Learn Swahili: How To Greet People In Kiswahili

Greetings are an essential part of every culture and daily conversations. On your visit to Tanzania or the East African region, you’ll want to be familiar with some common greetings. My aim here, is to help you learn Swahili greetings that you will hear often. In fact, you will hear and use most of these several times a day. Don’t fret if your language skills aren’t the best. The locals you meet will appreciate your effort in trying to use the language. Since English is widely spoken, you won’t have too much to worry about, especially in the larger cities. Depending on the length of your stay in the region, your fluency will improve quickly because you’ll hear and use these greetings so often. You’ll also find that everyone in Tanzania is a Mwalimu (teacher) and will be happy to help you learn Swahili.

Swahili is a Bantu language that connects a wide region of East Africa. It is the national language of Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya and is also a lingua franca of several other countries throughout Eastern and Southern Africa.

Swahili Hellos

You’ll meet a lot of nice people as you explore Tanzania. Many a great friendship starts with a simple “Hello”, and Tanzanians have plenty of ways to say it.

Jambo! (Hello!)

Jambo is popular among foreigners because it’s usually the one word we learn before heading to East Africa. During my entire time in Dar es Salaam, only one person greeted me with Jambo to which I replied “Jambo“.

If you are alone and greeted with Hujambo, your expected response is Sijambo. When someone greets you with Hujambo, they’re asking you if you are having any matters or issues. Responding with Sijambo means you are not having any issues. If you are responding on behalf of a group, reply with Hatujambo (We have no issues). If you want to reciprocate the greeting, use Hujambo. To greet multiple people, use Hamjambo?

Shikamo.

Greet an elder or person of importance with Shikamo. If there are multiples of such persons, use the plural form Shikamoni. Shikamo means “I respect you.” The proper response is Marahaba which is a blessing upon you.

Mambo!

I heard and used this one all day, every day. Mambo is an informal way of saying Hello. When greeted with Mambo, respond with Poa (Cool) or Safi (Clean/Fine).

Mzima? (Are you complete?)

Respond back with Mzima.

Salama? (Are you safe/at peace?)

The appropriate response is Salama.

Mambo vipi? / Vipi?

Use this when you want to ask, “What’s up?” To respond, you can use Poa or Safi.

Habari? (What’s the news?)

Habari yako? (How are you?)

Habari gani? (How are you?)

Habari za safari? (How was your trip?)

Habari za asubuhi? (Good morning.)

Habari za mchana? (Good afternoon.)

Habari za jioni? (Good evening.)

Habari leo? (How are you, today?)

Habari za kazi? (How is work?)

Saying “Thank you” and “You’re Welcome In Swahili

Asante (Thank you)

Tanzanians are quite welcoming. You will be welcomed to Tanzania, to a meal, to someone’s home, and into businesses. Show gratitude with Asante (Thank you) or Asante Sana (Thank you very much). If responding to more than one person, Asanteni (Thank you all) is appropriate.

Karibu/Karibu Sana (Welcome. / You’re very welcome.)

As previously stated, you will receive many welcomes. If you accept, you’ll respond with Asante or Asante sana. If you do not accept, use the respectful negative response La, asante (No. Thank you.). If you are doing the welcoming, Karibu is used for one person and Karibuni for multiple people.

Introduce Yourself In Swahili

Jina lako ni nani? (What is your name?)

Introduce yourself with Jina langu ni (your name here). Jina means “name”, langu means “my“, and ni means “is”.

Nafurahi kukuona. (Nice to meet you.)

Swahili Goodbyes

For the goodbyes, you can simply reply back with the same words.

Kwaheri! (Goodbye!)

Use Kwaheri when talking to one person and Kwahereni when talking to multiple people.

Lala Salama. (Good night.)

Tutaonana baadaye! (See you later!)

Tutaonana! (See you!)

Baadaye! (Later!)

To add a more personal touch, terms of endearment such as Dada (sister), Kaka (brother) are often used. I added those so you’re not caught off guard when someone refers to you using them.

If you found this list helpful in your quest to learn Swahili, drop a comment!

Happy travels!

TEFL Scams: 10 Red Flags You Should Look For

It’s sad that there are people out there who take advantage of others who are simply looking for an online teaching position. For this reason, it’s important to know the red flags associated with TEFL scams so you don’t fall victim to online predators pretending to be recruiters. These red flags can apply to any online job as well as jobs abroad. However, I’m going to focus on online TEFL jobs for the time being.

Here is a short list of things to look out for during your search for online TEFL positions.

Online TEFL Scams

  • The company has no website.

