so we slaughtered our ram today and maybe it is the mongol in me but i didn't really mind the slaughter at all. i found it to be quite decent and respectful. i'm also proud to say that it was my knife that slaughtered not one but four sheep. i helped cook by cutting potatoes, onions, and pounding spices. cutting potatoes and onions without a cutting board is super hard and i sliced my hand in the process so sheep's blood wasn't all that was shed today.
too bad they don't drink here because the fresh sheep meat would be perfect with a gigantic glass of wine and it almost feels like a waste to eat this meat accompanied by water. they stuffed me full of food and i don't think i've ever eaten so much sheep in my life.
in the afternoon, i was sitting in my room and kids started coming to my door dressed in their finest and with bowls. i remembered bamba had told us about this but i couldn't remember the exact details so we just stared at each other through the screen of my door while they mumbled some words and i just told them i didn't understand then. i went to ask aram and turns out i'm supposed to give them 25CFA?! who knew? i had no change and made a big fool out of myself in front of the kids who find me funny looking enough so now they have another reason to laugh at me.
then all the women got dressed up to the nines and we went and visited every compound, which is plenty of fun for everybody -- if you speak wolof. and i don't. so i just felt dumb and intrusive and rather left out and abandoned by fatou and aram but then again, how often do they get to get dressed up and get out of the compound and have fun with their friends? (the answer is: quite rarely.) i know that i would have done the same thing if i were going out with my friends and had to drag along the strange foreigner who has no idea what's going on in terms of language AND culture. still, i wound up feeling rather homesick at the end of the day and i've noticed that every major holiday here winds up making me feel that way because it just makes me think about how much i miss my family and friends and holidays back at home.
shelley, JC, and i are going up north to a famous bird park for christmas which should be a nice, albeit expensive, adventure. that should be cool because it already is exciting for me to see wild green parakeets in the trees (not cages!) around here so who knows what this bird park will be like.