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Musical interlude

Here are two of the songs we sang on the bus ride to the conference:

“Come and See What the Lord Has Done” (Second link)
(Leader in italics, followers plain, all in bold)
Come and see — oh
Come and see
Come and see — oh
Come and see

Come and see what the lord has done x2

Boola mubone
Boola mubone
Boola mubone
Boola mubone

Boola mubone Leza cita x2

(The actual Tonga may be closer to “Amuboola mubone Leza kacita,” but what I’ve written above are the parts that you can really hear when it’s being sung.)

I assume that most of you know “Siyahamba/We Are Marching” — I myself have known it since I was a small child, and we sing it a lot at my home church. What I had not before encountered was Tonga lyrics for it. (In fact, when I ran this past my students for a spell-check and translation of some of the words, Barbrah told me that even she only knew it in chimukuwa (white people language, aka English).)

Tulayenda munzila Leza x4
Tulayenda oo-ooh
Tulayenda munzila Leza
Tulayenda oo-ooh
Tulayenda munzila Leza

(We are walking in the way of God — and actually, the chimukuwa version we sang was, in fact, “We are walking.”)

Tulapona mungunzula Mwami x4
Tulapona oo-ooh
Tulapona mugunzula Mwami
Tulapona oo-ooh
Tulapona mugunzula Mwami

(We are living in the power of the Lord)

Tulakula mungunzula Leza x4
Tulakula oo-ooh
Tulakula mungunzula Leza
Tulakula oo-ooh
Tulakula mungunzula Leza

(We are growing in the power of God, and tulakula is pronounced “tu-la-gu-la”)

Tuyoosika mungunzula Leza x4
Tuyoosika oo-ooh
Tuyoosika mungunzula Leza
Tuyoosika oo-ooh
Tuyoosika mungunzula gwe

(We shall reach the power of God
. . .
We shall reach his power.
And tuyoosika is “tu-yo-si-ga,” with a long o in yo, held extra-long.)

If I understood the translation correctly, this one is pretty interchangable: if you’re having trouble making mungunzula fit the music, you should be able to replace it with munzila for any verse except possibly the last one. Leza and Mwami can be swapped at any time, and you can stick -gwe onto the end of any of the verses.

I have more chitonga lyrics in the works, but they still need spell-checking and translation.


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Happy Holidays

I believe I mentioned that one of the things I’m learning in Zambia is to deal with nothing ever starting on time. I intended to post this on Christmas, since it seemed seasonally appropriate. Clearly, I didn’t. I could make excuses about 23-hour power outages starting Christmas Eve evening, but that doesn’t account for not posting yesterday. (I was reading, okay?) Instead, I’ll claim that I’m just adapting to the laid-back pace of just about everything in Zambian life.

The only Advent wreath I've seen in Zambia.  Yes, that is a canoe.  And paddles.

The only Advent wreath I've seen in Zambia. Yes, that is a canoe. And paddles.

Merry Christmas, or whatever else you celebrate, from warm, rainy (finally! Though not as rainy as I’d like it to be. I think the farmers would like it rainier, too) Zambia!

People have asked me if I miss being home for the holidays. The answer is: not really. In fact, I don’t feel like I’m missing holidays. Holidays? There are no holidays in August. It’s felt like August for a long time. Besides the weather, there are none of the other usual cues. The only time I’ve heard bad Christmas music piped over store loudspeakers was back at the Shoprite in Livingstone in mid-November. I haven’t heard good Christmas/Advent music in Church. We sang carols on MCC retreat, where the above picture was taken, and Sunday at church. (I hiked to Church in POURING rain that made several portions of path into muddy, shallow rivers. A far cry from Christmas services at home.) No one here plays Christmas music, either, except for expatriates. (And one really annoying toy that baby K has that plays “Jingle Bells.” The irony of this song in this location is not sufficient to get me past more than ten or fifteen listens.)

All of which made it very nice to actually sing Christmas carols at church, even if they were in Tonga. Due to the rain, attendance was low, but the kids put on a very nice sketch (skit). It was all in Tonga, of course, but there’s a cadence to the Gospel of Luke, so that even in Tonga, I could tell what book Luundu was narrating from, and more-or-less follow along, even on the less familiar stories. And there were less familiar stories. It was a small epiphany for me, actually. The Christmas readings are so familiar, but I’m only barely acquainted with the birth of John the Baptist: I can’t ever recall hearing Luke 1 used in a Christmas service, and certainly not in a pageant. And I spent the rest of the day at a board games get-together that the pilot’s family was hosting for people who didn’t have family to be with.

