This week in our Swahili lessons we learned yet another verb form. This one was the reciprocal verb…ever heard of it? No, well neither had we but it turned out to be a source of laughter for both our teacher and ourselves. Who would have thought that a verb form could be a joy! This verb form requires an ending of “ana” added to the verb stem. This alone doesn’t seem particularly funny but that is only part of the story. We also learned a new verb stem -bana which means “squashed” that is a free translation! Ok , so some of you have already put it together but it is not necessarily that obvious so -bana with the “ana” ending gives you -banana! A free translation of -banana is “squashed together.” Well initially our teacher put together a sentence for us to translate and his first left us with no wiggle room but then he had one about fruit being “squashed together” in the bottom of a basket! Yes you guessed it we couldn’t help ourselves we translated some of it into English and some into Swahili!! It took the teacher a moment or two and then he was in stitches!! It was nice to see him enjoy it so much. Needless to say in different ways this word cropped up during the week as we all tried to take the joke a little further. John got the best of us though when one morning he came in and asked us to translate a sentence for him. We were not anticipating it and we got confused. He totally got us! He is much better at keeping a straight face than we are! God is so good! He always knows what we need and when we need it! This was just what we needed this week. Language learning has/is/and probably always will be a challenge but I was really struggling with the progress I have made and this helped me to see that while language is a definite asset to relationship building it is not the only aspect of building relationship. Another important aspect of a relationship is being able to share something of who we are with others and them being able to share something of who they are with us.