Friday, May 28, 2010

Kenny's Musical Stylings

Everyone in Tanzania loves to sing. It's exactly like summer time at home, sometimes, cruising windows down and music up, everyone singing along. Tori and I have heard lots of Tanzanian hits (some of them live at the Tanzanian Music Awards!), including "One Love" and "Nipigie." I recommend YouTubing them if you get the chance--Nipigie is almost as catchy as Ke$ha's single of the month!

Speaking of Ke$ha, they have a particular fondness for American songs. Tori and I even heard a new Beyonce song while we've been here, and we're looking forward to hearing it when we get home.

Most people like to sing along with the Tanzanian version of MTV while they work at cooking, washing clothes, or building new things.

Kenny, in contrast, likes to sing early in the morning. By early, I mean around 6:30 or so. That's usually when we get up anyway, but sometimes when we'd like to just loll around in bed for a few minutes, Kenny makes that impossible.

Tangentially, there's also this depraved rooster who apparently missed the genetic memo to crow only at dawn. He likes to start around 5:30 and go until 8 or so. I've got grand plans to treat our host family to a Southern delicacy--chicken and dumplings--if he keeps it up.

Anyway, back to Kenny. We've heard a wide variety of music from him in the mornings, from "Any Man of Mine," to "Love in this Club," to "I Can Be Your Hero Baby" (one of my personal favorites). We've even gotten a lovely rendition of "I Want it That Way" by Jimmy, our host father. Our favorite by far, however, has been "It's too Late to Apologize."

In Swahili, "l" and "r" sound the same when pronounced--Tori likes to say they're allophones of the same phoneme, as she just finished intro linguistics--and are impossible to distinguish.

One particular morning, Kenny, serving as our alarm clock, treated us and the entire neighborhood to "It's too rate to aporogize / It's to raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate!" Tori and I nearly died laughing about it, even as we tried to doze. We confirmed later when we finally rolled out of bed that it actually happened.

Kenny doesn't only like to sing popular American songs, though. We have another favorite he sings for us (usually rendering us stricken with bad cases of hysterical laughter):

This is a pew-pew [pupil] of Kiziani
We are struggering
For betta rife
We have our mission is [Our mission is? We have a mission? Our ambition is? Your guess is as good as ours] to be a lawyer
We are struggering
For betta riiiiiiiiiiife

Don't worry, we've corrected his English (which is actually really good, don't get me wrong--he speaks way more English than I could Swahili at 5 years old) several times, but to no apparent effect. We've instead decided to stick with giggling about it and fixing problems that aren't musically ingrained in his speech.

Finally, I know you're all waiting for a medical update. It turns out I somehow contracted a separate bacterial infection, which prompted a trip to a doctor in Dar. Don't worry, it's not a big deal--I'll be fine soon. Tori, on the other hand, has the most spectacularly pink eyes I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. I would feel sorrier for her, had she not amused herself by making fun of me all last week--when she wasn't sanitizing things we share so she didn't catch my "nasty eye disease."

Turnabout being fair play, I'm thoroughly enjoying donning my nurse's cap to medicate her eyes with the same drops that made my eyes water for half an hour following use. She's since claimed she's sorry about making fun of me, but, as Kenny would say, "it's too rate to aporogize."

Don't worry, though, the pink eye plague now paralyzing Bagamoyo is on it's way out and we'll both be fine soon.

In other news, we're taking a little jaunt to Zanzibar tomorrow. We're super excited about it, too! Hoping to show you all pictures of us lying on a sun-soaked African beach soon!

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