Not Christmas like I’m used to. But it was nice. (And who knew that basil, tomato, and mozzarella salad with added avocado is Christmas-colored?)

You won’t hear from me at New Year’s, either: I’ll be in Namibia. German pastry and five-story sand dunes, here I come! Assuming I survive a 24-hour plus bus ride.

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Songs, Some in Tonga

If you are interested in neither music not language, you might want to skip this post.

“Making Melodies in my Heart”

I learned this one from the kids at the innovative school here in Macha. It reminds me of Father Abraham, but a little less lively:

Making melodies in my heart (x3)
To the king of kings!

Thumbs up!
(repeat verse with your thumbs up)

Thumbs up! Elbows out!
. . .
Thumbs up! Elbows out! Feet apart! Knees bent! Tongue out! Head tilted! . . . Sit down!

(We sang this one in orientation, but I don’t think I posted it. It’s accompanied by a rhythm of double-thumps against the chest and a clap. I think it would make a really cool round.)

Listen to the heartbeat all around the world,
Pulsing, flowing,
One body, one spirit.

“Luyando Leza Ndupati Maninge”
(More-or-less to the tune of the first verse of “Rock-a My Soul In The Bosom of Abraham”)

Luyando Leza ndupati maninge (x3)
Luyando ndupati

Luyando Jesu ndupati maninge (x3)
Luyando ndupati

Kushoma muli Jesu chibotu maninge (x3)
Kushoma chibotu

(Ndupati is pronounced ‘dupati,’ and on the last line, you elongate the ‘lu’ of luyando, and ndupati is three notes that fall in the same part of the line as ‘soul’ does in English. Kushoma is pronounced closer to ‘goo-shoma,’ and while you can hear the ‘li’ of muli if you know it’s there, I didn’t hear it until Maureen looked over the lyrics I’d written down. Also, chibotu is said ‘jibotu,’ like the ‘gee’ of gee whiz.)

The love of God is very wonderful . . . wonderful love
The love of Jesus is very wonderful . . . wonderful love
To trust in Jesus is very good . . . good to trust

(That’s very rough; I think the ndu part is something like an accusative ‘me,’ which would make -pati some kind of verb, I think. Tonga grammar, so far as I can tell, is mostly very simple, but I don’t understand it. It doesn’t help that it includes parts of speech that English hasn’t really had distinctions for during the past several hundred years, and I’m pretty certain that Maureen can’t talk about, for example, object pronouns — though if I ask if the first person in the verb is who’s doing it, and the second person who it’s done to, she has enough comprehension of the way the language works to confirm that I’m right.)

“Leta Maila” (Inyiimbo Zyabakristo #133, BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES)
This is a song that we sing a lot at Macha BICC. I’ve been curious what the words mean, because the tune is really nice (and I like the way we sing it better than any of the stuff I’m finding on youtube, which tends to be either insipid or march-y, whereas ours is just — joyful). While we were at Mboole, I sat down with Maureen and we translated it (ironically, this is how I missed digging up cassava with the others).

Kosyanga cifumo mbuto yaluzyalo,
Syanga isikati akumasuba;
Lindila ciindi cakutebula loko,
Akusega, tuyooleta maila.

Leta maila, leta maila,
Akuseka, tuyooleta maila;
Leta maila, leta maila,
Akuseka, tuyooleta maila.

Syanga musalala, syanga mumudima,
Utayoowi mayoba ma impeyo;
Twamana milimo, yoonse yamumuunda,
Akuseka, tuyooleta maila.

Mukulila ukamusyangile, Mwami,
Antela moyo ulakupengesya;
Twamana kulila uzootutambula,
Akuseka, tuyooleta maila.

Translation (literal, not poetic):
Plant, (in the) morning, seeds for mercy,
Plant (in the) afternoon, (in the) evening;
Wait (until) the time for havesting much,
With joy*, we shall bring in our maize**.

Bring the maize, bring the maize,
With joy, we shall bring in our maize.

Plant in the light, plant in the dark***,
You shall not fear clouds or cold;
We are finished work, our work for the fields,
With joy, we shall bring in our maize.

In crying, you plant for the Lord,
Though heart may be suffering;
(When) we are finished crying, you shall receive us,
With joy, we shall bring in our maize.

