The name for this blog comes from a traditional goodbye saying in Shona, the language of the country that is now called Zimbabwe. When my grandparents were missionaries there in the 1950’s it was called Southern Rhodesia. My dad was born there and still remembers running around the hills chasing butterflies and throwing rocks. The family moved back to the states when he was 9 but rarely does a conversation pass when they do not allude to their time in Africa. My grandparents brought back with them boxes of beautiful ebony carvings, intricately woven baskets, a trophy set of kudu horns, thousands of pictures, and many, many stories.

Some Shona phrases have crept into the family vernacular; they have been handed down from my grandparents as a reminder of their missionary years. I remember being fascinated by the hard to pronounce words that my grandpa and dad would exchange when taking leave of each other. The person who was being left behind would say “Fambai zvakanaka”, which means literally “Walk well”. The person who was leaving would reply “Sarai zvakanaka” which is translated “Stay Well”.

As I get older, these well-worn sayings have continued to remain important to me. I studied kinesiology, rehabilitation and exercise science in college and grad school and I am now continuing my education by learning to be a Pedorthist (a medical professional who makes custom orthotics). I am literally learning to help people “walk well”.

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