Sunday, October 21, 2007

My first visitor

So, I had my first visitors!!! Celine and her boyfriend Danilo came from Spain, where they live, for a 3-day visit. (Celine and I went to highschool together and travelled to Spain together a few years ago). It was great having them here ... we went to the markets (that pic of me sitting on the ground is when I was resting while Danilo - the ultimate bargainer - was going at it), they spent time with the sheep on my roof, the Independence Monument near my house, Atouman's twin sisters in their matching boubous

As was necessary, of course, Celine dressed up in a boubou at night and we went to a religious ceremony (they were here during Ramadan) where people danced and chanted "La Illaha illa Allah" to the beats of drums.

We visited l'ile (island) de N'Gor, after almost a day-long ride (what would otherwise be 20 minutes) in a Ndiaga Ndiaye, the white mini-buses that stop for anyone that flags them down.

Celine picked up the "salamu alaikum" easily, and Danilo being a natural bargainer, they fit right in. The tricky part was the languages. Danilo is Brazilian, and thus speaks Portugese. But he and Celine speak together in Spanish (that's their common language). He speaks some English and no French. Celine speaks French, because her mother is Swiss, but I normally speak with her in English. I speak rudimentary Spanish, and no Portugese. And the languages in Senegal are French and Wolof. So, there were so many langugages mixed in my head - I would open my mouth to speak Spanish to Danilo and french would come out. I'd try to talk to the merchants in French, I'd get English instead. It got to the point where before talking, I would have to stop for two minutes and think - ok, who am I talking to, and what language are they expecting!

Anyways, it was a great few days... reminded me of our adventures in Spain. Thank you my love!

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