    If an online company has no website, that’s a bad sign. Just simply forget about that company and start looking into other companies. Do note that the websites for some foreign companies may be a little tricky to find online, especially if the companies are new or if there are other companies with a similar name. Use quotations around the search term to narrow down your search and make it easier to find what you’re looking for. To narrow it down, even more, try searching the company’s name followed by ‘login’ or ‘teacher portal’.
  • There’s no online information about the company

    .. If you can’t find a digital footprint for the company, it’s probably a scam.
  • The email address isn’t professional.

    You wouldn’t be wrong to expect an online company with a website to have a matching, professional email address. For example, when emailing a member of the staff at GOGOKID, you can expect an email that ends with @mail.gogokid.com. A corporate company that uses a Gmail account is a bit suspicious.
  • The job posting or website is written in poor English.

    An English language company that can’t practice what it preaches is pretty fishy don’t you think? A typo here or there is normal. Nobody’s perfect. However, if the advert, website, or teaching platform contains broken English and nonsensical sentences, the owners shouldn’t be offering English lessons. They should be enrolling in them.
  • You can’t find any company reviews.

    If doing a simple Google search for reviews of the company turn up no results, be wary. First, try searching for company reviews using job sites such as Simply Hired, Indeed, or Glassdoor. If you still can’t find anything, they probably have something to hide and you should move on to another potential employer. If you do find reviews, read through ALL of them. Some companies try to bury the real reviews under a large number of glowing, overly doting, fake reviews. Use your instincts and better judgment to help you decide whether or not the reviews are too good to be true.
  • The company has a ton of negative reviews.

    If a company has a lot of negative reviews and low ratings, pay attention. Read the reviews. If multiple former and current workers are giving warnings to stay away and giving details of bad company practices, you should avoid the company.
  • You’re asked to pay a fee for the position.

    It’s safe to assume you’re applying to the job because you want to be paid, not because you want to pay the company. Right? You shouldn’t have to pay anyone for a job position.
  • You give up control of your device.

    So the company seems legit and you’ve made it to the interview stage. At some point in the interview, you’re asked to give the interviewer remote access to your computer. Why would the interviewer need access to your computer? Don’t do it! Even if the company is a legit company, don’t do it. I know of an instance where a teacher allowed a tech support member remote access to her computer after a classroom tech issue. The technician didn’t solve the issue but succeeded in deleting several important non-teaching related files from her computer. Don’t let that happen to you.
  • You’re expected to work for free.

    If a company asks you to teach students’ first lessons without payment, they are trying to scam you. You could end up never making a dime. Such a company will often assign you only first-time students for the duration of your time with the company. That defeats the purpose of having the job unless you don’t mind volunteering.
  • The company levies heavy monetary penalties.

    Penalties for mishaps like being late or missing a class are normal for online TEFL companies. A legitimate company might fine you around a dollar or so for being late or deduct 100% of a lesson’s pay for missing a class. However, a scam company has lots of unreasonable penalties that are almost impossible to avoid. Penalties for things like sneezing or your lighting not being considered bright enough should not result in hefty fines. If that’s the case, you should not waste your time with them. You will end up working for free most of the time.

Don’t let TEFL Scams Discourage You

Don’t let TEFL scams deter you from finding the right teaching position. Now that you know the red flags to watch for, you can feel more confident in your job search. If you aren’t sure where to start, visit my Become A TEFL Teacher page for some legitimate companies to which you can apply.

Tingatinga Art Cooperative in Dar Es Salaam

The famous Tingatinga Art Cooperative is located in the Oyster Bay area of Dar es Salaam. There, you will find artists painting and displaying their beautiful works of art. Some artists also offer painting lessons or photography sessions.

I recently visited the Tingatinga Art Cooperative. I managed to get some video footage and photos before my phone went kapoot. See my YouTube video below.

For more information about Tingatinga Art, check out their website.

Tanzania During The Pandemic: My Flight Experience

 

I’m putting it out there: I’ve been lazy. I should have gotten this post out weeks ago. I started right after arrival but kept putting it off for one reason or another. I’ve made my end-of-year resolution to get this out before 2020 closes. As of November 17th, I’ve been chilling in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. You probably know that already if you’ve read my other post. I’ve been asked several times to describe my airport-to-destination experience. Well, here’s a detailed description of what it was like traveling to Tanzania during the pandemic.

Am I crazy for Traveling To Tanzania During the Pandemic?

Why would you to Tanzania during the pandemic? Are you crazy?” I’ve gotten this question several times. I can’t say for sure. There’s always the possibility. Crazy people don’t know they’re crazy. Right?

