Tomkarit, the Muslim new year, was two days ago and yesterday was New Years day. This means that no one has been going to work and everyone has been eating couscous and chicken. I can't complain. While the incessant drumming did become a little annoying, I have enjoyed the new level of terror that I provoke in small children. On Tomkarit, as I described, kids dress up in drag and wear white face. Bad spirits and all those sorts of things are white. I am white. Hilarity ensues. Even kids on my block who know me, greet me incessantly, and always want to shake my hand are currently hiding behind older siblings and bursting into tears when I round a corner. It does mean that I'm shaking less snotty hands as I'm counting the milliseconds down to America, but it's also extremely confusing to Ahmed now that his friends refuse to play with his super cool toubab friend aka me.
This morning I took a run, terrified a handful of small children with my pasty legs in running shorts, and swung by the center to say goodbye to Tamar who is going to America before me. No, I'm not bitter or jealous. I then took a walking tour of Thies. The weather has been unbelievable here. It's been cool and overcast, which is great. I was on the hunt for some holiday presents to take back home and to pay my internet bill. It felt good to have some easy accomplishments to check off the list.
This afternoon I went to see Madame Ly and Dioss. Madame Ly was just leaving her house when I got there, even though I called to tell her I was coming, so I gave her a bunch of cash which was late payment from the Expo and then headed off to Dioss'. While I usually expect to walk into a boys club whenever I'm going to Dioss', I don't usually think about an Asian boys club. Today Dioss was hosting three Korean study abroad students and their Senegalese French tutor who used to work for Peace Corps. The three Korean boys were hilarious and spoke absolutely terrible French. At one point I had to step in and help the situation after one of them said that he likes to kiss his sister who is almost as beautiful as me. A look of terror ran across Dioss' and the Senegalese tutor's faces and I quickly laughed and told everyone that he meant girlfriend, or at least I hope he did!
Back on the home front nothing too interesting is happening. Mami is sick and has what I think is a very nasty staph infection on her face. She went to the hospital today and had whatever it was lanced off so hopefully that gets better quickly. All the girls hate their lives because Deenba has the entire month of and is in her village. Ahmed is driving me insane because he didn't have school this week. And my family, for some reason, bought more chickens even though there's no room in the coop and they crow right into my room.
Messy, but Warm
10 months ago