I had the very good fortune of hearing the literary legend Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o speak at the Brattle Theatre last night. Having already seen the late Chinua Achebe in lecture at my alma mater eight years ago, Ngũgĩ had long been next on my list. I began reading his works when I was about eight years … Continue reading An Evening in the Shade of a Baobab Tree | Jioni Moja kwenye Kivuli cha Mbuyu
Last week I started taking a Senegalese sabar dance class, and today I almost quit. Let me first pause and laugh at the absurdity of that for a moment. Someone once said to me a long time ago, I don’t quite recall who it was, “Sylvia, you give up too easily.” Do I?? Maybe. If … Continue reading Dance and other disasters | Ngoma na balaa nyingine
Dear readers, join me for a cup of tea. After yet another long hiatus, today I return to share the reasons behind the pause and the reflections that have arisen from it. In December, I went home to Tanzania for the first time in a very long time; weeks had somehow became months and, before … Continue reading I’m back! | Nimerudi!
"Oh, he's so cute!!! Are your other children as cute as this one?" This is an actual question a nurse once asked of a parent, and I found myself in the awkward position of having to translate it. For starters, there is no word -- that I know of -- for "cute" in Swahili, and … Continue reading There exists no ugly child | Hakuna mtoto aliye mbaya
The month of June saw its sunset yesterday, and the month of July dawned today. In keeping with the spirit of commemorating ends and beginnings, I'm sharing a poem that came to me in time to be shared at a hospital memorial service I had been asked to do a reading at last week. It … Continue reading Memorial | Kumbukumbu
(I hesitated to translate the book's title, but decided to remain faithful to the bilingual nature of this blog at least for the title of this post.) Now that I've finished reading it from cover to cover, I can share my sentiments about Beating the Graves. I might be slightly biased because of the cover … Continue reading Beating the Graves | Kuyapiga Makaburi
One thing I never thought I'd say in this lifetime: I taught a makeup and head wrap class! Last Monday, I ran a Look Good, Feel Better® (LGFB) workshop. LGFB is an American Cancer Society program that I've been volunteering with since 2014; we teach women who are undergoing or recently completed cancer therapies (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery) … Continue reading Beautiful health | Afya yenye urembo