Sunday, November 13, 2011

Feeling like an African Woman

Heeeeeeeeeeeeyyy guys what up??
For this week's post, I thought I'd talk about a Medley of things, becuase I don't really have one SOLID topic to go on about. So, the first thing (and freshest on my mind) is:
So yesterday, my mom decided to take out her braids, which meant I spent a good portion of my day sitting behind her, and running my fingers through her hair, picking out those teensy weensy oh so numerous days, and while we did that, we were gossiping and talking about all sorts of things, and I couldn't help but to feel like a traditional/stereo-typical african woman. It was a postive experience, btw. I definately approve.
Another incident (event really) that had me feeling like a real African was when I got hungry yesterday, so I took some money, walked to the small shop in my neighbor hood (turn left when you get out of the house, and left again at the bigger road, walk about 2 blocks and presto! there it is!) anyhoo, so there i was at the boutique with some money and a hungry tummy, and I succesfully managed to buy a small loaf of bread, and 2 bags of milk (MILK!!! in BAGS!!!! could life get any better??) by speaking a mixture of French and Bambara. It was pretty awsome, to say the least, knowing that if I were lost in the streets, I'd still be able to feed myself out here :)
actually, you know what? Today's topic is FEELING LIKE AN AFRICAN WOMAN.
anyhoo back to the braids. So, while I was picking out my mom's braids, I was considering getting some myself. It would be a really cool thing to try (not to mention a different look, and a new experience!) but I'm really scared of the "after look" (that is the FrizzBomb that people call hair) I like my hair very non frizzy, and picked out braids...welp that doesn't equal nonfrizzy at all. So I'm hesitating on the braids...
A lot of teens get weaves too (like every week, they're sporting a new 'do) I probably wont go for the fake hair, but if I could find somebody here who straightens hair (non chemically too, gosh no, my hair!!!) that would make me feel semi-I AM AN AFRICAN WOMAN. Haha.
What I can't believe, is how much time has gone by. I've been here for over 2 months, which means I have about 2 months, and I'm back home again. I'm at the halfway point, and yet I feel that I've only now just begun to wrap my mind around african traditions, african concepts, african languages, everything african. And I'm thinking wow, I can't wait to go home and see y'all again, and see my friends and my family, but at the same time, I know that two more months isn't nearly enough, and I want MORE time. Oh, the confusion.
Welp, I guess that its for now, sorry no pictures this time, nor a good blog post. Maybe I'll try harder next time (ANDREA! YOU LAZY GOAT)
Love to each and every one of you :)
OH BEST WEEKEND EVER. I talked to my sister, and my "big brother" and my best friend. Could I honestly ask for more? (Actually, yes I could, but I prefer to appreciate than complain)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Walking home from school

Hey guys!
So last Sunday (2 days ago) was Fete de Tabaski, which is basically the Muslim New Year. I got new clothes made (again! yay!) out of bazin this time, which is kinda like a plasticy fabric. Its red and yellow and SUUUPER pretty. We actually didn't do much, or at least I didn't. Apperently my dad killed a goat while I was asleep. Too bad nobody told me to wake up early :( I've decided that it would be easier if I had a Flickr account for all my pictures cuz I have a good number of them and not everbody is my facebook friend (sorry) Saturday, I had my first Bambara class, and we learned the alphabet, and phrases to say for the New Year:
Sambe sambe
Si tigiyala
Ba tigiyala
Fa tigiyala
Che tigiyala
Its basically a greeting, and then you list every family member you can possibly think of and wishing them a good health for the year, and to see them the next year. The response is Amiina. The grand fete (big party) was on Sunday and yesterday, Monday, we didn't have school :D
Speaking of school, I thought it would paint an interesting picture describe the things I hear and see on the way home from school:
  • I see naked children taking a bath in a small tub in the middle of the road
  • I see little boys playing with sticks and car tires (using the stick to roll the tire down the road)
  • I see toddlers running after baby lambs and scaring the poor thing. I also hear the children screaming and laughing, as well as the baby lamb bleating its little heart out
  • I see (and smell) small piles of trash burning (on purpous, I think)
  • I see hens and chicks pecking for food between the non-burning piles of trash
  • I see roosters fighting for dominance (and I hear them crowing, too)
  • I see little children running around and I hear them run up to me to say good evening, because I am clearly not African
  • I see a big road filled with zooming cars that intimidates me every time I need to cross (I've gotten better at crossing, and there is a stop light thank god)
  • I see (and smell, oh gosh the smell) people throwing out waste in the middle of the road (never EVER walk through a puddle, you never know if its clean water or not...)
  • I see cars and motorcycles having a hard time driving, becuase the road is so very rocky and uneven
  • I see goats tied up to trees or in pens
  • I see men sitting outside of their houses, looking kinda bored
  • I see woman walking with big trays on their heads, carrying a mountain of products, be it fruit, shoes, anything and everything is carried on top of their heads.

Welp! Thats it for today :) I'll write more soon <3
Andrea Vielma