What was it like at the airports?

My five airport experiences weren’t bad at all.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport

My flight was at 3:45 PM, Monday afternoon. So, that gave me ample time to print out my ticket to Tanzania and the return flight that I bought just in case it was needed for visa purposes. My flight consisted of 4 stops: Atlanta, Amsterdam, Kilimanjaro, and Dar es Salaam.

My mom dropped me off at RDU International Airport at around 1 PM. Check-in was pretty easy. One of my bags was overweight by a couple of pounds, but since I had 4 bags, I just moved a few things to another bag and all was well. In normal times, RDU would be teeming with eager travelers. However, this time, it was pretty dead. There were two people at the Delta Airlines kiosks– myself and an older gentleman. Eventually, three more people showed up and waited behind me (like 10 feet away from me). Check-in took no more than 5 minutes (including the overweight bag issue).

The security check was quick. I was shocked when no one asked to check further into my carry-on filled with teaching equipment. That has never happened before. From there, I went on to my gate, sat down, and waited to board the plane.

On the plane, all middle seats were left empty in order to create distance between passengers. I had a window seat and enjoyed not having anyone all up in my personal space.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

The stop was only 41 minutes. By the time I got to my gate, it was time to start boarding the plane. The airport was somewhat busy, but nowhere near as busy as usual. On the way to the international terminal, there were less than 10 people on the Plane Train. I got to my gate. There were actually a lot of people waiting to board. I’m not sure how many. I guess, maybe 50? Aboard the plane, I once again had a window seat and no one next to me. Since the flight was long, I welcomed the opportunity to pull out my blanket and pillow, prop my head against the window and stretch my legs across the empty seat. I slept pretty well.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

My stop was short. After disembarking, I made a beeline towards my gate, being cautious not to get too close to anyone. Since there were few travelers, distancing was no issue. Most people were masked. One guy was wearing a full hazmat suit. I used the restroom near my gate, which was so clean I had to take photos. I was quite impressed. Once at the gate, I sat down for about 20 minutes, snapped a couple of pictures, and then came the boarding call.

The KLM plane was huge. My seat was in the middle section. I had 3 seats all to myself. Shortly into the flight, I got tired. I pulled out my trusty pillow and blanket and stretched out across all three seats. Now, that was some great sleep!

Kilimanjaro

I was excited about arriving at Kilimanjaro Airport because that meant I had finally made it to what many refer to as Alkebulan, and I was in Tanzania, specifically. There was only one more short segment left. Any passengers headed to Dar es Salaam were not allowed to disembark at Kilimanjaro airport.

Julius Nyerere International Airports

As the announcement came that we were 20 minutes from landing in Dar es Salaam, I was all giddy. It was about 10:30 PM. After disembarking, we were asked to form a line. We passed through one by one. I handed over the health declaration forms we were asked to fill out on the plane and had my temperature taken. No fever. After accepting the small squirt of hand sanitizer, I went to the visa queue. I answered a few questions, received the visa stamp, and headed to another line to pay for the visa. I exchanged some money. After that, I was sent over to an immigration agent who checked my receipt and made sure my passport and visa were good to go. I was released.

I found my bags at the baggage claim, went through the security check, and was finally free to begin my adventure in Tanzania. There was a small group of people waiting to greet their arriving friends and family. My friend Raphael and my driver were waiting for me. We greeted one another and headed off to my hostel so I could get some rest before heading to my nonexistent hotel the next morning (a subject for another post).

Masks and Eating

Rewind: I arrived at RDU sporting a stylish white cloth mask with a valve. At the Delta check-in desk, I was told that that type of mask (valved) wasn’t allowed on the plane. I had to replace it with a surgical mask. I had another mask, but it was too much of a hassle getting it out of my carry-on, so I just wore the surgical one. Holding my breath, and using my special mask application strategy, slipped it on. It was too loose, so I tweaked it to get it to fit. At my gate, I rummaged through my carry-on, pulled out my cute starry night cloth mask, and slipped it under my surgical mask. I wore that for the first couple of flights, but eventually got rid of the surgical mask when it felt like breathing was becoming more of a task than an involuntary bodily function.

Fast forward: Passengers were only allowed to remove the masks when actively eating or drinking. When meals were served, I used a super special technique I developed. I simply picked up a spoonful, lifted the bottom portion of my mask just enough to unveil my mouth, halted my breathing for a split second, and shoveled the food into my mouth. I probably looked funny, but I didn’t care.

