…..is a phrase that now that we know it I can never function without it again. seriously. Some days life just necessitates a pole sana. It basically means “sorry” but it is used to mean more like “sucks to be you”(if you have done something wrong and say “sorry” that is a different word that is used much less often). Pole sana is for when you want to say you are sorry for something that happened to someone else that was out of your control. It is a great phrase. And it is used for everything. If you slice your finger while cutting veggies; you get a pole sana. Someone steals your phone; Oh, pole sana. You best friend dies; another pole sana. It is a catch all in Kiswahili that expresses your sorrow for someone else’s situation; big or small.

So there have been many pole sana-able moment thus far for us like when Jason and Annikah had malaria or when our car got broken into but the ones that I treasure are when I dropped newly washed laundry in the mud (as I was trying to hang it to dry) or when I slipped in the pouring rain exposing my chupis to anyone that happened to be in the vicinity. For all of the above we procured a dearly offered pole sana. But I must say on Jason’s birthday a few days ago we had an experience worthy of the pole sana, if only to us. I spent roughly 3 hours (and I AM counting!) making a lasagna for Jason hoping to have a nice dinner for his birthday. I cooked in the heat while entertaining visitors curious about the bizarre food I was making for most of the morning. After we got Annikah to bed for the night we sat down to have a nice birthday dinner and after once bite I knew that it was definitely not worth the effort. The meat was bad. Not make you sick and end up in the hospital terrible but really gamey tasting and just overall nasty. Jason was so sweet and tried to eat as much as he could to make me feel that my effort was worth it. But we had to face facts and admit defeat. It could have been from sitting in a fridge that was warm at best because the power was out all day. Or just because the odds of getting good meat here are always similar to a trip to Vegas. Whatever the reason we gave each other a heartfelt pole sana (pole sana to me for spending so much time cooking to eat a salad and pole sana for Jason to a birthday dinner gone terribly wrong) and fed the rest to our cat. Yes, some days, you just need a good pole sana.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh . . . I am sooo sorry for both of you. I hope that the love and effort you poured into your labor was a gift well-received by Jason. If it makes you feel better, maybe you can recall the sour cream chocolate cake I baked for Jason a few years ago and forgot the baking soda. I didn’t have any third world excuses – I just goofed it up! We all had a lot of laughs over that one!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a bummer! Is the hardest part spending all of the time necesarry to cook something like a lasagna? (boiling noodles, baking, etc.) I wish I could send you some ground beef by FedEx…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Pole sana. šŸ™ That is a sad story… You must have gone to so much trouble just to get all the ingredients and then all the effort. Hope you enjoyed the smell of it cooking if not the taste! šŸ™‚