Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tabaski Celebration

Hi all--
How does one describe the great cultural experience we had yesterday?  Our friend Amadine had invited us to come and celebrate Tabaski with him and his family.  Amadine has worked for 20 years at Dakar Academy as a guard. Some days it takes Amadine two hours to get to DA from his home.  He has to take several different car rapides (like a small bus) to get to and from work.

Amadine's family consists of his wife Adjia (oddjuh), and children, daughter Youma (yooma), 15; Mawlouda (mahlouduh), 13; son Ousmane (oozman), 10; daughter Awa (ahwah), 5; and son Cheich(shack), 2.  Other extended family members drifted in and out during the day.  Neighbors stopped in to say hello throughout the day also.  The whole family was very happy that we were there to help them celebrate.

We arrived about 12:30 p.m.  A short time later we had a lunch (pictured below) of roasted sheep with an onion sauce.  Since I was a guest I was allowed to eat with the men and boys. 

After that we spent four hours just sitting visiting, drinking tea, and playing with the children.  Awa was especially fascinated with Jim's skin and beard and kept feeling them. We had brought some small gifts for the children; construction paper, markers, gluestick, scissors, a notebook, and a stuffed animal. During that time Amadine's wife was making the roasted sheep dinner, which consisted mostly of the same as lunch but with bread and fries added.

After dinner Amadine told us that he wanted us to take pictures of his family.  We waited while they all took showers and dressed up in their new clothes that they had gotten for Tabaski. 

Does some of this sound familiar, a little bit like our Christmas celebrations?  We dress up in our nice, and sometimes new, clothes.  We take photos of the whole family together too.

Before we left, Amadine told us how much he appreciated our friendship.  More than that though he thanked us for following through on bringing items from the US to him that we had promised.  He told us that other people promised to bring things to him but never brought them.  We don't feel like we did that much, but to him it was a lot!

Please pray for Amadine and his family to come to know Jesus. 

Aunt Ramona

Eating lunch around a common bowl

Some of Amadine's family members

Mawlouda, Amadine, Awa, Youma, Cheich, Ousmane & Adjia

Ramona & Awa

Jim and Amadine's family

Ramona with Amadine's family

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Unusual sights seen in Senegal

Hi all--
Here are a few pics of very unusual sights seen here in Senegal.  These sights aren't unusual to the Senegalese, but to us they are very strange!

Goat on top of car (gotta reach those leaves)

Woman walking her do....oh woops, I mean sheep

Woman wearing African dress and a cowboy hat

First time we ever saw this in Senegal

Interesting ways to carry your Tabaski sheep:

Please pray for the Senegalese people as they feel required to spend lots of money for Tabaski, buying sheep and all the food to go with it for a feast, new clothes and gifts for the family, etc.  It is sad to see!

Aunt Ramona