Continental Drift

July 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — unaleona @ 2:28 pm

In my last few posts, I’m afraid that I was a little distracted by the euphoria of homecoming.  Seeing Sikoro again with fresh eyes, and cooler body, I perhaps gave an overly rosy impression of the Bamako experience, Round II.  The heat has not magically disappeared.  The rain is only on-again-off-again, and my family is back to sleeping outside most of the time.

And, things are still strange here.  You’d think, after more than 7 months, I’d no longer be writing about the theme of “I do things wrong and people laugh at me,” or “Something really strange happened on my way to work,” but when you walk out of the house in the morning to go to the bathroom and are greeted by three pre-teen boys roasting the largest rat you’ve ever seen, really what can you do but marvel at how weird this is?

Maimouna: “WHAT IS THAT!”

Bois: A rat.

Maimouna: Oh.

Pause. Everyone laughs at me.

Umm, where did you find it?

Beigny: On the hill.

Pause.  Everyone laughs again.

Maimouna: Wait, how did you kill it.

Everyone gestures at a terrifying looking, huge animal trap lying near my door.

Maimouna: Oh. Well.  Congratulations.
I did have a moment of triumph over the endless mockery for my general life incompetance.  The other day I was drawing water from the well for my shower, while everyone in the compound watched to see if I would screw up.  10 year old Ma turns to Mama and says “Maimouna be se ka ji taa sisa!” which means, Maimouna knows how to get water now!

I showed off my proper rope reach and fling skills, and then…

my pagne fell off.  Pagne=meter wide piece of fabric you wrap around yourself to make a skirt.

Pagne falling off=no more skirt.

Holding my drooping pagne with one hand and the rope for the bucket in the other, I was a bit stuck.  The family laughed at me for a full thirty seconds while I tried to retuck the fabric without dropping the rope, until finally Tanti came over and held onto the bucket for me while I re-covered myself.  Oops.

I’ll try to write something more substantial for you soon, but I’ll have to leave you with those anecdotes for now while I go get some work done.

Oh, and this picture.  Because Dede is the cutest kid ever, and he is rocking the baby crocs I brought him back from the states.


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