i suppose i should mention that i eventually got to light some fireworks. on new year's day i was determined to light the fireworks. after all, thay had cost me 2,500CFA! up until new year's eve i kept envisioning some beautiful bonding moment between me and the village -- all of us out in the darkness and lighting fireworks and oohing and aahing as they burst over our tiny village in a "forgotten corner of the world."
but by the evening i was in a bad mood because fatou had pissed me off and i -- in turn -- had pissed her off and the sour air was permeating into everybody. (sidenote: this was the first time in my year or so of being here that i ever snapped at her and while i felt bad about it, i also felt kind of relieved that i've finally stopped being such a pushover and am a bit more...myself. that is, i have expressed myself as somebody who gets angry or annoyed or can have my limits pushed. that's not to say that all this time i've been the "happy" volunteer -- i am often grumpy or sad or far from chipper. it is just that for so long, in my attempts to be a "good" volunteer, i have shied away from putting my foot down in various situations that i would never had a problem with in america or an all-english speaking contetxt.) the whole compound seemed bitchy and angry and i didn't feel like lighting the damn fireworks now or ever. but i had to! they were just sitting there and i had gotten them for the village.
so after dinner i took out 3 and announced that i was going to go light some fireworks (not pigeons). talla immediatly began to panic, clearly thinking that i was going to light the compound on fire. even though i had this fear as well, i got annoyed at him. i felt old feelings of teenage rebellion gurgling up inside of me -- who was he to tell me what to do? i could do what i wanted! why doesn't he ever think i'm capable of anything?! i grumpily said "bay ko, rekk" (forget it, then) and that if he was scared i would just wait until i got to kaolack or dakar. but he insisted i light them but proceeded to ask me a million questions about whether or now i would be putting the village in peril. i was just about to give up when he decided i go into a field and light them. so we went and i set up the first firework. i lit it and we all (me, talla, chris, and ma'asou) took a step back. the firework launched and was a total fart of a firework. a total dud. it went like, 10 feet into the air before sputtering out and dying. i was disappointed and talla was relieved. we set up another and chris lit it. this time it shot up a bit higher but exploded into all kinds of color. pretty. we set up the third and i offered talla the lighter. he lit it and it shott off into the sky ablaze with color, making the perfect whizzing firewcracker noise, reaching marvelous heights, and exploding into a dazzle. talla was delighted and cheered like a little kid and gloated about how his firework was better than both of ours.
it is therapeutic lighting things on fire so i felt a bit better after that, talla was in a good mood, fatou and aram thought they wre pretty, and children were tittering away in excitement over the fireworks so things started to feel a little more normal again. now i just need to figure out what to do with the remaining 9...