I guess it’s officially day 8 even though I haven’t slept yet. My ear is aching but I’m pretty sure it’s the tea that’s keeping me up. Maybe that and God wants me to help the missionaries who are staying with us tonight get on the road easily. I think their flight leaves early in the morning like ours does. It’s interesting trying to learn a new language, especially when your this old. ( 31 is considered “old” right? ) I was thinking about my little girl and realizing what she has to go through to learn English when she doesn’t have any language background like I do. I think it might be a good idea to get a kids book with lots of pictures in it and have each picture translated with the actual word and then the phonetic spelling next to it. Seems like that would allow people to, not only, pronounce the words correctly but would also help them to recognize the spelling of the words in the Wolof language. It’s odd how indescribably comfortable I feel here. Everything is different than it is at home; the food, the city, the sleeping arrangements with my own princess bed. Even the English spoken by Herma is , sometimes, hard to understand. In spite of all that I feel at peace here. Maybe because I haven’t been here that long and it’s still a new experience for me ( Nadine, Dany’s wife, calls it the Senegal honeymoon ). It could also be the slower pace of life coupled with the intense relationships and friendships that can be formed, in spite of the language barrier ( but yes, honey, I’m still coming home ). By the way if you ever sit down to play cards with a group of guys at night and they offer you Arabic tea, please say NO. Didn’t get a wink of sleep last night. Ate breakfast around 9 and had a small Bible study and then crashed till about 2. Luckily I woke up just in time to have a dish with rice, beef, and a sauce with peanut butter. Kind of reminded me of mole’ sauce. Dany is expanding the eating hut so I’m getting a closer look at the building process. Should be an exciting week. I worked on my drum a little bit. Saw how they take a goat skin and shave it, then stretch it over the drum bowl and make it as tight as possible using two iron rings. After the initial skin is tight and the excess is cut off they have to let the drum sit and dry for 3 days. During that time, I was invited to a game of volleyball with the guys. It’s interesting some of the things that the guys here know and somthings they don’t. I was surprised to see that they knew how to play volleyball but didn’t know how to throw an ( American ) football. One of the guys from the church that stayed here last night pulled his out and you’d have thought the guys at the shop had never seen one before. I was surprised to see how good they were at volleyball. After drenching my shirt I took a quick dip in the pool and when I got out the electricity was off again. It’s odd how fast I’ve adapted to this idiosyncrasy of Malika life. You just know that at any time you should have a candle and matches nearby. Tonight’s dinner consisted of roast beef and french fries, which was welcomed with open arms. Got to talk to my wonderful wifey on Skype and now I’m going to bed.
About Lee Pettijohn