Saturday, April 21, 2012
Attaya...how I spend many an afternoon
So there are only 21 days for me left here in Senegal! Yikes! I am nowhere near ready to go home. I just spent the day with my neighbor and good friend Mamadou's family. He invited me to come and make lunch with his sisters. We went to the market together and ended up cooking yassa poisson, which is one of the national dishes here. Afterward, we made our attaya. Attaya is a wonderful thing. It is essentially green tea with massive amounts of sugar and nanna (a mint herb). You generally make it over charcoal and make three or four rounds of tea. You then serve the tea in shot glasses after spending hours turning the tea to get the correct amount of foam. These days, after so much practice with Mamadou, I hardly end up spilling any tea during the lengthy process. I don't think the foam is actually necessary, but the whole point of making the attaya is really just about finding a way to pass the time in good company.
The photo above is a picture of myself and my friend Mattan going to by charcoal (charbon en francais, kireen ci wolof) to make attaya at the house of one of our program directors. As you can see it was a bit of a strange setup...we weren't exactly sure what we would find behind the walls. Luckily, after a nice conversation in wolof with the man selling the charcoal, we made it out alive, bought a large bag of charcoal for 100cfa (25 cents) and proceeded to cook dinner at Korka's house.