Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Boring? Anything But

I thought I was going to have a boring day. I should really know better by this point...

All day yesterday I was really excited (I know complete 180) to start accounting with Dioss. Unfortunately, just as I was turning the corner by his gallery he called me (shout out to Dioss for using a phone to update me on a change of plans!) to say he had an emergency at one of the galleries where he sells his art and he had to cancel our meeting. I was really disappointed, but pleased he called, and since his gallery is a 30 minute walk from my house I decided to still go and see who else was there. At the gallery there is always a bevy of brothers, cousins, friends, and maids so I knew I could find someone to talk to.

One of Dioss' younger brother was working on some art and there were several other men around my age there that I knew so I sat down to talk for a while and luckily I brought a book! Dioss' crowd really impresses me. They are all whip smart and all of them have different interests. There are several artists in the bunch, but they mostly use different mediums, and they are still interested in knowledge outside of the art world. One of my favorite guys is Major who is studying Geography at the University of Dakar and wants to be a professor. When there were lulls in the conversation everyone pulled our a book or a magazine. Neither my family in my home stay village nor my family here or really any other people I've met are interested in reading, but Dioss' family is just voracious for knowledge and are really cool people. So, even though I didn't get to do any real work I did spend a couple of nice hours relaxing in the gallery and chatting.

My afternoon activity was talking to my Aunt Diane's class about Africa. It was actually really fun and I even brought Ahmed in to say hello. He loved it and has been talking about seeing all the kids in the US all night and the rest of my family is angry that I didn't bring them in to see. Next time. Although I think they forget that they can't communicate with the people I'm speaking with. Oh well. Most of the questions were pretty easy. Questions about weather, bathrooms, animals, and family dominated the scene, but I was intrigued by a girl who asked what Africa is like... and my response. I tried to frame Africa as a very different place, but what I kept coming back to was the fact that I'm the minority, not a member of the majority, and that I'm reminded of it every single time I walk out of my compound. I would say it is the hardest part of being away. There's no hiding. I just stick out. The conversation was very fun and I look forward to doing it again and fielding more questions.

What took up the rest of my day? Oh, just the general chaos that is living with my family. My mom was raging through the house claiming our maid stole the key to her room. I'm not sure if she was joking or not. Regardless, Deenba, the maid, is an absolute saint who is kind, funny, and has endless patience for me. I joined Deenba in the search as my mom yelled at us from the balcony. Eventually I proved the victor and found the key dangling to the edge of the drain in the shower. It would have been a disaster if it had fallen in and we couldn't find it. Crisis diverted.

I just ate chicken and salad. And I'm full. That means I had a great day.

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