So, I survived my first Korite, which is the celebratory day ending Ramadan. Twas interesting. I decided that, as the day progressed, Korite reminded me of a different American holiday.
In the morning/afternoon, it was Thanksgiving. I woke up yesterday morning, and my entire family was busy cooking. There were potatoes and onions being cut, and a massive bowl of uncooked meat sitting around (surrounded by flies, of course). It’s funny that stuff like that doesn’t phase me anymore. There are flies everywhere…all the time.
We ended up eating around 2 PM, which is so Thanksgiving. The family was preparing this big meal all day, and then we ate mid-afternoon, then we sat around, lethargic, for several hours because we were so full.
After lunch, we drank orange soda and this pineapple soda that’s really good. I’s so strange…they busted out the fancy glasses for us to drink cold soda in. It was like the Senegalese equivalent of a fine wine or nice bottle of champagne. Korite is a special occasion, so OF COURSE we must drink orange soda. Muslims don’t drink alcohol, which explains a lot, but I still thought it was funny.
Later in the evening, towards dusk, it evolved from Thanksgiving to Halloween. All the kids get dressed up to the 9s and walk around their neighborhood to collect money/food/candy. They came into the compound and asked forgiveness. To who? I don’t know. Allah? My Wolof can’t support in-depth religious conversations, so I didn’t ask.
Unfortunately, the gang and I had to water our garden last night, and we went out during Mischief Night. The wandering children had a FIELD DAY with us toubabs. In addition to screaming “BONJOUR TOUBAB!” in a sing-song voice (3-part harmony), on Korite, they pulled on our pant legs and asked for money.
When I got back, I put on my EPIC Korite outfit. The gang came over to take pictures. OMG it was epic. We were SUCH toubabs: white as all get out, dressed up in Senegalese apparel, and make faces while taking pictures. My host family was like WTF.
The sun went down, and the fireworks started. 4th of July! It was so weird. Mostly they were on the ground, so I heard them/were frightened of them more than anything.
Korite was fun, and it’s odd that this was my first of three. Who knows where I’m gonna be for the next two?
Also, I got the result of my scary French test back. Apparently my French level is “Novice High”, which is actually where I’m at in Wolof now. To swear in, you have to be “Intermediate Mid” in your language. I am on track, which is awesome. I was worried.
Tomorrow is site visits. I am staying in Sokone until Thursday with a SED volunteer that lives there. Because my ancienne (UAg person I’m replacing) left six months ago, that’s why I’m staying with a SED person. I am coming back to Thies for a few days, so I will be able to update with my exciting adventures.