I was meeting with a group of men in London, England. There was a very handsome man in the group. His skin was a chestnut color, white white teeth, and dark eyes with a wonderful personality. He spoke impeccable English. I could not wait to talk with him and find out why he was there and where he came from.
When I met him I thought “what a charming man.” He was in London on holiday. He was a businessman from Kenya, Africa. His native tongue was Swahili. I asked him many questions. I found out that Kenya has almost 37 million people and that the capital city is Nairobi with a population of about 3 million. The total land area is about 225,000 square miles which makes it about twice the size of Nevada. It lies across the equator in east-central Africa and on the coast of the Indian Ocean. The country is very poor and has a lot of humanitarian work going on there. English is the official language but Swahili is the national language as well as numerous indigenous languages.
A good friend of mine went on a safari to Kenya. It was a “picture taking” safari. He came back with beautiful pictures of many animals. There were lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and rhinos. These are known in Kenya as the Big Five. You can also see Cheetahs, the fastest cat in the world as well as Giraffes and Zebras to name a few others living there.
He visited a humanitarian project that was making virgin coconut oil. He said that it was one of the most fascinating projects he had ever seen. People gathered up coconuts that had fallen to the ground going to waste and made them into oil. By selling the oil it gave them enough money to improve their standard of living.
Swahili is not a popular language that people in United States want to learn, but if you have business in Africa or go traveling there to take a safari or for fun you may want to learn a little just to be able to talk to people in their native tongue.
In East Africa, Kenya and Tanzania, English is the official first language but Swahili is spoken along with English in most places. You could certainly get around using your English. Children are taught Swahili at least through the primary grades.
If you plan to take a trip to Kenya, Tanzania or anywhere else in East Africa you may want to learn a little Swahili. It would make the trip much more enjoyable. Pimsleur Method offers a 10 lesson Swahili audio course and Rosetta Stone has a CD-Rom course that has 92 lessons if you have an interest in learning any of the language.
Have a Great Trip!
Originally posted 2010-04-14 13:45:21.