Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tobaski blurb

Dear friends, I kept quiet and still for time which for me flows like a storm water on the road during the heavy rain. I was watching it as I was sitting in the gelli gelli going home. The rain has just started but the streets filled with water instantly. It made a path for itself where needed and took dirt, garbage and everything on its way to the waterways... with such force...with difficulty one wades up to the ankles through the flowing water. “Too much rain this year” – one hears around, “but it is good for the crops”. Not like last year when there were only few drops, crop failure and finally food shortage this year especially during the hungry months - August and September. This year we had plenty of rain – more than asked. Plenty of groundnut, millet, corn, and rice (rice field below).

We suffered through October, the most miserable month in the year. One forgets how the body feels without constant perspiration. With the additional water on the streets and in the waterways the month was even more miserable. At the moment feels that almost all water evaporated, humidity is decreasing. Each day I greet with the question: “Is the cold season here yet?”
Well, it is also a season of malaria. Mosquitoes had plenty of time to collect and transfer parasites from one victim to the other. Bed net distributions rush in but probably a bit too late. Neem cream is rocking in some of the villages and is not accepted in the others.
“How are you?”
“Not fine. I am sick. Few days...”
“Did you go to the hospital?”
“No...I am afraid of injections.”
“They do not do injections...They have pills. Go to the hospital today!”
No answer...just smile...I hope she went ...

For some Tobaski was not as sweet – again, Malaria. My family was well which I am grateful for. Few days before the holiday we got a new member at our compound – Tobaski ram, which cried nonstop: ’mee-mee-mee’- sensing its fate.
On Tobaski morning when the men went to the prayer I and my host mom spent some time feeding and chatting with the ram.

He was restless and scared. I felt sorry for him and millions of other sheep who met their fates today. Well, sooner or later it is inevitable...The head of the family fasts in the morning until the ram is sacrificed. So after the prayers my host dad did the sacrifice which was followed by skinning, and etc.

 My host brother Salif and helper were doing all the work.
 Almost done...

 My host dad dividing the meat.

 I am sure everyone is aware how the meat gets to our tables. Some meet got cooked right away for breaking the fast, some meet was cooked later for lunch, some given away as a charity (half of the meat should be giving away to needy families), and stored for later. All meet should be consumed in three days... So one enjoys plenty of meet during those days!! 
In the afternoon and evening people visit their family, friends dressed in the finest new clothes. It is one of those days for which women get sown gorgeous completos and do their hair. Before Tobaski tailors are working day and night to have all the women and men look beautiful on this holiday! Kids, who also get dressed up in nicest completos or western clothes, walk from one compound to the other to collect money – ‘salibo’. These are my two favorite ladies, Fatima and her little sister - Aisha, with their father. 

Well, I do not have pictures with me in the nice completo and hairdo because in our compound we refused to do it all and enjoyed time relaxing and being lazy:)   

Me (in case you do not recognize me:)) with my host mom, Juju, and host brother, Salif

 Me with my host mom, Sima, host brother, Salif, and host sister, Sona.

 Me with my host moms, Sima and Juju.

 Salif is brewing famous ataya...

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