Thursday, May 20, 2010


With dread in my heart I asked why all the women in my family were sitting around sorting food in the main house. I was terrified that we were prepping for a party and a Senegalese party is something I really can't handle right now. The reason for all of the food was shocking in it's efficiency and simplicity. There have been massive fights going on recently about going to the market and cooking. Deenba has cooked five days in a row and she's not happy about it and she lets everyone know about it. I can't say that I blame her; going to the market, cooking on a gas stove in 90 degree plus weather, and then doing all of those dishes out in the baking sun is not pleasant. Unfortunately, Deenba is low man on the totem poll so she has to do a lot of the grunt work around the house.

The idea that just might revolutionize Deenba's life and the main topic of fights at my house is as simple as using a neglected resource. We have multiple refrigerators at my house that all store cold water and cold water only. Someone came up with the brilliant idea that food could also be stored in the refrigerator so someone doesn't have to go to the market everyday. Jeenaba explained this idea to me like she was the first person who ever had it, but I played along and told her that it is indeed an excellent idea and a real time saver. I wont go so far as to say that this change could help Khady have lunch ready before 4pm, but hopefully Jeenaba and Deenba will be less exhausted every day and they'll have a little more free time away from the house and the kitchen.

The other big event of the day involved me. Last week my aunt came over and told me that she was going to make me two dresses... she then demanded money so she could make me two dresses. I told her that I wanted dresses just like the ones she showed me in similar fabric and colors. What I got was not that. I think Senegalese women are gorgeous and regal and statuesque when they wear their brightly colored and voluminous clothing. I think I look like a clown and a poser. It's a very difficult line to walk. My family loves when I wear Senegalese clothes and were in love with the two dresses they forced me to try on and then parade around the house for them. I don't know if they were being nice and telling me I looked good and inwardly laughing to themselves or if they really appreciated my effort. For me, I will wear Senegalese clothes on holidays and around the house to make my family happy, but I can not go to work in Senegalese clothes. If I can't take myself seriously, then who can?

Other than that, I sweat a lot today. It's getting hot and everything is starting to slow down. No one wants me to do anything in the afternoon because "the sun is hot." I assure them that the sun is hot every day in Senegal and life must go on. I leave, they watch Marina.

Tomorrow is the art atelier with Dioss. Get excited!

1 comment:

  1. Alyssa,

    Hopefully they will follow through on the use of refrigeration. However, they will not have as much cold or cool water and what effect will that have?