Monday, April 19, 2010

Chow Time!

I figured it was time to post some pictures of something I do every day: eat lunch. I eat lunch with the other adult women in my family: my host mom, 2 of my aunts, the 2 teenage women that live with my family so they can go to school in Kayemor, and any other random women that happen to be at our house that day. My host mom and 2 of my aunts rotate who cooks lunch and dinner for the family – one woman cooks for 2 days, then another woman, then another woman, etc. The day I took this picture my host mom made lunch, and she made my favorite lunch dish (and the official national dish of Senegal): ceebu jen (aka rice and fish). Whenever my mom cooks, we’re guaranteed a good meal because she always puts tons of veggies in her ceebu jen (and she’s just an awesome cook), as you can see from the picture below: there’s carrots, cabbage, turnip, bitter tomato (classic Senegalese vegetable that I started out hating but now like), eggplant, bissap leaf sauce (the green piles of deliciousness – no, really, it looks nasty but this bissap leaf sauce is so delicious AND packed full of the vitamins and minerals that our diet in the village usually really lacks), and cassava, with a couple fish in the middle (acting as our desperately-needed source of protein).

As you can see from the photos below, we all just sit around the lunch bowl and eat with our hands. Most of the women sit on little metal or wooden stools, but I sit on a plastic chair (as my host mom or other women sometime do, too) because my legs are so long.

Going from left to right in the pics below: Tida (17-year old girl that lives across the street with a couple of my aunts and uncles and goes to school in Kayemor), Souckeye Ba (one of my aunts), Fatu Mata (14-year-old girl that lives in our compound to go to school here), and my host mom, Souckeye.

My aunt, Areme Diop, was gone the day I took this picture, so I included the pic below of her and Souckeye Ba. Areme is what we call a “ceeb mama” – i.e., she eats a lot of ceeb and is (therefore) a large woman, but most women want to be like that here because it means that her husband is wealthy enough to buy a lot of rice for his family.

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