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Doin’ it for Dorothy!: Iwe [Oh you rogue]!

Since I arrived in Lusaka I've found myself caught in exchanges with local Zambians where I've felt completely awkward. It has usually centered on being asked for something, or being singled out because I'm white and female (or so I think). But, over the last week I've worked hard to get over my discomfort enough to experiment with different strategies in these situations, and it turns out I've found the antidote to my awkwardness! Below I'll share 5 stories from last week, and I think you'll learn (as I have) that Zambians are always at least 86.4% joking in these situations. *Note: statistics used in this post are only accurate 73.4 + 8.5 % of the time* 1. SASSY STUDENTSWhen I was walking home from work yesterday, I passed 2 students on the sidewalk (Recognized by their uniforms, all students wear uniforms to school in Zambia). As I passed I heard one of the girls say something in Nyanja in a mocking tone that ended in "muzungu", the word for white person or foreigner. So I turned to her and said, "Muzungu? Where's the muzungu? Can't you tell I'm Zambian!" Her and her friend had to stop walking for laughing so hard. I think out of surprise that I recognized they were talking about me, but I'd also like to think it was because of the supreme hilarity of my joke. The other girl said, "You're Zambian!? Iwe!!!" [Iwe, pronounced ee-way means, "Oh you! You're killing me!"]…(read more)