*or ‘smile,’ or ‘love’
**or ‘grain.’ Maureen says that maila is ‘big Tonga,’ that if I went to Mamba and asked for maila, I would be given cassava, that it’s a generic word for the staple grain. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a generic word for food, actually; if Zambians haven’t had nshima, they don’t feel like they’ve eaten.
***or ‘the good times, the bad times.’ As an interesting side note, mu-salala (‘in light’, I think) is very like the name of the Holy Spirit, ulya muuya usalala, (where I think u- is a third-person pronoun, although it might not be). You can also just say muuya.

And now for a familiar one (would you like phonetic spelling, too? I can write some up):
“Ndilakondwa” (Inyiimbo Zyabakristo #103, I AM SO GLAD)

Ndilakondwa nkaambo Leza wesu,
Waamba luyando lwakwe MwiBbuku;
Muzigambya zili mu-Malembe.
Cipata** ncakuti wandiyanda.

Ndakondwa kuti wandiyanda,
Wandiyanda, wandiyanda;
Ndakondwa kuti wandiyanda,
Wandiyanda, mebo.

Wandiyanda, ame ndamuyanda,
Nduyando lwakwamuleta kunsi;
Nduyando lwamucita amfwide,
Ndasinizya kuti wandiyanda.
(Bold for corrections to typos)

Ndabuzigwa inga ndilaambanzi?
Majwi ngenkonzya kuvuwa ngaaya;
Muuya wa-Leza ulaandyambila
Kuti Jesu lyoonse wandiyanda.

I am rejoicing* because of my God,
He talks (of) his love in the Book;
Surprise which is in the Scriptures.
That big thing** that he loves me.

I am rejoicing that he loves me,
I am rejoicing, I am rejoicing;
I am rejoicing that he loves me,
He love me, me.

He loves me, and I love him,
His love of me brought him down;
His love of me caused*** him to die,
I’m truly convinced that he loves me.

I am being asked, what shall I say?¥
Words that I am able to answer here;
Spirit of God, you continue to tell me¥¥
That Jesus always loves me.

*It’s possible that ‘glad’ is in fact a better translation, but I think this is an active verb.
**For those of you playing along at home, I’m pretty sure this word is related to ndupati in “Luyando Leza Ndupati Maninge.” Ci- is a noun declension/adjective agreement/thing relating to luyando, love.
***lit, ‘to do.’
¥We spent a lot of time on this line, and I STILL don’t have any idea what the heck inga means, if it means anything. But I can break down ndi-la-amba-nzi: I-(progressive/future tag)-say-what.
¥¥Similarly, u-la-(a)-nd(y)-ambi-(la), You-(progressive)-(?)-to me-say-(?).

And to save you a google, here are the English lyrics, courtesy of this site.
I am so glad that our Father in Heav’n
Tells of His love in the Book He has giv’n;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see,
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.

I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me;
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.

Jesus loves me, and I know I love Him;
Love brought Him down my poor soul to redeem;
Yes, it was love made Him die on the tree;
Oh, I am certain that Jesus loves me!

If one should ask of me, how can I tell?
Glory to Jesus, I know very well!
God’s Holy Spirit with mine doth agree,
Constantly witnessing Jesus loves me.

A few weeks ago we sang “There’s no one, no one like Jesus” at Macha BICC, and I resolved to track down the Tonga words. (Have I mentioned that WordPress gives me information on who searched what and found my blog, and because I like data, I look at it sometimes? My post with the words to this one in English and Ndebele has drawn six different people looking for the words to that song in other languages, which is pretty impressive considering that my next runners-up on google hits are people looking for this blog and people searching “Lusaka,” each of which has three hits. Probably the people looking for lyrics and the people looking for me are more satisfied than the Lusaka people, but one can’t please everyone.) We sang it again last week, and Beatrice, one of my coworkers, does music-stuff at church, so I asked her if she could write down the words for me, so here they are. She also told me that the first stanza is Bemba (one of the other main languages spoken in Zambia), and then the second and third stanzas are Tonga, and then you can sing English if you want to.

Takwaba uwabanga yeesu.
Takwaba uwabanga yee.
Takwaba uwabanga yeesu.
Takwaba uwabanga yee.

Ndayenda yenda koonse, koonse.
Ndalanga langa koonse, koonse.
Ndazinguluka koonse, koonse.
Takwaba uwabanga yee.

