Listening To What’s Around Me

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In the late afternoon, roosters call out from across the yards as if they are wanting to share the day’s events before the sun goes down.

Children playing together, the rise and fall of voices and laughter, all sound exactly the same no matter what language is spoken.

“Iwe” (ee-way) spoken in different contexts and with different inflections, means “you”…like “oooh yooou”. Or “you, get back here”. Or “you are good”. Or “you, knock it off”.

Guinea hens, while unique and helpful in eating bugs, are so loud when getting ready to roost for the night in the tree out back.

A speech from the Head Teacher to teens about what to wear to school, “The uniform is navy blue, not black. Those pants you are wearing, trying a new fashion style, will not work”.

Taxis and mini buses love to beep. It could be a quick hello to a friend, a warning to a bicyclist, or perhaps a solicitation for a ride.

The smooth Zambian radio voice sharing all the news of the day from the dashboard of the taxi.

The phrase “As for me, Madam…” spoken by students before answering a question about their reading.

2 thoughts on “Listening To What’s Around Me

  1. Although we have no roosters or hens where I live and the sound of traffic here often drowns out everything else, we share mostly similarities in what we hear. It’s good to focus on what we share rather than what divides us! You gotta love the formal way Zambian students address their teachers; it reminds me of the way my students call every female teacher, “Miss.” Students all over the world must be reminded that the need for a dress code outweighs your right to express yourself:) Your post reminds me to listen to John Denver’s old song, “African Sunrise.”

  2. This is such an apt description. I can easily call up the sounds I heard when I was in Zambia last year. Thank you for the flashback.

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