I wanted to post this today because a really fun surprise is in store for a little darling who lives a thousand miles away, across an ocean and on the other side of a continent. Her name is Miriamu. She is from Tanzania – one of the most beautiful countries in the world. She currently lives in Singida Region – one of the poorest in the country – located right in the middle between Tabora and Arusha.
Miriamu has a real intensity about her that got me hooked. Very serious. But there is something kinda sweet about that. Her birthday is November 13 and mine is November 20 (obviously I am a wee bit older). We are totally scorpios.
It is hard for me to know what life is like for her. Or what her dreams are. But I want to know more about her and her family. Mike and I are pretty excited to travel to Tanzania for our honeymoon at which point we hope to visit this sweet girl. I imagine the visit will be quite short but it seems more than worth it. Even if just to let her know that we know she is special.
When Kal started her You-Are-Awesome posters, I had thought it would be fantastic to get one for Miriamu. The only issue was that it felt wrong making a poster for her that she wouldn’t understand (i.e. in English). Miriamu speaks her regional language of Kinyiramba and the local dialect of Swahili. But after getting 9 posters from Kal for other special people in my life, I just had to make it happen!
I got in touch with Patrick of Enviro-Safe Cleaning Worker Cooperative. I knew, of the main cooperative members, several of them are from Kenya – a country whose official language is Kiswahili (or Swahili to us). He got in touch with his nephew – who had just came to Canada from Tanzania in December of last year – to get me an authentic translation for the poster. Sweet!
MIRIAMU Wewe ni mtu maalumu. It means MIRIAMU You Are Special.
The deal with the posters is you choose the animal, the colours, the name (of course!) and the adjective. When it came time to choosing an animal, it was a NO-brainer. GIRAFFE. It is the national symbol of Tanzania and represents grace. Tanzanians are said to be a graceful people. The colours sort of followed after that – colours that represent the sun and earth.
Kal was so moved by the poster that she offered it to me as a gift. I promised that I would share with Miriamu the story of how her poster came to be and all of the amazing people who had a hand in making it a reality.