Friday, July 23, 2010

This Actually Happened

I thought today was going to be stressful and potentially embarrassing, but it just ended up being mayhem. Two days ago Dioss, I think, asked me out on a date. What I do know is that he told me he wanted to take me out to dinner and then a "nightclub" that plays live music. When he first initially asked me I tried to be very Senegalese and noncommittal in hopes that he would get the drift and not bring it up again - that is if he even meant the outing to be romantic in the first place. Yesterday he texted me that he was excited to go out Saturday night. This obviously pushed me into full fledged panic attack mode since I now needed an excuse that would illustrate that I didn't want to go out with him while not hurting his feelings, embarrassing him, and/ or hurting our friendship/ working relationship.

After calls to Katherine and Tamar and worrying about it all day, I was nervous going over to his house today. I had nothing to worry about. He claimed that he forgot that he was hosting 10 French teenagers for the weekend as part of a summer program and that he was busy now. I further hedged and said that I forgot I had promised Jackie that I would visit her in Pout. It was all very strange. Who knows what his actual intentions were, I'm just happy it's over and it's apparently not awkward. What was awkward? Speaking in Wolof with Dioss and his friends while scantily dressed French teens painted in his atelier. Odd.

This was the most normal part of my day.

My family has been having ridiculously late lunches recently and today was no exception. We didn't have lunch until 3:45 and I spent the hours proceeding lunch reading in the family room while big Ahmed and Deenba slept on the floor since we didn't have any power. This was all very normal. When Jeenaba finally called us for lunch Deenba and I got up to get stools for everyone and Ahmed remained on the floor. Deenba tried to rouse him and he blew her off and once we were all waiting for him at the bowl my mom starting yelling at him, he still didn't come. It turns out he was in the midst of a diabetes attack. Ahmed finally made it to the bowl and just sat there while everyone else stared in silence and my mom screamed at him to eat. He didn't eat he just moved the rice around which sent my mom into a furry. Then he passed out at the bowl.

The house descended into chaos. Instead of immediately going to the hospital, Deenba ran for sugar which my mom tried to feed to Ahmed but he refused to eat it. Again, instead of going to the hospital my mom just screams at him that if he doesn't eat the sugar she's going to call the doctor. He manages to eat a few bites of rice and a sugar cube and makes it to the couch to pass out while everyone is yelling at him to eat more. Next step? Ahmed must have a mango.

The only ripe mango on our tree is really high up so while my mom stands pointing at the mango she wants Deenba and Awa connect two pieces of re-bar together with an old t-shirt. I'm sent to back into the house to get a chair to stand on. Deenba gets on the chair with the 20 foot piece of re-bar in hand while Awa holds the bottom of the re-bar and the chair. I'm attempting to keep little Ahmed out of the ensuing disaster so we watch from the kitchen window. All of a sudden Deenba falters a little bit and uses one hand to support herself allowing the re-bar to slip. It's slips onto the power line going to our neighbors house.

At this point I start having a massive panic attack and start screaming at Deenba to drop the re-bar because it's touching a power line. My screaming sends Ahmed into tears and scares Deenba who just stands there still holding the re-bar. As cool as a cucumber, my mom turns to me and explains that the power is out so nothing bad can happen. I'm beside myself and am 99% sure that someone is going to die. So I grab Ahmed and we leave to get ice cream. Everything else had been so logical up until this point that I just went with the flow and that's the first thing that came to into my head. We had to walk to several boutiques before finding something that Ahmed wanted so by the time we got back the re-bar had been removed from the still intact power line and all of the women were watching big Ahmed sleep.

Once I was sure that everything was at least stable I made my escape. I had already made plans to meet Emily for a drink after she watered her garden so I made our way to Emily's favorite drinking spot to do some work and remove myself from the chaos of my house. I was walking my very familiar route saying hi to all of the children I usually see when a teenage boy decided to call me the bad word for white person and throw half a bucket of water at me. Fortunately the water hit the side of my body that my bag, carrying my computer, was not on so there wasn't really any damage done, but it was unpleasant none the less. I told him he was rude and a bad person and asked to see his mother, which only brought on hysterical laughter so I cut my losses and moved on. Oddly this incident didn't upset me too much... probably because the rest of the day had been so utterly ridiculous that getting water thrown at me was just par for the course.

Luckily, the restaurant provided electricity, internet, and alcohol, which can fix almost any situation. I also know I'm going home to chicken for dinner after which I'm going to hide in my room and pray that nothing else too out of the usual happens before bed time!


  1. Alyssa,

    It sounds like two soap operas, one with Dioss and the other your family. You kept the readers hanging...hopefully Dioss understands the possible situation that he put you in and secondly how is big Ahmed?


  2. Alyssa, this is a couple of diabetic comas that big Ahmed has experienced in a month. This is serious. You need to talk with the PC to determine what your role is in terms of getting him help. I hope you can get some French language literature that describes proper nutrition for a diabetic. Please do some research for your personal knowledge via the American Diabetes Association website.
    This whole situation sounds terrifying so please prepare yourself for the next time.