Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Tunatafuta wanyama na wadudu

which translates as "we are looking for animals and insects". And we were, and I could actually tell the lady working the garden on the other side of the fence.

Two weeks in today and it's nice that some of the swahili is starting to stick. And nice to be able to say more than "hello" and "how are you" (and it would have been rude to ask her name for the third time, even if I haven't caught it yet...)

And we found plenty of excitement on our garden safari. The Mancub was entranced by a bee, especially when it lifted off, repositioned and dropped back onto its yellow flower. "More bee!" And everyone came running to see "Lily" the lizard, which obligingly climbed onto my hand and then Kitty's. And we chased numerous grasshoppers, butterflies, enormous wasps and the stunning beetles that come blundering through the air like overloaded bombers.

We also discovered treasures hitherto overlooked - bananas growing by the back wall. Tiny plots of herbs and salad hiding between bushes behind the kitchen. Seed pods bursting with miniscule black cannon balls. And the first pink blossoms appearing on the almond trees. We had long since found the papayas, and "Here we go round the Mango tree" has become a favourite game, with much brushing of teeth.

As well as bees, the Mancub's newest pleasures are his "sandals!" which boast a lorry on each foot and reveal his toes, to his great delight. And he has learnt to joke. "Leopard, wheels?" he asks. And then, with a knowing smile, "noooo!"

Kitty is enjoying a host of new books leant by friends over the weekend. The Mancub is disdainful. "Tractor?" he asks, leafing rapidly through the pages. And when it turns out that the book is completely and utterly without tractors, it is discarded incredulously. After all, what is a book without tractors?

Or for that matter, a leopard without wheels?

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