukari. Bukari (called ugali in Tanzania) is ubiquitous. It can show up at any meal. It’s sometimes called “stiff porridge.” It’s formed into balls and steamed. It’s about the consistency of play-doh, with not much more taste. People here roll it into smaller balls and dip it in sauce or gravy. It’s filling, but that’s about the most you can say for it. I opt for the loose porridge. It’s made from corn, too, but it’s about the consistency of oatmeal or cream of wheat. A little raw sugar over the top, and it’s fairly tasty. Meanwhile, I enjoy the company of the kitchen crew.Collapse )
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Tenke Jamboree, Part Five


Friday, 7/11

It’s another beautiful day. I get up just before sunrise and go find some coffee. I practice my Swahili/Kiluba with the Scouts. I compliment one of the mamas helping to cook on her baby. I call it mtoto, but she corrects me: it’s bebe. Of course. Miming stairsteps in height, I run through the words bebe, mtoto, kijana: “baby, boy/child, youth/young man.”Collapse )
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Tenke Jamboree, Part Six


Saturday, 7/12

Up bright and early again. Mitch and Dave also get up early. They talked with the Congolese Scout leadership, especially the youth, the night before, and they're wanting to get in on the bon service, the Good Turn scheduled for crack-of-dawn. They eat their breakfast and hustle down to the train station for what they say will be a 6-9 a.m. project.Collapse )