ndugu is a difficult word to understand in Kiswahili. In the dictionary it gives four meanings :”1. kin, sibling 2. relative 3. close friend 4. comrade.” So when people introduce someone as their ndugu we are never quite sure if they are related or a good friend. I suppose it is a bit like we use the word “brother” in America. It can make for some confusion in understanding who is actually related to who. It is also has some special rules, for example; my little sister is my ndugu not my dada (or sister) but I am her dada (sister) since I am older. Recently Zawadi is talking up a storm and it is adorable! It has been amazing to watch her grow so much since we first arrived; she learned to walk, swing, talk, and even knows a few English words thanks to Anni; her favorite being “NO!” She has started calling Annikah dada (sister) so Anni now has an official ndugu even before mtoto mchanga arrives in December. Anni has her moments of not wanting Zawadi to play with her stuff or wear her shoes (an obsession of Zawadi’s…we call her the mwizi vya viatu (thief of shoes) because when we leave our shoes outside the front door (a must in Swahili culture) we never know where they will end up as Zawadi likes to swipe them and wear them around). But for the most part Anni and her ndugu are pretty adorable. We will miss her so much we when are gone.
sharing blocks

the girls do some crafts…Zawadi mostly tried to eat the foam pieces….but Anni managed to show her how to glue some

sharing swings
Anni shows Zawadi her changing color Cinderella that Bibi Rho sent for her Bday

Whenever we take Anni to school in the morning Zawadi wants to go…this morning she wanted to drive too!
This was a big moment…Anni even shares her precious bike! That is BIG in kid world!

  1. Anonymous says:

    These pictures are so precious. I wish we could hear Zawadi talk!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful photos! Anni makes a sweet big sister.

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