Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Still exhausted from Artisan Expo and knowing that striking teachers and a holiday tonight meant lots of kids would be on the street, I stayed home this morning and cleaned my room. My room was filthy and utterly disgusting. I had to take care of what I will call a cockroach nest that had set up house in a box. How do you take care of a cockroach nest? Take everything out of the box that you want and then throw it over the wall of the bungalow's porch to awaiting chickens who quickly eat all the cockroaches. The things I'm learning. Extreme disinterest in cleaning paired with nothing to do meant that it took me four hours to clean my room while attempting to convince Ahmed that my room isn't filled with presents for him (even though it is), giving Jeenaba my phone so that she could call her baby daddy because Abdou's really sick, and reading Harper's Bazaar.

This afternoon I was forced to leave the house because I needed to buy candy for this evening's holiday. I also went to the post office where I got another package from Kristen! Thanks Kristen! Today is the Muslim new year, which is called Tomkarit in Senegal. Here are the important facts about Tomkarit:

1. It's the Muslim new year
2. It's Senegal's version of Halloween and all the kids dress up in drag. Boys dress as girls and girls as boys and go door to door asking for candy, money, and yes, bags of sugar.
3. Small children are given drums.
4. Drums are beaten all day... and probably all night.
5. People scream and beat drums.
7. People where white face which is really funny.
8. Everyone eats millet couscous and chicken for dinner (delicious)
9. Children demand I give them money and candy (wait, that's every day). Ahmed steals all of my candy before I can give it to other children.
10. Small children are given drums and then no further supervision. Drums.

Per usual, my family told me that we were going somewhere and that they wanted me to go with them. I was immediately suspect because Ahmed wanted nothing to do with girl's clothes and/ or white face and none of the adults were showering/ getting ready. I sat around for a while and handed out some candy and then deemed my duties and obligations over. I handed the bag with the remaining candy in it to Ahmed and called it a night.


  1. Talk about trick or treat. Remember that package we talked about...well I just got it together. It serously weighs 30 lbs. Just a few of your favorite things!

  2. Sorry my second package wasn't as much fun as my first. I hoped you'd get them together to equal out the fun. Soap can be fun though. Sometimes. Excited for you to come to the USA even though it's like -8. It's about to get real.

  3. Counting down the days until you are EGR!!
    Safe travels, Alyssa : )