I took the liberty to stay in my room until almost noon today and lay in bed reading the entire Vanity Fair that the McKeown's sent me while eating a Cliff bar. It was pretty great. My family was pretty mellow as well so my morning and afternoon passed without much activity.
Lunch brought a return of ceebu jenn! Thank god! Although it was actually a slightly different dish that instead of a fresh fish has dried fish bits and beans, I was still very happy that we were back to Senegal's national dish. I used to be a foodie. This will get even sadder later in this post...
I don't believe that I have mentioned my family has been without water for the past 48 hours. We are rationing water which means no bathing, only drinking and cooking and it sucks. Since Jackie left her sunglasses at the center, I had an excuse to go and take a really good REAL SHOWER! It was amazing. I conditioned my hair for the first time since coming to site and felt really clean. I definitely need to start taking more showers at the center. It is a delicious treat.
Since I was already in the neighborhood and I promised my tutor that I would stop by today, I had about a two hour tutoring session, which went really well. We discussed the differences between boys and girls' interactions in Senegal and the US. I brought it up since a couple of days ago when I was riding my bike I had seen one of my tutors' friends and been really rude to him. I was riding along and this man on a bike came up to me and started asking me all these questions. It is my policy to just ignore men or ask them to leave me alone and that's what I did since I didn't recognize him until I thought about it later that day. My tutor told me not to worry since he had already told his friend not to bother me and we got into a really good discussion about the differences between our two cultures. It was interesting to hear his perspective especially since he was spot on about American women. I will devout a later blog post to how Senegalese men constantly hit on me when I've had a boring day sometime in the future.
Sundays mean my family is going to have some rice or millet with cream and sugar combination. While none of these dishes taste bad, they do give me a stomach ache because they are 90% sugar and I'm a savory girl. Give me a salt lick over a sugar cube any day. Plus with the amount of tea I drink and everything else I want to cut down on the sugar as much as possible. Therefore, I've told my family that I want to cook for myself every Sunday since I have the time. Today, I ripped open one of the Indian dinners my grandma sent me yesterday. It was AMAZING. I will admit that in the US I was a food snob. Throughout college I would take an hour or two to create, eat, and clean up dinner rather than succumb to the ease of Lean Cuisines and the like, much to the dislike of my roommates. Now, I can eat anything... and like it. The Indian food was a completely new flavor profile for me and it was so satisfying.
When I cook it's quite a spectacle so I usually wait until everyone has moved inside so I can do it in peace. Little Ahmed took the liberty of alerting all the women today who came to see and critique my technique. The package was just some curry which I was eating with some bread. I thought there was a chance that my family would actually like it... I was incredibly wrong. My mom actually tried it and told me she liked it, but was obviously lying. I then asked Jeenaba and Deenba if they would like to try it. Deenba lied and told me she was full even though I know she hadn't eaten dinner yet and Jeenaba told me to my face that American food is terrible and she doesn't know why I would ever want to make it now that I've had Senegalese food. So much for cross cultural exchange.
Regardless, I'm very happy that I had some Indian food and that I had a relaxing day. This coming week will be a short one with Thanksgiving and Tabaski and Tamar coming! Yay!
Messy, but Warm
8 months ago