Monday, November 27, 2006

Wabele Kwejuna (phonetically: Way-ba-lay Kway-june-a)

One of the most beautiful things about this culture is the "Wabele." Wabele means "thank you," but it is the way that it is used that is truly beautiful. Here it is common to thank people regardless of whether what they are currently doing benefits you directly. For example, if you are working in your garden and someone greets you it is common for them to say to you: "Wabele cucola" or thank you for working to which you would respond "Wabele cusima" or thank you for thanking me. You can thank someone for anything, like cooking or even just for walking by. There is even a Wabele Kwekwula, which means "thank you for burping" (I like that one, but the pronunciation is difficult because it uses sounds we don't have. I'll try to have it down by time I come back).

But the reason that I am writing this is because of one of the most beautiful Wabele's there is (in my opinion). It is "Wabele Kwejuna" or "thank you for surviving" and is said to a mother after surviving childbirth. Not a given here.

Below are pictures of the Kwejuna project or translated directly, the survival project. It is a project at the mission that focuses on the survival of HIV positive mothers and their children by nutrition and prevention of HIV transmission to the children via medication. These pictures are of the final Kwejuna food distribution under the current World Food Program grant.

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