I've been learning little bits of Luganda here and there (not that I know how to spell it):
"Oleotea!" (How are you?--the common greeting), followed by "Giendi!" (Fine!)
"Jieba-leko, Sebo!" (Well done, man!)
The great part about these little phrases is the great doors that open before my eyes. It's almost like watching these previously skeptical faces unfold like flowers. One of my favorite things about Uganda is the friendliness of people to just a little bit of interest shown in them. It's almost like a fun game to watch them transform.
Today when I took my first trip to the open-air market to get some fruits, veggies, and grains (so fun--and much less overwhelming than trying to decipher the grocery store later this afternoon), my Ugandan friend counseled, "Greet them in Luganda. You'll get a better price." And a better relationship! Sometimes people even start laughing out loud (in a good way). I'm hoping our househelp will teach my kids Luganda, and maybe we can even learn a phrase a week together. I'm thinking it can go a long way.