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.