This is what you’re bound to hear if you walk around in Masasi.
Anyway, back to Masasi, the “town where I live”.
If you walk around Masasi and you’re white, you stick out. In a good way. Most of the time. People notice you and generally want to know who you are and what you are doing.
A few times a week we go for an afternoon walk, and we always pass by groups of children. Usually, when the kids see us, they stop playing and look at us. A brave child says, “Shikamo” in a quiet, sincere voice. That’s the word to show respect to older/more important people. We respond, “Marahaba”, meaning that we are pleased to accept the respect. The rest of the children let loose a chorus of Shikamos.
We continue with our walk, and then we hear a little voice behind us saying, “Good morning, teacher!” That’s the cheeky, gutsy child, who is trying to live out his respect by greeting us in English.
“Good morning, teacher” or “Good morning, madam” -- That’s what kids in Masasi associate with English greetings. How cute is that? At least we can guess pretty reliably the time of the school day when the English lesson takes place!