Friday, March 23, 2012

Toubacouta Recap

A few weekends back we had the wonderful opportunity to visit the village of Toubacouta.  During that time we spent a day with hostfamilies, cooking and learning a bit about rural life in Senegal.  I stayed with the Diattas and was welcomed wonderfully.  Myself, my host mother, and host sister cooked the two family meals (yassa and ceeb u jen) in an enclosed hut behind the family houses.  My job mostly involved cutting onions (soble in Wolof).  The onions coupled with the smoke in the enclosed space meant that I was essentially crying for two hours, to the amusement of my family and especially the children.  But, all went well in the end.  The Diattas have a large family and all live together with a cluster of small houses around an open area.  There were also a lot more rules around eating and interacting that I don't normally encounter with my family in Dakar.  For instance, the men and women ate separately as you can see in the photo below:

In order to be polite I had to finish this bowl of ceeb u jen, which was quite the task!  When you are a guest like I was that weekend, it is a matter of pride to send you home feeling quite full.  If you went home hungry, it would mean that the family did not do a good job of taking care of you.

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