Final Thoughts On Traveling To Tanzania During the Pandemic

Overall, I had a pleasant experience traveling to Tanzania during the pandemic. It was different. Different isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I really enjoyed having the extra space for stretching out and getting the best sleep I’ve ever had in main cabin seating.

Have you traveled during the pandemic? How would you describe your experience?

I Moved To Africa During The Pandemic

So, after months of researching a select few countries, I finally made my choice. I moved to Africa. Specifically, Tanzania. Yup. I’m currently in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

It has been a month already. I can’t believe it! The time has passed too quickly. I’m still not settled in, so I hadn’t realized it has been that long already.

I’ve been apartment searching ever since I arrived. That, along with teaching online lessons has taken up quite a bit of my time. At the moment, I’m staying in an Airbnb. I didn’t expect to have such a difficult time finding housing. I visited some nice apartments yesterday and will be headed off to view some more right after I publish this post. Maybe, I’ll make a decision from among these most recent apartments.

I have lots of pictures and photos that I’ll be sharing soon.

Well, I’m off to see what this next property manager has for me.

Until next time!

GOGOKID: What’s Required & FAQs

This post contains referral links. Clicking on them costs you nothing. In fact, clicking on a link may actually change your financial situation for the better! You can thank me later 🙂

This company has shut down due to the new China Regulations on online education.

GOGOKID is a great company. I’ve been teaching with this company since August of 2018. I’ve been making a great, steady income and I have fun teaching my GOGO kiddies while I travel. The company offers some irresistible incentives that you don’t want to miss. Not only that, but the lessons are simple, fun, and feature songs that will have you jamming like nobody’s business. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this company, too.

Check out the infographic below to see if you’re a qualified candidate. If so, keep reading to find out more details and how to apply. If you sign up using my referral link, let me know and I’ll arrange a time to help you prepare for the interview and answer any questions you have via Zoom or Skype.

What benefits does Gogokid offer its teachers?

GOGOKID is one of the highest paying online ESL companies out there and offers some great incentives and benefits. Find out more here.

How does GOGOKID pay?

Teacher’s pay rates are based on a Base Pay + Credit Score Incentive structure aimed at enticing teachers to teach more classes. Base pay rates range from $7 per 30-minute lesson to $10 per 30-minute lesson. Your base pay will be determined during the interview.

*The following may be confusing. If you find your self getting dizzy, just scroll down or click here to view the official video explanation.

Credit Score Incentive ($0-2.5) + Base Pay ($7-10) = Earnings ($7-12.5) per class

The Credit Score Incentive is determined by multiplying your Incentive Base by your Incentive Percentage

Credit Score Incentive = Incentive Base ($0-$2) * Incentive % (0%-125%)

The Incentive Percentage is determined by your Credit Score. New teachers will start out at Level 1. Being on time, teaching more lessons, avoiding cancellations, and other positive behaviors will help you increase your credit score. Reach higher levels to increase your base pay.

Credit ScoreIncentive Percentage
Level 1: (0 – 59)0
Level 2: (60 – 69)0
Level 3: (70 – 79)100%
Level 4: (80 – 94)110%
Level 5: (95 – 100)125%

The Incentive Base is determined on a daily basis. If you teach 2-3 classes on Monday, you’ll receive an additional $1.50 per lesson. If you teach 5 classes on Tuesday, you’ll receive an additional $1.70 per lesson, and so on.

Number of Classes Completed Per DayIncentive Base Per Completed Class
2-3$1.50
4-5$1.70
6-8$1.80
9 or more$2.50
The more classes you teach, the higher your Incentive Base will be.

Okay, so let’s look at a couple of examples. You start at Level 1 with a Base Pay of $8.50. Since the Incentive Percentage for Level 1 is 0%, you do not receive any extra incentive pay besides the Incentive Base per class. Let’s say you taught 5 classes today. Today’s per lesson earnings will be :

$8.50 +$1.70 = $10.20/lesson ($20.40 per hour)

Now let’s say your Base Pay is $8.50, but your Credit Score is at Level 4. At Levels 3 and 4, you can take advantage of an additional pay incentive determined by multiplying your Base Pay by the Incentive Percentage.

$8.50 * 110% = $9.35

Now let’s add the Incentive Base for those 5 lessons you taught today:

$9.35 + 1.70 = 11.05/lesson ($22.10) per hour

I hope that makes sense to you. If not, please let me know. Check out the video below for an explanation with visuals.

How the GOGOKID pay structure works (Video)

Okay, so there you have it!

October is almost over, so don’t miss out on an easy $25 to get started!

My referral code: 4E9ZWUPA