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Uganglish…

February 8, 2014

After a lecture this week, I asked a student to pray. Bless him, he said this…”We thank you that Mr Chris has taught us today. He has tried.” I silently raised my eyebrows, grateful that this wasn’t two years ago, when I would have been mortified to hear such a thing. But we understand better now. You see, in Ugandan English (Uganglish) ‘trying’ isn’t meant in that slightly patronising ‘at least you tried’ kinda way. It’s meant as a compliment. You tried. That’s the right thing to do.

This was a lesson I learn when I drove past a school once. Schools here apparently cannot exist without having some sort of tagline to catch the eye and advertise for pupils. Things like ‘For a complete person’ or ‘Building a better future together’ or something wonderfully vacuous and cheesy like that.

This one school I noticed had the logo, and underneath in big, bold letters ”We try our best…”

Bless.

As an aside, my favourite school tagline which I saw once, painted in massive letters on the wall of the compound was

“We strive for excellent”

If Josh’s current school fails to work out, then THAT’S where he’s going…

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