Carson and I were taking care of Bamutar. He was crying of course and we couldn’t calm him down. So in comes his namesake, an old, petite, fiery man, who wisps Bamutar from my grasp while switching his cigarette from one corner of his mouth to another. His grace and silliness shine as he attempts to calm his toma with hums, clucks, coos, and reprimands. We watch in speechless awe as he undresses the baby, changes the diaper, and baths him. Cigarette still in mouth, he walks back to his mud bricked house with a smiling, quiet baby. Clearly my maternal instincts have a long way to go.
Janke, the co-wife of my toma’s mother, told me that I looked bigger. Apparently living in Kerewan for two years has served me well she explained. Rather than taking it to mean that I have gained weight, as Americans would of course, I took it as a compliment. I am stronger, wiser, and aged-gracefully.
Mamud uses Carson as his climbing wall on a daily basis. Carson flips, throws, twirls, that little guy for a good half an hour. Mamud could go all day.
The shyest girl in my neighborhood, Binta, always perplexes me. When most kids are in our faces for whatever reason they seem pertinent, she simply says hi and walks away. But when we are passing the football with Alieu and Ehmed, she comes charging through. Always the first one to the ball, kicking with force and intensity. She leaves all the boys in the dust.
Carson eats an average of five mangoes a day. Every morning I am reminded of his overabundance while he labors over the pit latrine. Ask Carson exclaims, “Consequences be damned!” (Kaboom...)
Carson and I making a list of all the must have items in our apartment come August. Olive oil, dark chocolate, and brazil nuts to name a few.
Being ok with talking all about the near future. Reading all about DC and Georgetown, jobs that I could apply for, is helping us get one foot out the door. We are ready. We are ready to go home.
Alieu stills scream bloody murder when Aja gives him a bath.
Karamo coming in to use our laptop. I teach him how to write while he learns how to type.
Buying fabric in the city for tailor made suits that will come out to cost less than a third of the price at home. Carson getting six shirts tailored, because this is the first time he has shirts that truly fit. (And he can’t stop talking about it.)
After realizing that his facial hair is a similar texture to that of African hair, Carson took a hint from the local barbers, coupling a razor blade with a comb, to trim his beard. He’s super jazzed.
Figuring out that we can make humus here!
Going to open our door in the morning just after waking up and finding Ehmed squatting across the compound. I ask him what he is doing and he replies “Buwo, buwo,” (taking a crap). The next morning, Ehmed was out again doing his business when Alieu stumbled out of his house. He walked four feet and squatted. While both took their morning crap, they conversed in their two year old gibberish, clearly talking about the troubles of the world.
Carson’s boss telling him to omit the existence of his first wife to convince a white woman to come to The Gambia just to marry him.