Tuesday, September 13, 2011


What's in a greeting? Hello can fall from our lips and upon our ears with a wide range of intentions and results. For the past few years, I've been experimenting with smiling as a wordless greeting and am often delighted in the result it produces. I especially enjoy lingering a bit longer than is customary and noting how long it takes for the recipient to receive it, if, in fact, they choose to.

Here, at Ailanga Lutheran Junior Seminary in rural Tanzania, James is greeting Prayness with a turn of the head and a soft hello. She's approached cautiously, but received his greeting sufficiently to rest her arms on the desktop near his hand. The downward tilt of her head suggests a degree of shyness, while her gaze falls near the photographer. Her body language, which has not been lost on James, speaks of a willingness to continue the interaction.

Now that's a mighty fine jambo!

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