Kunyina uyelene a Jesu.
Kuyina uyelene a wee.
Kunyina uyelene a Jesu.
Kuyina uyelene a wee.

Translation is pretty much the same as the English.


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This is a marvelous place for languages

I’ve been dragging out my far-too-rusty Portuguese, doing (semi-) simultaneous translation into and out of Spanish, vaguely following French conversations and translation, understanding occasional German words, and not remotely understanding Ndebele and Arabic and Korean and any number of other languages.

In addition, we have had fifteen minutes of global music every morning, which we organize ourselves. The first morning was Canadian and US music, both praise songs and hymns (which I led. I’ve never done that before, and I wasn’t intending to, but I volunteered to announce the songs, and the first one I announced felt like it needed someone to lead it, and no one else jumped up to volunteer, so I did. I didn’t do a particularly good job, but it was fun, and I’m sure I’ll get better if I keep doing it). And I have LOVED the music. I’m learning new songs, or new languages to songs I already know (“Lord I Lift Your Name on High” in French! And German!).

Here are a few of the songs I’ve learned:

“Gloria, Aleluya”
Rey de reyes, señor de señores, gloria, aleluya (x2)
Christo, principe de paz, gloria, aleluya (x2)
Men sing the bold, women sing the italics, and you stand up when you sing and sit when you don’t. This one reminds me of the “Praise Ye The Lord/Alelluia” that splits into gendered parts. Here’s a youtube video (ignore the weird background music).

“Hakuna Akaita” (I think this one is Ndebele; it’s from Zimbabwe. We also sang it in the language spoken in Lesotho (Basotho, maybe? Something with a prefix), but I don’t have the words for that.) Here’s a link, but we sang better. There are motions, too; you walk, turn, and search on the first three lines of the second stanza.
Hakuna akaita sa Jesu
Hakuna akaita sa ye
Hakuna akaita sa Jesu
Hakuna, Hakuna woooo

Tamhanya-mhanya kwese kwese
Tatenderera kwese kwese
Tatsvaga-tsvaga kwese kwese
Hakuna-kuna wooo.
There’s no one, there’s no one like Jesus
There’s no one, there’s no one like him
There’s no one, there’s no one like Jesus
There’s no one, there’s no one like him

I’ve walked, I’ve walked all over
I’ve turned, I’ve turned all over
I’ve searched, I’ve searched all over
There’s no one, there’s on one like Him.

“Salam Salam”
Salam salam le sha’eb EL-RAB fe koli makan (x2)
Peace peace for people of GOD everywhere (x2)

I don’t have music for that one, and I can’t sing it terribly well because the Arabic flows much better than the English, but it’s gorgeous.

“Te Alabare/Eu Te Louvarei” (Music and Spanish words, no portuguese, and only pay attention to the first three minutes; it gets weird after that)
Eres tú la única razón
De mi adoración, oh Jesus!
Eres tú la esperanza
que anhele tener, ah Jesus!

Confié en ti me has ayudado
Tu salvación me has regalado
Hoy hay gozo en mi corazón
Con mi canto te alabare

Te alabaré, te glorificaré
Te alabaré mi buen Jesus

En todo tiempo te alabaré
En todo tiempo te adoraré

És Tu única razão da minha adoração ó Jesus

És Tu única esperança que anelo ter ó Jesus

Confiei em ti fui ajudado, sua salvação tem me alegrado

Hoje há gozo em meu coração com meu canto te louvarei

Eu te louvarei, te glorificarei

Eu te louvarei meu bom Jesus

Em todo tempo te louva-rei, em todo tempo te adora-rei

Eu te louvarei, te glorificarei

Eu te louvarei meu bom Jesus

“In Jesus Christ, We Are One Family”
In Jesus Christ, we are one family
In Jesus Christ, we are one family
In Jesus Christ we are one family
From now on and forever more
In Jesus Christ, we are one family

We also sang that one in Kmai(?) and Chinese and maybe something else, but I didn’t catch any of those words well enough to find them (and I had trouble singing them, anyway). There’s an eight-beat clapping motion to this one, too. You start with your left hand palm up and your right hand palm down on your neighbor’s right hand, and the eight beats go:
clap/slap neighbor’s hand
slap right thigh with right hand
slap left thigh with right hand
slap back of left hand with right hand
snap (both hands)

And then you get faster.

Have a bonus video, too. We watched this talk, “The Danger of a Single Story,” in one of the sessions, and I found it really interesting. I think it’s worth 20 minutes.


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