Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I've Got a Crush On You

Last night I confirmed that I have a not so secret admirer. It's Ahmed. My 4 1/2 year old host brother. While our power was out last night as I was waiting for dinner to be served I was sitting outside with my sisters when Jeenaba looked at me with a very serious face and told me that there was something I should know. She then screamed for Ahmed to come outside and all of my sisters prompted him to tell me a secret. He told me that we were special friends and that he wanted me to be his girlfriend. It was possibly the cutest thing that has ever happened in the history of the world. My sisters were beside themselves. Deenba actually had to move from her seat on a stool to the floor because she was shaking with laughter. I was trying to be very serious because this was obviously a serious situation for Ahmed and I don't want to hurt his feelings, especially since he's pretty much my best friend in Senegal.

I had suspected that he's had a crush on me for a while. Lately he wants to hold my hand all the time and he's been sneaking up on me and smacking his face into my face. It took me a good week to understand that he was trying to kiss me on the cheek, not just hit my head with his head! The most adorable part of this whole ordeal was last night at dinner. Per usual myself, Big Ahmed, and my dad were sitting at the table. Ahmed sat on my dad's lap and instructed Big Ahmed to cut him pieces of meat. This isn't out of the ordinary so I didn't think anything of it until Ahmed starting to take the cut up pieces of meat from his part of the bowl and put them in mine. He was putting food in my side of the bowl aka providing for me. Big Ahmed and my dad could not contain themselves when they realized what was happening and burst out laughing, but I tried to be very thankful and appreciative as a four year old who can barely feed himself, fed me.

This afternoon my sisters pressed Ahmed even more by reminding him that I have a boyfriend stateside. They wanted Ahmed to lay down the law and be the only "man" in my life, which was fairly confusing to him. I told Ahmed that he could be my Senegalese boyfriend, which he thought was a fabulous compromise. He's probably the only Senegalese boy in the country who fell for this trick, but he is 4. It's now the family joke. Everyone is fairly obsessed with Ahmed's obsession with me and, unfortunately, uses it to manipulate him. They will invoke my name all the time in order to get him to do things or not do things. Regardless, it's really cute and we now walk to the boutique next door several times a day holding hands while Ahmed screams at people who call me a toubab. He likes to correct them and insist that I'm an American!

Speaking of romantic relationships, I caught Deenba red handed! Or should I say lip smacking!? Because I have nothing better to do with my evenings than try to catch Deenba and her boyfriend kissing, it's rather amazing that it's taken me ten months to see/ hear evidence of making out. Tonight I got my wish. Jackie convinced me to go out to dinner with her tonight because I've been in a terrible rut and a bad mood with nothing to do and I surprised Deenba and her boyfriend upon my return. They like to sit on the porch of my bungalow on little benches because a half wall offers them a little privacy and they know I could care less what they do. They must not have heard me greet the rest of my family when I got home because when I walked up to my bungalow I heard the smack of a kiss and saw them pull away from each other! Victory for me! Hey, any information discovery for me is a big win!

This brings to a head a dilemma that I've been struggling with since Jeenaba got pregnant. First, I would like to take a minute to congratulate anyone in my house who's getting any. It's truly impressive that they were able to find a private place to hook up since there are at least two people in every room. More than anything I would like a detailed description of how people are able to sneak around and find a place to have sex. It's amazing. The moral of this whole tangent is that I really want to take Deenba aside and ask her about birth control. I know it's probably not appropriate, but it's killing me that Jeenaba is un-wed and pregnant, but it will kill me if the same happened to Deenba. I want to tell her that I will get her birth control if she needs it although I'm fairly certain it's within her means. Pretty much I just can't have any more babies popping up. I can't have any more boyfriends!


  1. Alyssa,

    You are one hot toubab.


  2. Omigosh Ahmed is completely adorable and I am so relieved somebody is finally protecting you from all the toubab name calling.
    Yes, Yes Yes talk to Deenba. I will dump all the Matadors out of the suitcase and run to Meijers for condoms......just let me know!

  3. I knew that when I turned 25 that you would turn me in for a newer model!

  4. Hi Alyssa,
    Even thought my daughter ended up in Madagascar I still like to follow your blog. You do such a great job of describing life in Senegal as a PCV.

    I'm glad that you can be there for your sisters. Good luck with little Ahmed. He sounds adorable and you've been very good for him!