Just last night my mom and I were wondering when Ahmed's birthday was. Well, it's today. He's 4 and in charge. I found out that January is a huge birthday month for my family, with me, Mami, and Khady rounding out the month. I didn't think that birthdays were really celebrated here, but my mom told me that adults will have small family parties that usually include chicken and that children have lots and lots and lots of candy and that's exactly what Ahmed did all day. He also took off his pants and refused to put them back on and screamed that it was his birthday whenever someone asked him to put his pants back on. Classic. Ahmed was given even more candy than usual today and was bouncing off the walls while the rest of us were hard at work (more on this later). I refrained from delving into my candy stash to satisfy his ever growing sweet tooth and gave him a little toy car my aunt sent me, which he loved.
The day started off pretty easy with a Post Office run where I got some letters from Matt and my mom. Thanks! And when I got home I was already to clean my room when my mom asked me to go with her and Khady to the market. I thought this was a little bit of an odd request, but I had nothing better to do so I went. They wanted me to come so I could carry everything. Haha.
I should preface this by saying that tomorrow my family is hosting a wedding for my oldest brother who lives in Spain. He will not be attending his own wedding, it's not necessary. Regardless, today was all about shopping and getting ready for the ridiculous feast we are going to have tomorrow. At the market we bought 25k of potatoes, 25 kilos of onions, a TON of oil (10 gallons, hey we're making a lot of fries and greasy onion sauce), and three meters of lettuce. Yes, you read that correctly we walked into someones garden and I discovered my purpose on this market trip and that Senegalese people buy lettuce by the balk by meter. Anyway, it was my job to pick all of the lettuce out of the ground and hand it to Khady to attempted to talk on her cell phone and put the lettuce into the huge bucket and bag we had brought as containers. This was all happening as my mom was haggling with the garden owner. It was fairly comical. I really enjoyed picking all the lettuce although I got really dirty and my mom is incredibly entertaining because she's a huge hard ass. And I saw that with all the best intentions and love. That woman will haggle, and whine, and complain that price down until she's satisfied and I would be afraid of getting in her way!
After arriving safely back at our house with all our goodies (I'm so excited for salad tomorrow!) we discovered a proverbial bomb had exploded in our compound. Men were working on repairing (aka destroying and then putting back together) our driveway, two of my brothers were hacking away at a dead tree, Jeenaba and Deenba had taken every kitchen utensil out of the kitchen to clean, and there was a huge gaggle of women ready to start cutting up some onions. It was intense. I am not allowed to cut onions because I cut myself when using a dull knife to cut an onion towards my hand without a cutting board, but my family is impressed with my potato peeling skills since I brought a peeler from home. Several hours later I had peeled 25k of potatoes by myself while watching the other women cut onions and my brothers kill 15 chickens... all while Ahmed is making me play with him and his car... remember, he's also pants-less. This is my life.
The wedding tomorrow is sure to be a spectacle. I've only been to a wedding reception so far so I'm interested to see the ceremony which is supposedly at our house, but I'm not so excited about the reception since it's at the bride's house and I wont be able to escape when the intense boredom of being left alone and not understanding what people say sets in. I will just keep repeating in my head chicken and salad, chicken and salad, chicken and salad...
Messy, but Warm
10 months ago