Monday, September 28, 2009

Dennaboo (say it "DEN-ah-boe")

PSA first: I figured out what the problem with the video stuff is: you can't upload files larger than a given size (sensible), and the ones I wanted to upload were too large. As a result, I took a bunch of really quick ones, which will be a little like hiccups to experience but are, I hope, a little more real than photos. If not, let me know and we shall not try this experiment again.
So what is a dennaboo? It's an Islamic baptism ceremony that normally takes place one week after the birth of a baby in which the baby's head is shaved, its name is announced, and everyone eats a lot. Jeneba had her baby two weeks ago, and since the dennaboo would've fallen on Korite, they just gave the baby a name then (Yaasi), and had the party the next week. The pictures are all G-rated, but some of the film clips may have butchering-of-animals going on, so be warned.
Toubabs from left: Frank, Zach, Ashley, Melanie.
Zach and his host nephew.
Frank and Zach's other host nephew.
Turns out the kid isn't the only one capable of making silly faces.
The kids here really like to be obnoxious and touchy. Frank is really taking advantage of that here.
So that the women of the family do not have to do a ton of cooking on the day they're throwing the party, there's a women's co-operative that does it. I don't know if they get paid to or if they just rotate through themselves whenever one of them has a baby, either way, here they are in all their laughing, chatty, hardworking glory.
There were at least three of those pots.
Zach's host sister and Issakha, wearing a boubou he stayed up all night to make out of cloth I brought him from Kedougou. He likes that hat a lot, but I think he'd look better without it.
My other namesake, with a water bottle, looking like a bottled-water commercial.
"Hali, atchu!" ("Hali, stop!")
Wooli, I think his name is. One of the nicest people ever, the dogsbody of my compound. Very kind and gentle and patient with the children and with me. However, he has never had to threaten to lash me with a switch to keep me out of the sewer, so we have a less strained relationship than he does with, oh, say, Yero (aka Hiero), for example.
Nogay with pinkeye.
Aissatou, my eldest sister, visited from Dakar to help with the dennaboo.
A small child in very embroidered clothing.
Alpha Omar Sala, my second namesake's and Nogay's brother. Also one of my favorite people.
Here he is again.
Another of my favorite people--this is Frank's older brother, Ibrahima, who is endlessly patient and speaks very slow, clear Pulaar. He reminds me of what a full sibling of both Barack Obama and my father would look like (if such a thing were possible).
Issakha. And hat. Sorry the picture is so dark.
Jeneba, who is even smaller now that she isn't pregnant anymore.
Jeneba, in her gold-embroidered splendor.


Funny, I didn't notice that woman not want her picture taken until I watched the clip.

Yaasi Ba, appearing for the first time to the world at large.


Zach wants to get, like, ten goats. That much English is unusual to hear. It's funny, you'd think that as I've got a first-rate degree in the study of it and am a relatively introspective, analytical type, I would've noticed by now that I really like my first language. Especially given my sensitivity to how it is used. But no, it took six weeks of foreign-language-immersion training to get me to notice that not only do I like my language, butImiss it. Yes, I am sometimes dumber than a box of rocks.

GORE ALERT--nothing dies in the following, but things are being cut up that are already dead.


In which Omar Sala thinks I am taking his picture again.


Wooli and company cutting up a sheep.

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