There have been times throughout the last few weeks where I have wondered whether I am getting more from this experience than the students. Sunday was one of those days. All of us took part in family visits, which consisted of us getting paired up with a student from Mame Yelli Badiane, going to their house for the day, and just seeing what life is like. There was a student without a partner, so I paired up with her. Binetou's family was welcoming, accepting of the language difference, and very generous to me. They also let me help out around the house (after I insisted). It's hard to get people here to let you do anything because they are so hospitable. I spent a large portion of the day in the kitchen (insert your masochistic joke here). I had a blast and felt rejuvenated when I got back to our house at the end of the day. I love cooking and learning how to cook for a huge family on one propane tank with one pot was really fun. Binetou's brother was quite the photographer, so I'll let his pictures tell the story of the day.
|Binetou's sister and I cooking ceebu jen.|
|Using a mortar and pestle to get the seasoning ready.|
|Cooking a meal for about 14 people in one pot? Fun! The big container behind me with the gold can on top is where the family keeps water for cooking. The table next to it is where all of the kitchen dishes are kept.|
|Rice, or jen... it's so good here. Short grain, sticky, and always perfectly done.|
|Getting ready to steam the rice... still using one pot. We soaked the rice in water, set the bowl on top of the pot, covered it, and let it steam.|
|Ceebu jen... a tomato, onion, pepper, and garlic base with okra, root vegetables, other veggies I don't know the name of yet, and fish.|
|Steaming the rice on top of the pot.|
|Binetou Tall... she's awesome. Great smile too.|
|Eating the fruits of our labor. Cooking in Senegal is very communal and so is eating. You'll notice that I had to wear a cloth on my lap because I can't eat with my hand without spilling something.|
Only a few more days and we'll be home. I am about three blog posts behind, so I'll probably write about a few of our experiences that I missed and then I'll start reflecting on the roller coaster ride that has been this trip. It might take awhile.
I miss everyone, especially Nathan. I wish I could bring many of you here so that you could see the beauty (sometimes hidden) of this country and the people (never hidden).
Peace and love,