|Zanzibar roadside, on Tanzania's Swahili coast|
On a Saturday afternoon when I was in Middle School back in Baltimore, I returned home after taking the SAT’s as part of an academic admissions process. "How did it go, son?" my mom eagerly inquired as I walked in the door, dazed. "Ugh, it was impossible—the test was in, like, SWAHILI or something!" I exclaimed. At that moment, the East African language was the most foreign, unintelligible gibberish I could imagine.
Today, after recently completing Georgetown’s Tanzania Summer Program, I can actually speak and understand a reasonable amount of Swahili, and no longer consider the language’s name a synonym