We almost forgot to let you know about our Empako or pet names we were given. Among the Runyoro -Rutoro, people are given pet names. There are a total of 11 names with 9 actually given; the others are for members of the royal family or the king. These names are actually a big deal around here and these are the names you use when you greet someone and if don’t know their pet name you ask before saying hello. This makes for some confusion when you are talking about say Akiiki, which is one pet name, and 10 people around you have the same name.
We were given our Empako during our homestay by our host mother Mamma Adyeeri (which is her pet name). Matt is Amooti (A-mo-te) meaning flower/kind and Ashley is Ateenyi (A-ten-ee) meaning snake or guardian of the river. So those are the names we will be using for the next 2 years.
List of 9 Common People Pet Names:
Arali (common in Rutoro)
Apuli (common in Rutoro)