Friday, November 12, 2010

Victory and Gossip

There's this one block that I pass almost every time I leave my house where some incredibly rude and obnoxious little boys hang out. Today they went too far and now hopefully they know not to mess with me. I was prepared to put up with the usual name calling, asking for money, and then statements about how I'm a horrible person, but stone throwing was not on the list of things I was willing to let slide today. I thought that I had rounded the corner to safety/ out of ear shot of all the obnoxiousness and then a rock went whizzing over my head. It was not a little pebble it was a real rock and it just barely missed me. The boy who threw the rock was not a little boy he was probably 10 or 12 and therefore should know better. He was not getting away with this. I whipped around and started asking all of the boys where their mom's were. They all laughed thinking it was an empty threat. That was their second mistake: underestimating me.

I might be a toubab and not always know what's going on, but I'm not stupid and I pass this gang of boys all the time so when the culprit tried to lead me in the wrong direction I gave him a dirty look and walked right up to the house he's usually sitting outside. I walked right in, followed by a bunch of younger boys, and introduced myself. I explained that I walk this route all the time, am a Peace Corps volunteer, and live in Som with a Senegalese family. Then I told them one of the boys threw a rock at me. The women were furious and all of the little boys cracked and tattled on the older boy. A man about my age was the one who took action. I hate when people hit their kids. I cringe every time and have to look away, but I felt so vindicated when this man went after his little brat of a brother/ cousin. Hopefully I wont have any more problems.

We have been losing power in the middle of the day recently so when I arrived home in a blaze of glory, high off my tattling I sat with Deenba as she did laundry. I learned a ton about Deenba. Her village is called Keur Ibrahima Fall. It doesn't have electricity, but it does have running water. She's the oldest of 6. She has three sisters and two brothers. She's also going home for Tabaski. All of this was interesting information, but what it really did was provide a seamless transition to ask questions when Fatou walked in aka my host dad's potentially illegitimate child.

I saw Fatou walk in and asked Deenba who she was. I asked if it was my host dad's child. She looked at my like I was a crazy person because she didn't know Fatou either. Fortunately, she was just as interested as I was especially after I told her who I thought Fatou was. She went into the kitchen to ask Khady. The story isn't nearly as scandalous as I would have liked, but it makes way more sense since I imagine my host mom going ballistic on my dad having an affair/ child even though it's fairly common here. Fatou is the daughter of one of my dad's really good friends. And my host dad is her benefactor. He pays for her to go to school so now that she has a few of her grades in she comes over to our house to show my mom her progress. I think she also comes over now so I can help her with her English homework, which I did for most of the afternoon.


  1. I AM SO RELIEVED that Fatou is not your Dad's child! After meeting him I truly believe he is a man of tremendous integrity, grace and intelligence. Think about taking the offensive boy's family some dates for Tabaski.

  2. Alyssa,

    You go girl! I hope that the kids/brats have learned their lesson.