Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pictures from Sangalkam, part 1

Ashley, Frank, and Melanie after our first LPI (Language Placement Interview). Melanie's hand is sorta blurry, but that's just because she has superpowers.
Frank in his room. I wanted to crop this one, but figured it was better to get it uploaded than to forever intend to improve it and upload it and never quite get there.
My host mother, cleaning the kitchen. Her name is Fatoumata Dya (I think), but I call her Nene (say it "nay nay") when I talk to her, which is not often, because she terrifies me.
My older brother Assiz, husband of Rama and father of Fatou (you'll see, she looks exactly like him). He can be sort of a jerk sometimes, but is really good underneath it all.
My eldest brother, Issakha, husband of Jeneba and father of Hiero. He's one of the gentlest, most kind and patient people I have ever encountered, and takes frighteningly good care of me with the help of Rama and Jeneba. He's also incredibly good at what he does.
Issakha again, in his shop.
Jeneba, Issakha's wife, and some neighborhood kids. The one with all the bright things in her hair is Adalai, who is Korka's granddaughter and incredibly annoying. The one in yellow is her younger brother, and the one in blue and white is Jeneba's son, Hiero. The other three are not from my compound.
One of the two children I like. Her name is Nogay (say it "NO-guy"), and she was the one who, my first day when I was nearly exploding from overwhelmed terror, stood next to me and answered my questions of "What's that?" patiently. She's a little annoying, but she's a great kid and a good person and very patient with the younger kids and very self-possessed. I really like her. She also keeps some of the kids from yelling "TOUBAB!" all the time and is thrilled to go with my anywhere. Very valuable asset, aside from being fun to have around.
Korka, my eldest sister, doing laundry
Korka and her laundry in its final stage. If it rains, she will run and grab it all and take it under a roof until it stops raining. Otherwise nothing would ever really dry, as evidenced by the faint smell of mold on some of my shirts. Luckily, it's the green shirts.
Jeneba and Hiero
Rama and Fatou. Rama takes incredibly good care of me, and speaks French, so I am closer with her than with Jeneba. I have started to joke around with her, and so that is a lot of fun. She laughs at me a lot, but mostly in a nice way. She is also one of Frank's older sisters, who married my brother, making Frank and In Senegal, that's practically full siblings.
Rama and Fatou again.
My namesake, Halimatu. She is my older sister Aissatou's daughter (Aissatou is older than Issakha and Assiz, but younger than Korka and the other sister, Hassatou, who lives in Dakar).

Cherif, Frank's younger brother.
Frank's older brother, whose name I don't know. This may be El-Hajii.
Sojuu's son (I think). Sojuu is Frank's eldest sister, and she's deaf, so communicating with her is pretty much funny, since it's non-standardized sign language.
Ashley and Sojuu from across Frank's compound
Hadi, Frank's older sister, and a girl in her family. Possibly the girl does not live in the compound--I just barely got my family mostly sorted out, so I haven't even started with anyone else's yet.
Hadi and her baby. Beautiful picture, I think.
My courtyard. It's sand. On nights when it doesn't rain, I sleep under those two trees in the middle of the yard.
It's my room! And it's very nice. I normally have my tent on the bed if it's raining, if not, it's outside.
The kitchen again, blurry, but I thought the light was pretty neat in this picture. It reminded me of a van Gogh or Vermeer painting. Not the quality of the photograph, but the lighting and the subject matter and, to be honest, the grubbiness.--if the Dutch masters had had a baby blue plastic handwashing station...

And, for those of you committed enough to reading all the way through this post, a special treat:

In Which: Ashley thinks I am taking a picture, I speak a little bit of Peul Fuuta (my chosen spelling for the lanugage we're learning) with Hadi, and we see Frank's compound.


canyon wren said...

hooray for pictures!

also, i dreamt i found a pile of dreadlocks (yours) here at my house, and one other piece of evidence that you had been here.

and, i tried to post a comment a few days ago, and it wouldn't let me...... i guess that was because i could not figure out the identity thing from the work computer.

thanks for all the photos.

Andres said...

The pictures and video are excellent!

I'm entertained to no end how every kid gets prefaced with "he/she is a little annoying"

Keep well.

Chris said...

Marvelous pictures! I liked the video. :) And that cabinet? behind Halimatu is gorgeous. (sorry, doing lots of carpentry...)