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How Disney Prepared Us For Kenya

Chuck and I are Disney fanatics, we actually lived close enough to Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom to see “Wishes” from our backyard.

We, until relatively recently, were Disney Vacation Club members with Animal Kingdom Lodge as our home resort, Chuck’s favorite resort.

And, I worked with Disney Catered Events, Park Event Operations, and Media Events Production for a short time, and often in the Animal Kingdom.

So, over the years we were exposed to Swahili, one of two main languages in Kenya, the second being English.

If you’ve ever seen The Lion King, you can already speak a little Swahili! Hakuna Matata, just like the song says, means no worries.

Not surprisingly lion in Swahili is Simba, and Rafiki means friend!

If you’ve been to Animal Kingdom, or Animal Kingdom Lodge you’ve probably heard some Swahili there as well.

Tamu means sweet, and Tamu Tamu Refreshments at Animal Kingdom sells sweet treats.

Dawa means medicine, and if in the middle of a hot day you have ever had a drink from Dawa Bar, you’ll understand why they chose the name.

Earlier in the morning, you might have started your long day at the Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery, as kusafiri means long journey.

Guest are greeted with a warm “Jambo”, a slang hi or hello, while Asante or Asante Sana is thanks or thank you!

Cast Members will likely wish you Kwa herini or go well, as you leave the Kilimanjaro Safaris where the vehicles move Poly Poly or very slowly.

Hanging on the Harambe, the meeting or gathering place, you might enjoy a Tusker Lager, a very popular Kenyan beer.

So, yes, being a Disney fanatic prepared us well for our trip to Kenya.

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