Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 7

I called Gambia and now I am out of minutes and don't have a phone. Everyone is taking their afternoon naps around here and without a phone I am kind of stuck. I am going to Gambia in the morning and look forward to the journey. I am eating less and feeling great!

Today is Aziz's 15th birthday. He is having a birthday party at a park this weekend. Sounds nice.

The athan announces the afternoon prayer. The streets are empty and quiet, perhaps everyone takes a nap around this time of day, unless they are in school.

We went out for pizaa tonight. The restaurant was owned by an Arab,but employed Africans. While we were there the electricity went out, and then it came back on. The business might have had a generator. There were ornaments --a string of lights, decorating the front windows which lent a festive air to the place. It was very clean. The pizaa looked good too. They also sold burgers and sandwiches.

One thing about Senegal, I think the meat is all halal. Makes life easy for a Muslim. We passed a butcher on the way back home.

It was night time so I left all my valuables in the house. Even in the dark I wasn't sure if my walk would set me apart. The electricity was out along our walk too. This road actually had street lights on it in the block where we were walking; there are normally no lights and so one has to be careful walking.

I don't know if it was pollution or what, but the night sky was flush black, not a star or planet, except one, in sight.

It is Aziz's 15th birthday and even if he isn't doing well in school, failing quite a few subjects, except PE, we still celebrated with a birthday dinner of his choice (smile). You are only 15 once and he is a really nice kid--typical of the boys his age everywhere.

He's taking German and French and English. I think that is pretty amazing. Currently he's reading one of my favorite Senegalese authors, Mariama BA's "Une silongue lettre" (So Long A Letter). It is about polygamy and I think it is a classic on the topic. I have it in English. He is also reading, "Sous l'orage" by former Malian Minister, Seydou Badian. It's a love story (smile).

Inez told me what it was about. As we ate our pizaa and other snacks, I noticed that when she said her blessing she crossed herself, so I asked it she was Christian and she said yes. I thought it was really cool that Suzanne adopted a Christian woman as her child to mentor and educate.

It's hard to believe I have been here seven days. I have done a lot in a week. I hope the connections deepen and that I get to meet and learn more about our people, especially those one doesn't hear or read about in the news--the majority population.


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