Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Tako is the name of our new maid. It's pronounced "taco" and since I have no idea how it's actually spelled I thought Tako was nicer than "taco." She appeared yesterday. Deenba introduced me to her in passing so I assumed that she was someone's friend or hanging out in hopes of scoring one of my family's good dinners. When I was sitting in our courtyard in my pajamas this morning enjoying the relative cool after it rained all night and eating a Cliff Bar, Tako appeared from inside the house with a toothbrush in her mouth. When I finally found Deenba alone I questioned her further and it seems like Tako's here to stay. I have no idea why we need 3.5 maids. Awa, although her status is now elevated that she's married, still does about the same amount of work that she used to and Deenba and Jeenaba are still always at the house. I'm terrified one of them is going to get married soon. Since no one ever clues me into big life events, this is a likely situation. I don't think it's Deenba and her boyfriend because I've asked her about it a few times and I do feel like she would tell me. It would be terrible if Deenba was leaving so I'm not going to think about that possibility.

Ahmed has been a little terror recently and it's apparently part of my familial responsibility to deal with him. Today he was throwing a tantrum while I was sitting with Jeenaba in the courtyard and she called out to him to answer me. After a few minutes of calling him, he appeared with an impish grin on his face demanding to play. Fortunately my mom sent me a puzzle of Africa recently and I busted that out much to Ahmed's delight. He was amazed that my mom could buy him an Africa puzzle in the US. We put the puzzle together in the living room while Petit oddly enough watched Al Gore and The Inconvenient Truth. The puzzle was definitely challenging for Ahmed and it took us a long time. He's also very nervous about putting a piece in the wrong place and he likes to confirm with me that he has everything right before he puts a piece in place. He also can usually find the right place quickly, but then has trouble rotating the piece or aligning it correctly. Jeenaba came in when we were about halfway through and quickly became exasperated about how long it was taking us to finish the puzzle. She attempted to quickly put in a few pieces which Ahmed quickly took out so he could put them in again.

This afternoon I went to see Dioss and discuss the potential export deal which has hit some snags because he doesn't want to reduce the price although it's obvious through his accounting that he's still going to make money. He has a price in his head and he doesn't want to budge, but I think we're making progress. Dioss also wants Pauline and I to put on and publicize an art show for him and his association before Pauline leaves. I love the idea and I think it could be really cool and interesting/ incredibly annoying and challenging to plan an event here, but I am concerned that Pauline only has about 5 weeks left and that I'm going to Kedougou on Friday. We have a meeting next week so I'm interested to see if she thinks she can take on the event plus the catalog she's working on, since I know she's super stressed about it. We will see...


  1. I love that Ahmed is so interested in puzzles. It's great that he has such a sense of pride for Africa. Does he have any interest in the USA puzzle?

  2. I hope you had a great time in Kedougou - where ever THAT is!

  3. That's really cute about Ahmed - once he gets good at one you should start timing him and making it speed puzzle...that'd be more entertaining for you haha.

    PS I'm not sure how long it will take you to download this, but it's worth the efforts : )

  4. Today Grand Rapids is in Africa. We have 95 degree temperatures and 95% humidity. We too are being teased by lightning but no rain.