the gifts were a success! talla immediately used his new razor, the hoodie fit ma'asou perfectly, everybody has nail polish on (including the boys who now have pink toenails), the women are obsessed with looking at themselves in their pictures, and the little boys keep getting yelled at for dragging their new clothes on the ground every time they are asked to show off their new (nintendo-themed) clothes.
here are my (suddenly) camera shy boys in their new clothes:
so i'm back in the village and yes, i realize it's been nearly a month since i've written and yes, i am ashamed. i guess it is a lot easier to sit down and write when there are several hours of the day to kill. actually, i don't know how true that is since i had several hours a day to kill while i was in america. i guess it's because in america there are things like tv and internet and places to go to distract one's self.
but on that note -- america was awesome. it came and went like a flash but it was truly wonderful to be back for a little bit -- i had missed it more than i thought i would and not in the ways i had expected either. i had definitely missed my family, my friends, the good food and spirits, but the glittering aspects of america that make america so great in the eyes of others -- the houses, the cars, the money, the array of this and that and everything -- were overwhelming and it was rather confusing at times. at first i was shocked at the reminder of just how much we have in america, then disgusted, and then easily fell back into the routine (i knew this when i bought a $1.75 cup of coffee that i only drank a third of before i threw it out). i kept getting torn between feelings of loving america for its abundance of options and then despising the place for its lack of simplicity.
i suppose the lesson is that it's utterly impossible to place the label of "good" or "bad" on the place. i love america for what it is and am more than grateful for having the bonne chance of being born there and having the plethora of options and opportunities i've had since i was a little girl. but i also realize the little beauties of life in senegal and can see where the glittering lights of america have blinded me. i guess i'm pretty lucky to have the chance of living in two worlds that are so opposite of each other.